NGBFWW [0:00:00.0] The committee will come to order, committee will come to order and members will take their seats. All extremities or conversations will please be taken outside the committee room. We wanna welcome for our committee today, young folks that are pages for the week and you can please feel free to raise your hands when we call your name, Rogan Fur of Wake County sponsor by Representative Martin, Winston Haywood Mecklenburg County sponsored by the Speaker, Dorothy McGee Cabarrus County sponsored by Chair Johnson, she has her own chair in section. Johnny McNeil Wake County sponsored by Representative Martin, Elizabeth Stone Wake County sponsored by Chairman Dollar, Grace West of Moore County sponsored by Representative Bolts, and Marry Margaret West of Moore County also sponsored by Bolts. And we have our Sergeant at Arms with us today, we will move right in to the one bill that we have on our calendar today, this is Senate Bill 14, the staff will help us go through the bill rather expeditiously I think and then we have several amendments some of which have been or will be passed out to you and get into the amendments then we try to move this along. So with that recognized staff to for me where you are sitting, if you would like or even come up either one and cover the first few sections I believe on the education provisions first. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thanks Chairman Dollar, my name is Bryan Madison with Fiscal Research, here is just the brief summary of Senate Bill 14 as it’s before you, Section 1 provides that the State Board of it is to transfer $100,000 to the Office of Administrative Hearings to be allocated to the Rules Review Commission in conjunction with litigation cost and current defense of a case. Funds from that revert that remain available through the following fiscal year would be a $100,000 transfer from the State Board to OAH. Section 2 somewhat similar constructions for a different purpose requires that from the Department of Public Constructions operating budget that $275,000 be transferred to the Department of Administration to support the operations of the Academics Standards Review Commission. There are some restrictions then placed upon upcoming expenditures of the commission, some limitations under Subsections 1, 2 and 3. Section 3 in the following page holds that funds don’t revert also for the funds in Section 2, they do not revert until the commission terminates December 31st at the end of this calendar year or upon the following of the final report whichever occurs first. For Section 4, restrictions are placed on the Academic Standards Review Commission with respect to doing surveys of the public and stakeholders on standards being considered by the Review Commission. Section 5 has some requirements for the commission to post Minutes, Agendas, Handout, some presentations as well as audio recordings to commission’s website and also to stream those meetings as they happen. Then in Section 6, the last piece here related to education funds that are being transferred, the State Board of it and meeting the transfer and the reduction needed to make the transfer called for in Section 2 the act may not make reductions to the North Carolina Center for the advancement of teaching, the residential schools for the deaf and blind, communities and schools teach for America and beginnings for parents of children who are deaf or hard of hearing, those are all activities that fall under the administrative umbrella of the State Board and DPI. With that Mr. Chair that concludes the summary for the education section so I believe the Coal Ash pieces are next. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chair, Jennifer Hoffmann with the Fiscal Research Division, Section 7 of the Bill clarifies the Coal Ash Commission proceeds are divided between the Coal Ash Commission and Deener the Coal Ash Commission… [0:05:00.5] [End of file…]
Is slated to get 26.5%, 26.5% and DENR will get the remaining money. Section eight starts by providing DENR the flexibility to hire up to 25 positions rather than requiring them to hire 25 positions. It also specifies the coal ash commission's appropriation for the current fiscal year at $630,000. And then lastly it specifies that if revenues are insufficient to support the appropriations to the coal ash commission and to DENR, then each of those two entities are to take a proportional reduction in their budgets for the current fiscal year. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you staff. What I'd like to do is there may be questions on various sections of the bill, but what might be easier, more advisable for us as a committee is to go ahead and recognize Representative McGrady for an amendment to the coal ash section. We can explain that amendment and then we can address questions that members may have for the amendment or for the underlying provisions on coal ash. That way, we can deal with all the coal ash at one, at one time. So, with that in mind, Representative, chairman McGrady is recognized for an amendment, and this should be amendment number three on your desk. And the gentleman is recognized to explain his amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you mister Chairman. I believe everybody should have gotten a copy of the amendment I forwarded by electronically in advance of the session too. The amendment would do two things. First it extends the deadline for owners of non coal ash high or intermediate hazard dams to submit an emergency action plan, that's called an EAP, until December 31, 2005. Under the current law, these EAPs would be required to be submitted by the end of March. It also, number two, clarifies that the EAP does not require a licensed engineer to review, approve, and or stamp the report. Under the coal ash management act of 2014, EAPs are required to have an engineer to complete the report. I wanna take those of you who are in the body back to the debate on the coal ash bill, and if you remember, I stood on the floor and told you the coal ash management act, with the exception of one provision related to compliance boundaries, didn't have application broader than coal ash ponds. I humbly tell you now that that is not true. The dam safety provisions in the coal ash management acts apply to high and intermediate hazardous dams, whether or not they are coal ash impoundments. And so the effect of the bill was to require these EAPs to be put together, put together fairly quickly by March of this year, and would require the landowners to employ the services of an engineer. My expectation with the amendment would be that engineers will still be used by people who have very large impoundments to put together the EAPs, but some of these impoundments are agricultural ponds and other really small things. DENR, as I understand it, if you go on their website, you will see they, they have already up a way for a landowner to put together the maps that would be required for an EAP. So you don't need an engineer necessarily, to do all of this. And so the cant of the amendment then is simply two things. One, to, to give those non coal ash owners of high, intermediate risk ponds additional time to get their EAPs in place, which is a new requirement back to the coal ash management commission
Excuse me, coal ash management act that we passed last year, and two, to allow them to use a simplified mapping system when they put together their EAPs. And I, mister Chairman I think I'll stop there for any questions if there are some. [SPEAKER CHANGES] We will, we will entertain questions for Representative McGrady or staff on the amendment or sections seven and eight of the underlying bill. Are there any, any questions or comments from members of the committee? Seeing none, all those in favor of the adoption of the amendment, please signify by saying aye. Opposed no. The ayes have it, and the amendment is agreed to. The next, the next amendment will be offered by, well, I'll tell you, let me hold on that one. Hold on these two. Next amendment I would like to, to take up because again, this also relates to two provisions that are currently in the underlying bill. There's one offered by Representative Horn. Representative Horn, you are recognized to explain your amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you mister chairman. My amendment is a, fundamentally a technical correction. On line, on page one, directing the funds be paid $100,000 as soon as I find the, my copy of the bill. Here it is. On lines, line 10, $100,000 to pay for litigation. All it does is allow the state board, DPI to take that money where, from where they can take that money. It doesn't direct them, that it has to come out of operating funds, and really the same thing online. 19, we eliminate the phrase for current operations of the department. Just by eliminating that phrase gives them the, the option or the alternative to be able to take that money where they can and not interfere with operations. So I appreciate your support of the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Glazier. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much mister chairman, and I would thank the gentleman for sponsoring the amendment. I think it creates the flexibility needed and I urge everybody to support it and thank the chair for not considering the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Further, further questions, then, on the amendment? If not, all those in favor, please signify by saying aye. Opposed no. The ayes have it, and the amendment is agreed to. The other two amendments are new to this particular bill, so what I would, what we can do at this point is the other sections that we haven't touched on yet in the bill, for staff, if there are any questions about the other sections in the bill, before we move onto the final two amendments that are in possession of the chair. Are there any questions for staff? Representative Pittman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you mister chairman. Understand you were asking about other parts of the bill before we get to those amendments, right? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Okay, the thing I was worried about, considering the funding for ASRC, they have made a commitment to bring Dr. Sandra Stotsky and Dr. James Milgram to come and speak for them. I understand they're coming to speak March 16, and there was some concern about funding for them coming. Would the funds be in appropriated here be sufficient to include that? I'm just wondering, does anybody know? Would staff know or does anyone know whether it's gonna be sufficient to include that? [SPEAKER CHANGES] If staff can respond to that? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you chairman Dollar. Representative Pittman, I'm not aware of what the costs might be associate with bringing those individuals, but should this bill pass in some form, that I would suspect the $275,000 would be sufficient to first meet the requirements of the bill which says essentially that DOA needs to be compensated for the per diem and travel they've already paid, which I understand to be somewhere less than $30,000 or in that amount, leaving remaining operating budget to, to deal with the per diem and travel of those speakers and others. And I don’t see anything in here that would seem to be a prohibition of
Of expenditures for them to come provide their advice. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Other questions? All right. We will move on to amendment number two. It's on your desk offered by the chair and the effect of this amendment, this addresses the economic development partnership board and this, the effect of this amendment is just to simply allow an individual who may have been appointed to another board or commission in state government to also be considered for appointment to the Economic Partnership Board and the reason for that is we may have other individuals on other boards that for the sake of breaking down silos and sharing information and making sure we're pulling in key people and that we're looking at the broader implications on that Economic Development Partnership Board, those individuals would be potentially eligible to serve on that board. So, for example, someone on the community college board could potentially be appointed to the Economic Development Partnership Board. That's the effect of this amendment. I know of no opposition, but would be happy to entertain any questions from members of the committee. Seeing none, all those in favor of the amendment please signify by saying aye. Opposed, no. The ayes have it and the amendment is agreed to. The last amendment that we have in possession of the chair is amendment offered by Chairman Lambeth, amendment number one and Representative Lambeth I recognize you to explain the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. This amendment adds a section as the chairman said to address the issues with the Health Information Exchange and I know you're probably all aware of the Health Information Exchange that was budgeted in the current year budget but no funds have been released up to this point. We had a meeting with our colleagues in the Senate last week recognizing that that's gonna be an important part of any discussions on Medicaid reform and there are several things that we need to do. Number one is we need to pay our bills going forward so Section 9 you will see that we will release the $2 million. The critical piece is on the second page lines 7-17 where it authorizes the agency to pay for the software vendor February through the end of June, the payroll costs. These are costs that are being incurred and we need to release those funds to be able to cover those costs. There are two important dates in here. We've asked the agency to come back to us by May 1 so that we can incorporate into the budget appropriate funding for the HIE in this next year's budget and then we actually need to develop a longer range plan for the HIE. Where do we want it to be? Where do we want it to go? What do we want it to do to support our Medicaid reform plan, and so the agency will by September 1 provide us additional information to be able to determine the best organizational structure for the HIE and I'm more than happy to entertain any questions. We have reviewed this with Senate and it's something we are doing together. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Insko. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members, I'm really glad to see this amendment. This has been in the works for a long time and this is really just enabling language to let us do what we need to do and have been planning to do so it's a good amendment. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Are there other questions or comments on the amendment? If not, all those in favor of the amendment, please signify by saying aye. Opposed no. The ayes have it and the amendment is agreed to, and if you will hold for just one moment. The chair is not in possession of any further amendments at this time. Any, before we take the motion any further, amendments, comments, questions? If not, Chairman Johnson is recognized for a motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I move that a favorable report to the Senate Bill 14 as amended by amendments 1, 2, 3 and 4 and that the adopted amendments be enrolled into a Committee Substitute. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And staff to make any technical adjustments. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I did say that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Okay, you said that. Alright.
You have heard the amendment. Further discussion, further debate. If not all those in favor of the motion please signify by saying aye. All opposed, no. The ayes have it. The motion is agreed to and the committee is adjourned. Thank you.