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Senate | February 12, 2015 | Chamber | Senate Session

Full MP3 Audio File

Senate will come to order. Sergeant arms, close the doors. Members go to their seats. Members and guests in the gallery please silence all electronic devices. Leading the Senate is prayer is Senator Norm Sanderson of Pamlico County. All members and guests in the gallery will please stand. SPEAKER CHANGES Would you please pray with me silently as I pray out loud? Most gracious and loving heavenly father, as we prepare to end our week in Raleigh we thank you for your presence in our midst. We are reminded that you are with us in sessions, in our committees, in our caucuses, in our offices, on our drives home. In fact you tell us that you will never leave us or forsake us. And we can answer the question where can we go that we are not in your presence with a resounding nowhere. Give us the wisdom we need to do what you have chosen us to do. Teach us to number our days that we apply our hearts under your wisdom. Help us as we strive to do your will. We answer to many factions, our leaders, our constituents, our families, our friends. But ultimately the most important account is the one we will have to give when we stand before you. And the words aht we long to hear on that day is, “well done good and faithful servant, you have been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things, enter thou into the joy of the Lord. Thank you for your joy.” We pray these things in the name of our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ. SPEAKER CHANGES Senator Berger is recognized for a motion. SPEAKER CHANGES Thank you Mr. President. The journal of Wednesday, February 11, 2015 has been examined and is found to be correct. I move that we dispense with the reading of the journal and that it stand approved as written. SPEAKER CHANGES Without objection the journal of February 11th stands approved as written. Senators, our nurse of the day is Ovana Plymouth of Raleigh, North Carolina. Nurse Plymouth, please stand to be recognized and thank you for serving the Senate today. SPEAKER CHANGES Senators, upon the motion of Senator Bill Cook of Beaufort, Camden, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Hyde, Pasquotank, Perquimans counties sure is happy to extend courtesies of the gallery to honorable Jerry R. Tillet, Senior Resident Superior Court Judge for the 1st judicial district, the honorable Edgar Barnes, Chief District Court Judge for the 1st judicial district, the honorable Dean Tolson, -County Clerk of Superior Court, and Mr. Frances Deambra, former Police Chief of Manning. If you're with us in the audience, please stand so we can recognize you today. SPEAKER CHANGES Senator Apodaca for what purpose do you rise? SPEAKER CHANGES Motions relative to today's calendar. SPEAKER CHANGES Senator Apodaca you have the floor for your motions. SPEAKER CHANGES Thank you Mr. President. Members, Senate Resolution 69 honoring Boy Scouts currently committee on rules asked that it be removed from rules and placed on the end of today's calendar SPEAKER CHANGES No objections to order. SPEAKER CHANGES Thank you Mr. President. Senate Bill 15 unemployment insurance law changes on today's calendar. Ask that it be removed and placed on Tuesday's, February 17th. SPEAKER CHANGES No objection to order. Senators that does take us into today's calendar, starting with public bills. Start reading roll call bill. Senate Bill 20th clerk arraignment. SPEAKER CHANGES Senate Bill 20 that's the date our motor fuel tax changes. We have any further discussion or debate? Senator Clark for what purpose do you rise? SPEAKER CHANGES Speak to the bill. SPEAKER CHANGES Senator Clark has the floor to speak to the bill. SPEAKER CHANGES. I'd like to take a moment and have the Senate clerk pull up some attachmenkts for me if you don't mind. On the dashboard. SPEAKER CHANGES One second Senator. Let's make sure that this information gets on the dashboard. Alright we should be good. Everybody should have it on the dashboard. Senator you have the floor.

Discussions. I'd like address the question asked by one of my colleagues during a finance meeting the other day. He said, when is a tax decrease a bad idea? When is a tax increase, I mean decrease, a bad idea? And no question, or should I say no answer was forthcoming as to when a tax decrease is a bad idea, but over the course of this week, I guess some people have had an answer to that, or suggested an answer to that, that a tax decrease is a bad idea when it is used to mask a tax increase. Now, I'm not suggesting that that is what is being done here, but I do know that that sentiment has also been expressed, expressed in some of the media out there. Like in the Fayetteville Observer, they had the heading, is this a spoon full of sugar to help the medicine go down? So what causes our folks to think like that? Well, I'd like to draw your attention to the first slide on the dashboard. Okay. Okay? Let's see, trying to make sure everybody's on the same spot. Okay, there's a diagram there that shows the total revenues that will be generated as a result of passing Senate bill 20 between the fiscal years 2016 and 2019. It's almost $1.2 billion in tax revenues that will be generated by increasing the motor fuels tax. Now most of, my constituents look at that and they say, well, yes we're gonna be bringing in more revenues, but the way we're doing that is by increasing the motor fuels tax. And I do know that it has been stated that what we're gonna be doing is we're gonna be cutting taxes, as a matter of fact, I think I've heard we're gonna cut, and then eventually we're going to stabilize. I think there's another factor that's been thrown in there but not quite sure what the three factors are, but I would say it looks, seems more like we're gonna cut jobs, then we're gonna cut taxes, temporarily, then we're gonna increase the motor fuels tax, and then after that then maybe we'll stabilize the formula and make sure that we fund transportation parties, projects. Now, it is not my desire to have any transportation projects pulled off the books. I understand that we need to raise revenues in order to take care the business of the state in terms of meeting transportation needs, in terms of the highways, the bridges, et cetera, et cetera. But I guess I'm concerned about the way we're going about this process and the message we're sending to the people. Could you go to slide two, please? Okay, so slide two actually shows what's going on in terms of the motor fuels tax. We currently have a law in place and under that law, the motor fuels tax would go to about maybe a little under 30 cents a gallon, effective 1, July this year. Now, we also know that Senate bill 20 proposes to cut tax based on the current rate of motor fuels tax, which is 37 cents a gallon, so they wanna take it down to, Senate bill 20 proposes to take it down to 35 cents a gallon. But let me show you another chart that makes it even clearer, because what this chart does is shows is hey, over time we're certainly gonna be increasing the motor fuels tax that our citizens will have to pay over the next four or five years compared to what we would do if we left well enough alone. So could I get the third slide? Okay. Okay, now in the center what you see here, let me put on my little glasses so I can see as well. Okay, shows under current law what's gonna happen to the motor fuels tax this year if we do nothing. Currently is indicated as set at 37.5 cents a gallon, and it will stay that way until the end of June. Now under current law, beginning in let's see, July, it would go to approximately 30 cents per gallon and it would be there for the next six months. Okay, so to me I think most of my constituents would say, well, that looks like a motor fuels tax cut already in the making that we're gonna have for the second half of the year. Now, what happens under Senate bill 20? Okay, under Senate bill 20, we would have for the next two months, it would stay at 37.5 cents per gallon, but effective March, we'd go to 35 cents a gallon, which based on the current tax

right now, yes that would be a tax cut. That's why I represented that 35 cents/gallon in green. But also under Senate Bill 20, we see what happens in July relative to the current law is that 35 cents/gallon tax would actually be higher. So that's why some folks say, "Oh, well we're going to cut taxes to turn around and then increase them." They're speaking of relative to what would happen with the current law. Folks, see that is the problem, that is the concern I have. Certainly I agree with the need, if we have to, to raise the taxes as indicated in that first slide if it is truly necessary. But I don't think we've explained it to our citizens in enough detail why raising those revenues or those taxes is needed in order to maintain the transportation infrastructure of our state. It's for that reason that I will be voting against this bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Apodaca, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Rabin yield for a question, please? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Rabin, do you yield for a question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I will. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Rabin, is there any way we can carve out Cumberland County? Because I sure don't want them to be hurt by this. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'll put my best man on it, Senator. I don't know whether we can or we can't but I will put my best man on it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Let's see if we can do that because I've never heard the back aisle complain so much about taxes being dropped. It's just amazing to me. It's a new concept but it's something I'm really enjoying hearing. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Meredith, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I have a question for Senator Rabin. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Rabin, do you yield for a question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I yield. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Rabin, I appreciate Senator Apodaca's suggestion but, based on me representing Cumberland County, I do not, I repeat, I do not want $14M dollars worth of projects, which are going to create jobs for our community, which are going to improve the infrastructure, to be carved out. So I appreciate your point, Senator Apodaca, but I do not, I want to repeat that, want $14M, $14M dollars taken out of my community. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Senator, and I will ask my best man to stand at ease. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Smith, thank you you very- [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I rise to speak against the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator, you have the floor to speak to the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] There are many things that I find wrong with this bill, but just to keep it simple I want to bring to your attention the fact, my colleague just talked about the jobs that it would create, but I want to highlight today on this floor is the fact that 500 jobs from the Department of Transportation, hardworking state employees, will be cut, and it only saves $6M dollars. Now, I listened yesterday to the debate and I know that there is some give and take. There are some pros and cons with every deal but I think we as constituents, we as those who are representing our constituents who are not here to speak the floor, we have to look at the impact that it will have on them. I understand that I'm preaching to the choir but I would like for my colleagues to consider, look at the cuts, look at who's being hurt by this increase in taxes. According to the North Carolina State Constitution, Article I, Section V reads as thus: "Every citizen of this state owes paramount allegiance to the constitution and government of the United States and no law or ordinance of the state in contravention or subversion thereof can have any binding force." When I look at what the IRC did in terms of the college tuition deductions, in terms of the mortgage insurance premiums, and looking at this in totality, we are putting the citizens of North Carolina at a disadvantage with the other 49 states of these United States. We are causing our citizens of North Carolina to not benefit by our decoupling, and last by not least just say what it is. Our state motto, someone said it before in this chamber, is "To be rather than to seem." If this isn't a tax increase, just say it for what it is. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Apodaca, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Will Senator Brown yield to a question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Brown, do you yield for a question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I will. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Brown, I was thinking back to our good times with the budget the last couple of years and were there not cuts to DOT and personnel in the budget? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Apodaca, there has been a request for those cuts in DOT and as this bill is being proposed there has been a lot of conversation with DOT about how to balance this budget with the tax cut and the gas tax cut

?? in the bill. The OT has seem to be okay with this scenario. In committee, when we had it debated in committee, the OT responded and really had no objections to what we were trying to propose in this bill. So, I think if DOT had some concerns, I would think they would have been lined up with the committee and expressed those concerns, and I don't think we saw that. Also, on the other piece I'll just wrap up if I could, Mr. President this comment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator, would you like to speak to the bill? [SPEAKER CHANGES] If I could. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, senator, you have the floor. Speak the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] As far as the decoupling from the federal government own several of those issues. What you are talking about is seventy-something million dollars of revenue the state will have to come up with if you don't decouple. Now it is easy to stand up and talk about that, I guess, but nobody has gone on to say, "where are you going to find the money?" And if you want to make that argument, I'am okay to have that debate, but I think if you are going to debate it, tell me where you are going to take it from. Are you going to take it from teachers? Are you going take it from AJJS? Are you going to take it from the court system? Where are you going to take the money from? I think that should be part of the argument if you're gonna to talk about spending those dollars, but nobody wants to talk about that. Again, I think that's the important piece anytime you talk about spending more money. It's easy to say it, but it is never easy to find where you are going to take it from. So, I think let's make that part of the argument if we gonna make it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator if ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] See if Senator Brown will yield to one question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Brown, do you yield? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Brown, you make a very good point about the fact that no one found the seventy-one million dollars, but if past history is any example, and even my colleague from ?? would probably, can be in that same group, the only way the macro?? ever found was to have tax increases to pay for this stuff. Is that what they're proposing, tax increases? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well again, you're either going to have to propose a tax increase or you are going have to tell where you are going to find the money. Its got to work both ways. Again, it's easy to say I can spend it but tell me where you're going to find it. That's the other piece. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Ford, to??? rise. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, Mr. President. May I speak to the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Ford has the floor to speak to the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much Mr. President. Ladies and Gentlemen, senate, a lot's been made here the last few minutes about the decoupling from the federal exclusions, so I want to address a couple of those. The challenge is that the state is short on revenue by 200 to 71 million dollars. You are looking at a 21 billion dollar budget senators, and so as it relates to families, the money is there, we just need to prioritize working families in the state of North Carolina instead of corporations and special interests. So, when you talk about where to find the money, you have 21 billion dollars. You mean to tell me that you folks cannot find 71 million dollars and prioritize that for working families in the state of North Carolina. If you can't find it, you need to be ashamed of yourself. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Brock full ?? to rise. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Speak to the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Brock has the floor to speak to the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Let us think about how we got here in the first place. I am a historian now, I've been here for half my life. When I sat on the back row, Senator Clark, I can see fifty, I talked about the ?? Bridge over the Yankee River, and how year after year political projects, ?? projects took precedence on the major commerce artery for the eastern United States. The traffic was shut down for twelve hours at a time. ?? getting corporations, companies ?? "hey, we would like to go to Rodeway county, to Bears county, Davidson, Davy" "Sorry, our roads are blocked off because some other areas of the state got a lot more money in transportation dollars." We got hit harder in 9/11 and the recession than anywhere else in the country, but the politics kept going on. The transportation plan that we put out prioritizes our ?? where the projects should go, where the money should go. This is a good a idea. It stabilizes our funding sources because many times it's used as an excuse by the ?? majority of the party. Well, that bridge will go from anywhere from 150 - 400 million dollars and our rate keeps fluctuating, so we're not going to build your bridge. But a lot of y'all got a lot of dent lines on your Mercedes. We are going to prioritize our projects, stabilize our revenue, and put the money where the data is. I urge you to support the bill.

President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Rucho, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To speak on the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The Senator has the floor to speak to the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. President and members of the Senate. I sat in the committee meetings earlier, and I heard one of my colleagues talking about pink elephants. Apparently he’s dreaming about pink elephants during the appropriations meeting. But I think it’s important to understand that this bill and all the other parts of the taxes, when you talk about a target, ladies and gentlemen – what a target is, is an estimate or best guess by our economists to determine the value or the amount of money generated. And what’s very important and no one ever seems to recognize the fact that when they say 217 million shortfall on the target, the best guess, no one mentions the fact that we’re at 586 million dollars more this year than last year with a tax cut. Now how do you explain that? Do you think something might be working right different than what the other group does? Because for the first time you have more money in your pocket. And it won’t stop there. You look at the others. You look at the estimates, the targets. 579 million dollars in the year, and then 800, almost 900 million dollars after that. Ladies and gentlemen, we’re on the right track, despite all the rhetoric from the back row. We’re going to stay the course, and we’re going to put prosperity in all of North Carolina. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Brown, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Reluctantly, I want to speak a second time on the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator, you have the floor to speak a second time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Ford, I’ve got to address your comments, and I normally don’t get as worked up on some of this stuff but you made me do it today I think. When you want to talk about middle class, and I think that’s the new phrase for some now is about the middle class, you know we took over, we had a two and a half billion dollar budget and there were about a billion dollars in taxes that were set to expire. You didn’t want to do that. You didn’t want those taxes to expire, and those taxes affected the middle class probably more than any other tax I knew of at the time. We’ve managed that two and a half billion dollar shortfall, and also let those taxes expire, which helped the middle class as much as anything we could have done at that time. If I look at the tax reform that we’ve done, it’s probably helped the middle class more than any other group of people in this state. The middle class. And again, it’s easy on this bill to talk about this 70 million dollars in priorities. And you can make priorities again, but my argument to you or anyone else, if you want to spend that money, where do you want to find it? And there’s other ways you can do it. I guess you can tax the middle class, if you want to do that. Or you can cut teachers or you can cut other things. But you’ve got to find the dollars. And I think we’ve done a great job managing this budget. You’ve heard today in committee, this budget is as sound as a budget we’ve had in a long, long time and I take this job pretty serious and I think we’ve done a great job with it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Ford, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I’d like to speak a second time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Ford has the floor to speak a second time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much, Mr. President. Senator Brown, you know I have a tremendous amount of respect for you, and having balanced more than one payroll myself, I understand what it means to balance a budget. I understand what it means to make tough decisions. I also understand what it means to pay other people before you get paid. I want to remind this chamber that while I’m on the back row with my colleagues, you’re dealing with a new set of Democrats. And I have not advocated for one tax increase since I’ve been here. And when I talked yesterday, I talked about cutting taxes for working families, so I just want to remind this chamber, this is not the old Democratic Party. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Do we have any further discussion or debate? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Blue, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Blue has the floor to debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much, Mr. President, and to my colleagues here in the Senate. I’ll give you a quote from one of my favorite Republicans. And he said that you can fool some of the people some of the time, you can fool all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. And when Abe Lincoln said that, I think he understood the nature of people. I want you to understand that the debate here is twofold on this bill. First, a significant provision and not conforming with the Federal change on the mortgage deduction means that we kick people while they’re down. If they had money, they wouldn’t be in foreclosure. If they had money to even give the mortgage company a small amount of what they

Build, they could probably forestall foreclosure and short sells. But what we do is say now you got to come, come up with money, typically probably 15, $20,000 because you managed to get the mortgage company to forgive your loan. It's not gonna be forgiven in bankruptcy. That's tax debt. And so you're, you're wrapping something around their necks, probably for the rest of their lives, and it makes sense. Some of you in here were involved in it, but we spent a lot of time in 2008 trying to get North Carolineans in a favorable position based, 2009, based on what the economy was doing. And we passed more, I think, protective laws for our consumers than most other states did, and in fact we became the model for the country on trying to deal with some of the predatory loaning practices that got our people into these positions. You're ignoring that, but that's just one part of the argument that we've tried to make. Second part of the argument is, is one that I'll honestly tell you that I'm uncomfortable with, because I know what the infrastructural needs of this state are, just like you do, and I know that this $1.2 billion that we're generating in this tax increase is just a drop in the bucket in addressing the transportation infrastructural needs. And you know it too. I feel comfortable, and I felt comfortable following Senator Rabon and Senator Harrington as they changed the formula last year on how we would build roads, because I was here when the formula was initially devised in 1989 in a way so that you could get a bill passed to do for transportation what everybody agreed needed to be done. And let me remind you that Governor Jim Martin and Lieutenant Governor Jim Gardner were in the executive branch, and with everybody working together, we passed a transportation bill that is the Highway Trust Fund that now generates more money than the highway fund, the traditional way of building roads and infrastructure in the state. And we passed it because all the ideas that people had at the time were put on the table. I have told Senator Rabon and I've told Senator Harrington, and I mean it. I'm willing to work with them and have the back road, work with them in any way that makes sense to come up with a plan to address this overwhelming infrastructural challenge that we have. But you can't do it piecemeal. You can't do it piecemeal just as, again, when Governor Martin in leading the effort to do the Highway Trust Fund in 1989 and playing a significant role understood that as I've told you before, even a broke clock is right twice a day. That you get ideas from everywhere, not just from legislators, but from all the stakeholders. And you sit people down, and this bill on, on this tax increase goes just the opposite, and let me tell you why. Because what you're going to do is again, the people aren't stupid and you're not gonna fool them. And they already have in their minds that this clock is gonna tick down, and although they may only be paying $2.20 a gallon, they know it's more comfortable to pay only $2.15 a gallon. And so they're gonna be aware that, and what we're doing here is poisoning the water, so when we can sit down and start talking about how we fix this problem comprehensively, people are gonna be mad because you've raised the gas tax and it hasn't been part of an overall solution, and it's gonna be almost impossible to pull the people to a plan that we can then enact that will address this problem. Now, I've heard these threats made against people about what's gonna happen if we don't get this, stabilize this thing right now. Thanks to Senator Rabon and Senator Harrington, those decisions aren't political decisions anymore. You heard a reference to that. DOT has already decided where the projects are based on the formula that we've come up with that they need to do. They're being done on priority. So if your project is a priority, I wouldn't be that concerned or that threatened by someone saying that it's gonna come off the chart if you don't vote a certain way on the bill. That's extortion anyhow, and that's not the way we should be operating in this body. Now, let me say one last point. Whether you call it just using the words or coming up with a new theme, working families and middle class families are the things that make this state what it is

And makes this country what it is. It's what has distinguished us from the rest of the world as we developed in an astronomical way in the last half of the last century. Building a middle class and a working class. What we do in this thing here prestidigitation, slight of hand or whatever you want to call it. And this tax increase does affect the middle class more than it affects everybody else. That's why everybody needs to be a participant in this discussion on how we solve this problem. The governor has talked about a bonding issue. That needs to be on the table. People are talking about taxing electric cars a different way. That needs to be on the table. The chamber came out with a list of 15 or 16 different ways that we could do it or think about fixing this problem. That needs to be on the table, and we need to collectively discuss those things. That's all we're trying to say in this debate. Would I vote for a tax to improve the infrastructure of this state given the fact that I know how urgent that it is? You're darn right I would, and my constituency would appreciate me voting for it to fix the problems in this state so that it can be as promising for my grandkids as it has been for me. But you know, I tell them straight up. Friends, this is what we gotta do. Do you want me to vote for a tax, or do you want, as I tell folk. I hate taxes like everybody else, but I'll tell you what I hated worse. I hated living on a dirt road where you ended up spending more to repair torn off mufflers, when you spent more in fact to fix blown out towers, broken steering rods, and those kinds of things. Would I choose a tax over those? Sure I would. And some wise people decided that we would pay taxes so that I wouldn't have to live on that dirt road anymore. And those are the kinds of debates we ought to be having. We're not having them, we're not calling this thing what it is, and I think that we're doing a great disservice to the citizens of this state by telling them that we're doing something that we're not, knowing that transparency gives us, oh, the kind of credibility that we're gonna need to seriously address this problem. Again, I want to reiterate to Senator Rabon and to Senator Harrington that the leadership they've provided in addressing these broad issues is the kind of leadership that serves the state well, and it's the kind of leadership that can get us where we need to go, but we can't do it playing tricks. And everybody has to be involved in the discussion and all issues have to be part of it. I thank you for listening to at least my very limited viewpoint on all of this, and I hope that you will come clean and call this what it is, and let's go ahead and fix this problem. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Tillman, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To speak briefly. I heard something that was historic. Senator Ford says there's a new class of Democrats and a new way of thinking. I, thank God for that, because the old class was voted out. And I'm glad to see that. That's probably a good day for all of us. And Senator Blue that was a superb piece of oratory as always, and I think you about on our side with what I heard with that because you admitted and I think it's true that a lot of good things are being done. Whether this tax is up or down or sideways, it is a start and it's not the end all and be all. But I appreciate all the work that's been done to fix this problem, and I think it's being addressed, and now it's our turn to address it, and I believe that we could use a bipartisan effort on this as to get the job done and yes and no, it's not perfect, and I've not seen a perfect bill other than one or two of mine that's come out of here. But it's Thursday and I'm wanting to go home, mister President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Is there any other discussion or debate? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mister President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Meredith, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I had a question for Senator Blue, please. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Blue, do you yield for a question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I yield. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Senator Blue, I just had a listen to your statement and your conversation. I appreciate, I did have one question, though. You had mentioned the word extortion and threats about projects that are currently prioritized that wouldn't get done or could get done, and I just, I wanted to ask, you do know that the list of projects that will not get done was brought to us based on the department of transportation and the funding. So I just, I'm, I'm

I'm curious where you got the word extortion and threat when these projects will not be done based on DOT stating if the funding is not there they will not be able to do it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well, I didn't say who the extorter was, who the threatener was, but if in fact you tell me that if you don't behave a certain way this is going to be the consequence, common sense tells me you're trying to tell me that I'd better do what you want me to do or I'm not going to get what I need. This is a good quid pro quo to get what I need. So that's what I said when I said extort. When you pull out a list... And let me tell you, I'm familiar with the $33 million worth of projects for that list for Wake County and that is a rounding change for the transportation needs of this county. So if the effort was to make me feel extorted about that it's a very feeble effort. That's what I mean when I say extorted because every time somebody raised a point, Senator Apodaca jumped up and said these are the projects that aren't going to get funded in your district and I assumed that that meant you ought to really vote for this if you want these projects funded. Pretty good quid pro quo. [SPEAKER CHANGES] All right. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Apodaca, what perks your eyes? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Speak on the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Apodaca has the floor to speak to the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You know people around me know how much I appreciate lawyers and their turn of a phrase. Well, being called an extortionist by a lawyer is kind of hollow. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any further discussion or debate? Hearing none, the question for the senate is the passage the committee substitute Senate Bill 20 as amended on its third reading. All in favor vote aye; opposed vote no. Five seconds will be allowed for the voting. The clerk will record the vote. Thirty-five having voted in the affirmative and 15 in the negative, the committee substitutes Senate Bill 20 as amended passes its third reading. It will be engrossed and sent to the house. Senate Resolution 47, the clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senate Resolution 47. Said 2015 UNC Board of Governors Election. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Woodard has an excused absence for the remainder of the day. Senator Apodaca is recognized to speak to the resolution. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. President. Members, the election is back on us again for board of governors. This year the nominations period will be from the 16 until 5 p.m. on the 23rd. Nominations will be accepted in the clerks office, clerks office only. You cannot email or fax this form. Each member has a form on their desk now. Nominees must file their4 statement of economic interest with the SEC by 5 p.m deadline on the 23rd. That must be at the SEC by 5 p.m. on the 23rd. Select committee will thereafter take a look at the candidates and the senate election will be on or before March 18. I recommend this to you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator, I think I'm correct in saying there's information on the senator's desks about this as well? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Do we have any other discussion or debate? Hearing none, the question before the senate is the adoption of Senate Resolution 47. All in favor will vote aye; opposed will vote no. Five seconds will be allowed for voting and the clerk will record the vote. Lowe, Senator Lowe, Senator Lowe, aye Senator Lowe. 49 having voted in the affirmative and zero in the negative, Senate Resolution 47 is adopted. Senate Resolution 69, the clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senate Resolution 69. Honor Boy Scouts. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Daniel is recognized to speak to the resolution. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. President. Members of the Senate, each year in the General Assembly we honor the Boy Scouts of America. For over 100 years scouting programs have instilled in our youth the values found in the scout oath and the scout law. While we are most familiar with the Eagle Scout award, whose ranks include former scouts like President Ford, Astronaut Neil Armstrong, Actor Jimmy Stewart, and baseball legend Hank Aaron, this year the Boy Scouts are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Order of the Arrow. The Order of the Arrow is a service organization and a National Honor Society for the Boy Scouts. Members are elected from within their units and recognized as those who best live the ideals of brotherhood, cheerful

service. The Order of the Arrow, among whom Senator Brown was a member, was founded in 1915 and has enjoyed a long history of service. It emphasizes servant leadership nationwide in nearly 300 Boy Scout Councils. As an example, in 2008 the Order of the Arrow improved five national parks during an event called Arrow Corp 5. In 2013, service projects were conducted by more than 2.6 million scouts and in a single year 17 million service hours were provided by scouts and their leaders to communities across America for a total contribution of $384M dollars worth of volunteer service. So today Senator Brown, Senator Curtis, and I present to you this resolution honoring the Boy Scouts of America and their honor society, the Order of the Arrow for their historic and continuing role in raising up leaders of character for our nation and I ask for your support for the resolution. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Senator. Is there any further discussion or debate? Hearing none, oh, Senator Curtis, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President, I'd like to speak on my experience in scouting. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Curtis, you have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Scouting very definitely changed my life. My father was an illiterate textile worker who spent his life working in a textile mill and the Boy Scouts taught me a reality that I never forgot, and that is if you work hard you can be successful and getting the Eagle Scout was probably the first success that I ever had in my life. So whatever success I've had since then, I owe to boy scouting. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Senator. Any other discussion or debate? Senator Daniel, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To speak a second time on the resolution. [SPEAKER CHANGES] It would be the first time but you can speak to it, Senator. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I just wanted to also point out that I forgot one member of the Order of the Arrow, probably an unexpected member of the Order of the Arrow, Senator Bingham was also a member of the Order of the Arrow. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Is there any other discussion or debate? Hearing none, the question before the senate is the motion to adopt Senate Resolution 69. All in favor vote aye, opposed vote no. Five seconds will be allowed for the voting. The clerk will record the vote. Tillman, Apodaca, aye. Rabin, Senator Rabin, aye. 49 having voted in the affirmative and zero in the negative. Senate Resolution 69 is adopted. That concludes our calendar for the day, Senators. This time we'd like to just say thank you to pages, there was only a few of you this week and I'm sure you were pulling double duty but thank you very much for serving the senate, hope you come back to see us. [APPLAUSE] Do we have any notices or announcements? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Newton, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Moment of personal privilege. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Newton, you have the floor for a point of personal privilege. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. President. I know I'm a little late in reporting back to the Senate. I'd had a lot of people ask me when we had our wildlife exhibition and the competition with the pellet guns. I still haven't been able to find the final score or exactly who was the top shooter but I do know that the Senate cleaned the House's clock once again. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any other notices or announcements? Any further business to come before the Senate? If not, the chair recognized Senator Berger for a motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. President. Just briefly, Senator Newton, I think it's possible that Senator Soucek, he had those scores, because I understand that the clerk serves us and actually got a better score than he did. So, you might want to talk to Senator Soucek. Mr. President, I move that the Senate do now adjourn subject to the standard stipulations set forth in rule 24.1, to reconvene on Monday, February 16, 2015 at 4:00 PM. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The motion is that the Senate do now adjourn, subject to the standard stipulations, to reconvene Monday, February 16th and 4:00 PM, seconded by Senator Tart. All in favor say aye, opposed no, the aye's have it. Th e Senate stands adjourned.