If if that's the best - off of -the- an unhappy as saint patrick's day and for those reasons were out EU grain you need if you need is something the console a form of commercials a member of the folder listing the home were lively oh, a resident Larry Holden friendly the house of representatives stated, this morning and were you to talk about expanding democracy in north carolina's and of course one of the ways we do they use they'll all be eligible citizens to call him the question is always with his eligibility, (SPEAKER CHANGES)you know we have an engaging in our constitution and the U.S. constitution that both be able to build and we got a couple of deals to restore us to look there are all open and free elections where the citizens also have the right to vote in this preserving guarantee to them with me is so that some of my enemy is it as well as revenue volunteers, told the Baltimore planners tosses on both of the deals will talk about today regarding college ID and so authorization for voting as well is that extending the building. Early voting.(SPEAKER CHANGES) Back to his initial in intended. All part of the mission so they would be adding an additional week, again the president by Sierras is unable to join us this morning though the primary sponsor all the fields and about a simple and as we go for talking about with these bills do with their relatively simple meals, the one to allow college identification; write the requirement really does one thing to do with our students and our colleges and universities in north carolina's who will do so safely the same identification and proof requirement that anyone else goes him divide the allow so that they could go selling it to Bellevue court here with why they're been member there was a great discussion previously about allowing college of identification to be you, in meeting the voter identification requirements for voting , is you may recall a new city state colleges and universities were going to be allowed to use their voter ID against Iraq if patients to qualify for voting subsequent to that the apparently in an effort to keep product, using university from being the voters will pay stub of the authorization for,(SPEAKER CHANGES) said these are universities and state colleges to be you so we're asking you to be restored in all of our colleges and universities have an opportunity for their students war Mage to detail identification to be able to one used in identification in the voting process now we know will approximate 218,000 folks to build failed boulder ID from the department of motor vehicles from those arrested, 218,700 registered voters no heavy and the issue that the sole they would not be able to pull this as a multiple of the disputed league is that the 18 to 25 year old and build a number 2001800050044000800 are 18 to 25 years old who are registered voters will soon be an adult baby of the issue but the thing so we have a large population of both seldom should be able to build who are enrolled in colleges and universities and utility bill world, we have 102,000 north Carolinians or people were students enrolled in our county's universities and community colleges across the state of the global people their age ranges, gold you know from 18 even updated some cases on shun but that is a lot of people we make it more difficult note that in the bullpen effective are these basically, set aside requirements of education, and their college or university and the chill that deal house bill 240 allow mobility, Debbie Toomey already requirement that is what is their best impact we see it having him go again..............
Speaker Changes:we bring many many folks into the process which is we should have process that encourages our citizens choosing their leaders choosing the policies that were carried out o be in the future i want Representative Lucas and Representative pears to gov eon the college id before they get into voting Speaker Changes:?? i think those many young women and men came into our state that our future leaders surely want the future to participate they are the brightest many young ?? come into that process i would understand that like off me not that opportunity to understand many of us we already know state and out state we participate in their ?? all they are North Carolinian's and one to in north Carolina i think we also give the opportunity to participate those re brightest ?? those are future leaders so let's give them a chance to participate so let's give them better Chance so at a early age they start participate into political process Thank you Speaker Changes:Voting is not only responsibility it ought to be privilege we ought to everything that we can to encourage the participation and that voting experience Marvin Lucas ?? county we have to give recognition to our students and it seems to me that any form of benefaction of photo that i understand photo id is all about to identify student so they won't so i would quite understand why would accept student id since it has picture has proof of the voting experience i ought to be whole responsibility of ?? state to ensure that everybody of the opportunity to vote and that everybody who is eligible to vote participates in the voting process and this simply expects that how about ?? people won't they just want to be ?? identify picture id does verify who the voter is as we don't understand that why we don't allow that Speaker Changes:?? s they go through the background checks process and all that great job and i agree with it these students ?? they go through the scrutiny of the school to ensure that background check anything at least is necessary bring him into school i think we do great job with that also Speaker Changes:wanna move out to our next billing in this and i north Carolinian's to give more ?? as our state into their election process and the government as we ?? supposedly work for them and how you re gonna decide and ?? all employ and making employing decision which making to come bout you know the right to vote is the ?? democracy so we have to do everything we can to make north Carolina as way as to available as we talked bout the college id's we talked about the colleges and strict scrutiny we give to the students on the many students mind in just what we get a DMV you should license but at the same time think of the cost in the accessibility states that have provided so we don't have long lines in DMV as just tom take people provided to meet the impact as just as to ?? examination process has been issues and id that would be sufficient so it is user friendly it saves tax dollars it makes voting more accessible and in that should be our responsibility wanna talk bout early voting now the bill house bill we have talked about early voting days out might recall when we first met and early voting one of the big features of it was that it allow more people to participate in the process and make the time it objected we created early voting periods and created longer lines created more
...a barrier to people voting. We think we should go back and really be the state that is about access to democracy, and to do that not only do we need to make sure that people are allowed to vote who have provided their identification that's available, but we should also make the place available for them to vote in a timely manner. Nothing could be worse than to someone who has their identification and and these other new- and have met the requirement of these other new laws to get to the polling place and have to stand in line for a period of time longer than their lunch hour or the time between getting off work and having to pick up their children. That is discouraging, that will prevent people from voting, and that certainly should not have been the intent although it is the effect of what has happened. If that was not the intent, we say, lets restore this additional time to early voting. No one was harmed, the board of elections folks have indicated that it made for a smoother process, the expense was no greater they had the personnel to handle that flow during that period of time. So in this bill what we so is restore the early voting process. That one week that was taken away, and allow people again the flexibility to both maintain their employment, still be able to pick up their kids from school on time without paying additional fees for being late to pick their children up and still have the flexibility on the weekends before to vote early and participate in the process. If our citizen are in the process, then they feel they're vested in the process, they'll participate more, we'll have better elected officials, and we'll have a better government that all the citizens feel they are a part of. Representative Lucas? [NEW SPEAKER] This bill's intent is certainly about the expedition process. It should not be a burden to vote. It's just primary just elementary physics, I think, that if a person wants to vote it should be the responsibility for those who are sequestering those votes to make it as expeditiously convenient as possible. Standing in long lines is not the way to do it. I see nothing wrong with a longer period for voting. That would distract from the long lines. We're doing with with absentee ballots, and I don't know why we can't do it with early voting. Certainly there is not as much scrutiny with absentee ballots as you will find with the early voting process. So we need to do that, let's make it convenient for folk to vote, let's encourage folk to vote. I just read this morning in the media that the state of Oregon is going to allow folk who register vehicles to be allowed to register to vote at the same time in fact they will give them registration materials there. I think that's being proactive. North Carolina would do well to adopt a philosophy similar to that of Oregon, I'm not suggesting we ought to do the same thing but let's at least make it a proactive process where folk are encouraged to vote not discouraged to vote. Thank you sir. [NEW SPEAKER] ?? has a saying, a vote-less people is a hopeless people and I think we could have an opportunity to participate in the process I think it gives them a psychological, if nothing else that they do have a stake in what's going on and going back to what Representative Lucas talked about I think on that part, too, Representative Lucas I think you did make a point about that they would be able to register- but they didn't, something about being able to vote online, whether that's good or not, I don't know but I think these other states are being really proactive on making sure all their citizens have opportunities to vote and participate so I think we'll do well as Leader Hall has said to give people every opportunity to be part of the process, thank you. [NEW SPEAKER] And we have from Common Cause Bob Phillips here, I don't know if he has few words he wants to say about the voting process as we're trying to make access more available. [NEW SPEAKER] I'm Bob Phillips with Common Cause North Carolina and certainly our organization supports making voting easier, more accessible and maintaining integrity. We do work with a lot of college students and I know they will be harmed by this law that does not allow them to use their college ID. I find it interesting that the archives in the administrative building, both have securities that you have to go through security stations and they will allow a college ID to be able to you can use that to get through. So I guess to what Representative Lucas was saying, it seems rather odd when allow a young person...
A college student to make a transaction, to get into sporting events, to buy things on campus using that photo ID. Even getting into an office that houses the Governor's cabinet. And we won't allow them to use it to obtain a ballot to vote. I think these proposals are great. I think they're going to help make it easier and more accessible for folks to vote. I support them. [SPEAKER CHANGES] At this time we'll take questions that you might have about either of the two bills. Yes, ma'am. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Quick question, Leader Hall. What we heard last year from the last election is that actually early voting was up. Despite the fact that there were fewer days, more people managed to vote in them. And so they're saying that that is proof that it did not in fact discourage people from voting, that people came on and voted anyway. What's your response to that? [SPEAKER CHANGES] That's similar to the idea that some people say it snowed on Christmas, so that means when it snows it's Christmas. Because more people showed up because much more effort was used to try to get people to squeeze into this smaller period of time, and people suffered a lot more inconvenience in order to exercise their Constitutional right does not mean that was a success. That means the people bore the burden and spent immeasurable resources, which is what the examination should have been. How much were the wait times on line? What did that calculate into lost earnings and inconvenience to people should have been the measurement that was taken. Just making those kinds of anecdotal remarks doesn't really paint the full picture. Again, if in the shortened period many more people voted, then let's go back to the snow on Christmas. Christmas means snow. Then let's go back to that and say if that many more people voted in that shortened period, then what do we do? Limit it to three days and then that many more people would vote, using that logic? I don't think it works that way. Again, I think to be reasonable about it, there was no problem when we had the extended period. We should go back to that period and allow people to have a positive voting experience. Not exclude them but include them, as Representative Lucas said. Yes, sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does this bill have a chance of passing with the Republican-controlled Legislature? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Which bill are you referring to? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Either one of them. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Either one of them? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I think the one that has the best chance is the one that appeals most to the citizens who are going to write and communicate with their legislators. We know already that the majority made these amendments and made us one of the most oppressive states in the nation regarding voting and voter participation. And as was indicated by the previous question, as a result, people fought back so to say, and said, despite what restrictions you're trying to put on me I'm going to fight through the process, the long lines, the shortened period, and try to vote anyway. If they're going to be user-friendly, if they're going to be responsive to what the voters are saying, they will pass both of these bills. And if we value our colleges and universities, our students, our faculty, and all the graduates. And we've got many in our General Assembly who are public and private college and university graduates. I don't think any one individual would say, people from my college or university should be excluded from voting. So these bills have a chance if the public gets behind them. We already know how we got into this situation. The majority perceived it to be an advantage to them to maintain power. We want the people to have the power. Any more questions? Well, thank you. And these members will be available afterwards. We appreciate your time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Good morning, everyone. We're still waiting on Senator Don Davis but we'll go ahead and proceed with our press conference and our program. Thank you all very much for being here this morning. My name is Pam Seamans. I am the Executive Director of the North Carolina Alliance for Health. The Alliance is a 13-year-old coalition made up of more than 50 organizations promoting policies to reduce the impact of tobacco use and obesity in North Carolina. Members of the Alliance include the Heart Association, the American Cancer Cancer Action Network, the Diabetes Association, the Pediatrics Society, Prevention Partners, local health directors, the Public Health Association, March of Dimes, Youth Empowered Solutions, the Alliance of YMCAs, counsel, churches, and many others. So you get the idea of the breadth of the groups working on these issues. We are happy today to be joined by key legislative supporters in announcing the introduction of House Bill 250, and we understand the Senate bill will be dropped this afternoon, which will establish a Healthy Corner Store Initiative in North Carolina. North Carolina has over 349 ?? across 80 counties, impacting 1.5 million North Carolina residents.
His answer is to find any astronomical says O'malley consensus stack and was at least 33% for a minimum of 500 people with more than a mile from the supermarket addresses stored in an urban area for 10 miles from the supermarket and her sister in from rural areas from a state access and security adversely impacts diet and health is one of the causes of our CI to the CD rates as low as the insecure for more likely to suffer from the number of currencies including a BC type two diabetes heart disease and cancer is another is the goal of how the chorus area since provide technical and marketing assistance and education to store has been consumers along with equipment including the site from steals that would be used to replace racism, (SPEAKER CHANGES)lawyers for faster fat frozen foods under the city for small businesses to improve the availability and affordability and accessibility of these healthy phase to smile at small food retailers with insistent at the deserts yards and Tuesday night in their houses and how late at night and legislators from the White House sponsors the response isn't just the amount of money buys only consider daunting as confident as innocent and as the standard responses and was paid advertisement brown and residents here if you're at the gas table, has found a man who has served as a tense here Friday, has pleaded innocent Monday, 7000 yards away from home from the route of things in life a few of the end-all, let me is the help of visual excitement of this with this initiative when the things that we try to do is we have only a competent and of opportunity to solve a problem that has multiple practices of more than 100% of the way to place to be enacted by Belinda cost (SPEAKER CHANGES) the speaker of the small food retailers we offer by the access to help the news we've been filled in areas that we only have to be still install a couple years ago when the cup of golf was moved out of my district in south east lawn at the Bellevue located about to pull the fate of what we haven't faced one another skilled people and some medical for WI th and please look into not have a grocery store taxes be healthy foods and we can continue to operate on life that consists of one and four children often line and improved its fields defined as a defiant ID postal address the movers, the fund the last areas we ended up with the food gets to the committee was seldom get in or out of the pop in this matter from taxes for the food insecurity we also came to the conclusion as a result of issues that no one be helpful in southeast of the slightest cities of different bills to maybe get things rolling it is that I have the already if you can tell the difference of 1:00 is in the community would delay the trial also make this a very viable thing that we have an opportunity to 14 feet by doing this initiative one but it is to increase access to health and from two to expand existing businesses the small for the school is being inconvenienced or get the opportunity mail to quell incipient data can a new treatment from some opportunity to small businesses to grow enough to let alone the offer to keep a four-bits (SPEAKER CHANGES )and to provide opportunities for new jobs and businesses in the hole to stop channel can go into place of local vendors to supplying the mold for you help out with these new favorite foods taken from a local farmers to the school is a casino the avenue for confines of local farmers to fill their of producing a lot from open to give them another adding up to fill for the data just a few of the many games and, once canopy and top government excited about the bail the CDC getting beat and then I looked up to you for 15 minutes at highland handled when our in-hand on the top and we're talking about who gets called a fight in outlook for me to be put off making very much in and out of the wool represents of Hollywood build highly appreciate your active leadership and solve their own house members and to their own Health Partners from those who've been in this Alexis every step away thank you so much for 2 to 1 and two might call it since eight from a previous lady Com's we're .............
truly support it to this. And representative Holly I'll have to sit in the stage with all this talk about food I think we're getting a little hungry right now. The healthy corner store initiative. I want to be very clear, I'm standing in support because I believe this initiative is critical to helping local entrepreneurs especially as they'll be able to sell healthier foods. Also will be able to reach out to local communities and I believe this will have simply an awesome impact in our local communities back at home. The initiative will also help store owners because as they're able to sell healthier foods fresh produce typically associated with this fresh produce tend to be higher profit margins so I think that is important as it compares to other product. And we stand here today especially with my colleague senator Pate, representative Brown because we've had an awesome example an illustration of this in Pitt county as we have had as a pilot, Marks food market who is owned by David Whizack and I would say what we've seen with David's vision is transformation within communities. And what that means we've seen if you talk to David literally customers coming in and over time he started the pilot in 2011 and over time to going from coming in and buying a bag of chips and now walking out with apples and oranges. I think that's a lot to be said a lot to be celebrated. And watch this this is even the other part of the celebration. And not only was that a tremendous hit for us in Pitt county but he's looking at possibly a second location. So we stand proudly today in support of this bill and we ask you to get it and after you spend two hours with representative Holly come spend the next two hours with me. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Morning everyone I want to thank you to my senators and my representative colleagues and everyone else who supports this bill. My name is representative Brian Brown and I signed onto this bill for two very distinct reasons number one is what representative Davis just spoke about which is the pilot program that took place in Pitt county and the virtual success that we're seeing from this corner store and providing healthy food options to areas that didn't previously have it. And the other reason is probably uniquely to this group I am in the food service industry. And in doing so I actually started an organization saying we won't have fryers in our stores we will provide healthy product to our customers. But what we quickly realized is that's a difficult venture to take hold of. Your profit margins can be thin and it can be difficult issue to actually source the products. So this is a great initiative to actually help store owners, small business owners who want to provide healthy products change behavioral patterns of consumers but also make a living and be profitable. Understand how to source the products and understand how to deliver the products in a profitable method. And we're seeing that with the pilot project in Pitt county and I think we can transcend this over the entire state and it's going to be a wonderful program that we can really sink our teeth into. Pardon the pun. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'm Lewis Pate I represent Pitt county, Lenoir county, and Wayne county. The reason I signed on to this bill is because of this little women over here wearing these green stockings. I thank you very much Peg for bringing all this information to me. It's not easy being a farmer these days. They're having problems this would be an additional advantage because it's going to get he farmers involved in selling their product and perhaps even growing new product for the benefit of our citizens. It's becoming more and more difficult for North Carolina farmers to find markets for their products. This initiative would help connect farmers with new markets in their own communities. Thanks to the collaborative efforts expected between the department of agriculture the department of commerce and the division of public health. We believe this initiative can be helpful to farmers as well. And we as legislators are committed to making sure the initiative is successful for business owners and farmers a like. A major component of this program will be to enhance a distributions system. So that store owners, farmers, and also
Fisherman and prosper together. Now I'd like to commend Senator Davis for his passion in this bill, and also Representative Holley and all the folks we have around us. Thank you very much. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well, good morning. I'm Representative Chris Whitmire and way west, western North Carolina, Transylvania, Henderson, and Polk County. I want to thank those behind me, beside me, many in the audience, and many of those outside. This is a ongoing collaborative effort that for while was put into the box as too hard to do, and it takes a lot to get it done but last year in 2014 I started as a cochairman of the House study committee on food desert zones. The committee explored multiple challenges that people live in in food desert zones face. We had over 28 people from the private sector, non profit scope, et cetera, help us to wrap our minds and help others to wrap their minds around the breadth and scope of this situation. Now, estimates vary, but it is estimated that 1.5 million of our fellow North Carolinians are living in situations where they don't have reliable access to healthy or affordable foods. Many of the recommendations of the food desert zone study committee are currently being implemented without the, without the, without legislation to make it happen because we shared so many things that just made sense to do. This situation is an enabler with Representative Holley's bill that so many of us has, have helped with. When you look at the fact that individuals are more likely, living in a food desert zone where they don't have access to nutritious low protein type foods, healthy foods, they suffer from obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and that just exponentiates many of the problems that our nation is facing in terms of health. And you couple that with the fact that if you don't have reasonable access as defined, and that, there's some opinion on how that works. We want to rely on self reliability, but on the other hand, if the place that you can get to has basically fat laden, preservative laden food that just really don't lend themselves to good nutrition, it just compounds the issues. And here's just a couple of stats and you can make stats say a lot of things, but the nexus of this situation it, it impacts public health, our economy, energy, you can even take it out to national security. And here's a couple of things to consider. 21% of the healthcare expenditures are obesity related, and again, stats can vary, but that's a big amount. That's $190 billion estimated annually of healthcare expenditures directly related to obesity. Medicare and Medicaid spend approximately 62 billion on obesity related issues annually. US employers in terms of productivity lose an estimated $164 billion a year. Americans as simple as driving your car. As an airline pilot, military pilot, it costs extra gas to push an airplane. It takes extra gas to push a car. 3.4 billion extra dollars in automobile gas estimated expended because of our nation's growing waistline. With the airlines it's over a billion dollars of aviation type fuel. Medical costs, decreased worker productivity, poor nutrition, obesity, that trend is getting worse. It's not getting better. So in the end, to have a solution spectrum to try to find different ways, there's not a golden BB that solves this problem, and not necessarily one situation is responsible for all the stats I mentioned, but they contribute. One last sobering fact. Me as a 29 year military veteran, one in four of our nation's youth, one out of four, is so overweight, they can't even apply to go into the military because of height and weight standards. That is something that gives me more motivation to find ways that we can address our healthcare situation. So this bill, and again, credit to so many around here, the healthy food, small container corner store act directly addresses what we in the food desert zone committee found, and found that makes a lot of sense. So if we can assist small store owners in rural and urban areas alike to be able to stock and sell fresh produce so that we can connect farmers and agrobusiness with the market where they're needed, we all win. So with that, there are many win, wins in this bill and I commend those who made it happen. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. I'm Representative Garland Pierce. Just want to comment, coming from a rural area, Robeson county in particular is just full of fields of produce that sometimes go to waste, but our schools do a great job from at least eight o'clock to three o'clock in the afternoon encouraging our students about healthy eating, and when they get out of school and get to go to the corner store, if the food is there, I think
they will take advantage of it, schools do a great job. I been behind grocery carts, like many of you, in stores and I've watched some of the choices that families sometimes make that are just not healthy choices, even in the grocery store. I think the more we could to teach, teach, teach them about the importance of healthy eating, I think it would do well and our corner stores definitely should have the opportunity with this bill to empower the community with healthy choices. Thank you, good job members. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Pierce, that is a good segue into the one comment I'm, unfortunately Representative Lambeth could not be here today, he got called into a meeting with the leadership, but one of the points that he wanted to made on his behalf is the fact that we need to do right by our North Carolina children and a great place to start is the environment around the schools and many, many corner stores are around the schools. So we need to make those healthy places, give them healthy options there. So we have one final speaker and that is my colleague Sarah Jacobson, who is the Healthy Food Access Coordinator with the North Carolina Alliance for Health. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Hi, my name's Sarah Jacobson from the North Carolina Alliance for Health. We recently conducted a statewide survey of registered North Carolina voters and their opinions concerning accessing healthy foods in North Carolina. According to this poll, North Carolinians view unhealthy eating and childhood obesity as the most serious problems facing children in the United States today. That's above physical activity, quality of education, and children not spending enough time outdoors. With over 1/3 of North Carolina children overweight or obese, this clearly demonstrates that it's time to stop talking about this issue and time to start doing something about it. The legislators have already discussed how a healthy corner store initiative could help our state. It would not only remove a barrier to healthy eating but also create new business opportunities and help small business owners, farmers, and fishermen. North Carolinians agree, in the poll of 70% of people support a state-funded healthy corner store initiative, and after learning more information, 76% supported it. Additionally, a strong majority support the basic components of the program. 76% of registered North Carolina voters favor state and local governments providing training and incentives to encourage corner store owners to stock and sell healthy foods and beverages. We've already heard all of the different benefits that could be incurred from this initiative. So we're glad that this bill is moving int he direction according to what North Carolinians want for their state. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I also want to call your attention to some of our other partners who are here today that aren't necessarily members of the alliance as a coalition but are partnering with us here on this particular issue, such as the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, the support center of the food bank, and we've got a health director here as well. So I want to thank all of you for being here and being such great partners and sharing the enthusiasm for this legislation. On behalf of the members and partners of the alliance, we want to urge the House and Senate to consider these bills and include the healthy corner store initiative as a line item in the budget. Our state would realize a triple win, a win for small business, a win for farmers and perhaps fisherman, as well, in some areas, and a win for public health and community revitalization. We hope that as you are moving around the General Assembly today, seeing all the green, that you think of it as representing more than just St. Patrick's Day and will represent the green fresh fruits and vegetables that we hope to see in the corner stores across our state. And with that, we would be happy to entertain any questions you might have. Yes? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Not having a copy of the bill just yet, what is the cost of this? [SPEAKER CHANGES] One million dollars. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And that money would go for...? [SPEAKER CHANGES] It's going for a number of things, one of it, it's going for equipment. A lot part of the problem is that the stores don't have the refrigeration and the training and know how to handle fresh fruits and vegetables and produce. So a lot of it is going to training, it's going to equipment, it's going to teach them how to do it and we're going to utilize as much as the existing network that's in the public health system with collaboration from the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Commerce. This is really a collaborative bill on a lot of fronts. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Is that one million coming from Commerce?
come from you to see. We are working on that [Speaker Changes] Also Rep Holley if you could talk to us a bit about your vision specific to this bill and South East Raleigh and South East Raleigh lost Nick Kruger . Where do you see this bill fitting in. What's your vision in the next fill in the blanks next three years or what ever [Speaker Changes] well, Hopefully in three years we will have corner stores that are really doing well with us. At the same time we would able them to get some of the larger grocery stores at the some of the communities that don't have access as well. That's a huge problem. we have communities especially in the rural areas where people have to drive 25 , 30 miles to get to a grocery store. so that's part of it. At the same time, we are working and partnering with public health people to teach our kids and our citizens about healthy eating to also enable them to make those choices. Hopefully this is a problem that we can solve and we can have a network put in place that would do this and within years we don't have one here for a hungry children. [Speaker Changes] I will ask other really quick Will this money then go to a food line coming in or is it more geared towards mom and pop stores? [Speaker Changes] Thus bill specifically is for small mom and pop small businesses. [Speaker Changes] So Rep Holley, in the city it would look like a corner store. In the rural area what would it look like? [Speaker Changes] It may still be a cornet stores. if you remember back in the olden days there was general everywhere where they used to sell everything and they no longer exists in it John Ross. Everybody got specialized . It may be a store that. I went to Big Lots the other day. and Big Lots had a whole range of nutrient rich foods. They had refrigerated pudding in. And I was thrilled to see that they are stepping to the plate. So the other entities and other businesses can also sell more than just food or their product. But they can add the food along with it. Hope I answered your question. No, okay [Speaker Changes] when you say that you know private money would go for equipment what would it look like , is it like just freezers. I mean most storage have you know like refrigerated units that are glass . what would it be? [Speaker Changes] A combination , it depends on what is applicable to the particular store. , Someone may want a big one with doors that they can keep things it. somebody may want a open unit. We hope to offer a variety. [Speaker Changes]Rep Holley, This is an optional opt in program for thousands of corner stores and convenience stores across the state. Is there any incentive for the store to opt in? [Speaker Changes] No it is not. since it is good health and it's an expansion of their business. we already have [?? inaudible] copy over seventy greenish stores at one end. so the convenience stores want this opportunity to either do some of these. So, it is an opt in program , but the benefit is just expanded business and good healthy food. [Speaker Changes] Yeah, Just to put it in perspective . Again , this goes back to a year ago when the food desserts on the standing committee took 28 different presenters. And I mean we maximized our four four hour sessions. It was only four. But we maximized it. I think you might have attended and you can attest to that. And you find prototype this being in one of them that Buick county originated David Smart I am going to forget the actual name . He smart wizard. They showed that it could work. But there were tipping points. And sometimes getting that in place, I think Senator Davis talked about profit margin and again it's not a $4 Banana at the corner store. But showing that once it's working that competition and the way our world is supposed to work will work. And that's key to it. And on the question of ruralness most people in this room probably really don't know about the rural like idea where I live. Any day I love it. It's a painful 285 mile drive to get here. When I think of the question that was asked regarding the rural area , well I think of a little story that's on Highway 215 going on a little place called Bolsom Grove. And for years the only place to get fresh calendar milk within twenty thirty minutes of many of those who live there. And it's a beautiful place. people come from all over to get there. It's right there. So you know that said, a lot of people grow their own garden catering to their food need one at a time and on the other hand that's a situation and that may be a significantly extremist situation . But that's a place where creatures would have it. we look our sweets and all that. But convenience is very important. So if
Particular type of cooler for preservation. Not chemical preservation, but coolers and such. You can't just throw it in any type of cooler. It doesn't last long if you put it in the wrong type of cooling device. That's something that either will or will not find its way into that marketplace but there's quite a few examples that have proven it will, so that's my contribution on this. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Holley, one more question. You were asked about the types of stores that would be part of the program, and and food ?? was used as an example. They already have a produce section, but what about those smaller corner stores that may have corporate ownership, like a 7-11 or a Circle K? You said these would be mom and pops. Are we talking about independently owned? [SPEAKER CHANGES] We're not restricting it at that point right now. We wanna see who applies. The corner stores have to actually apply, and they will be determined on a case by case basis. We don't need ten in one area, so that we're having opportunities to apply. Some of the stores in more rural areas may be larger because they have more space, but we're looking at stores with a foot imprint of no more than about 5,000 square feet. We're not talking about your really big stores, but just the small corner stores. Any more questions? Thank you all for coming out, and please go around and look at the different tables on exhibit with many people who have done some things for healthy food. [SPEAKER CHANGES] All right, we're gonna get started here in just a couple minutes. We're about a minute on guests if folks wanna take the time to get ready. And y'all just let me know when you're, when you're good to go. Are we ready? Great. All right, well welcome and thank you all for coming. My name is Liz Kazal. I'm the field associate with Environment North Carolina. We're a statewide citizen based environmental advocacy group. I want to thank our speakers who are joining us today, Representatives Pricey Harrison and Robert Reives as well as Senator Mike Woodard and all the other legislators who have taken time out of their schedule to stand with us. After today, North Carolinians are no longer guaranteed safety from fracking and other types of oil and gas drilling as it now becomes legal for our state to issue permits for fracking. From the very beginning of the process of clearing a site for drilling through extraction, transportation, and delivery of the finished products, fracking threatens the environment. States like Pennsylvania have established regulations to at least help mitigate these threats, but as our report shows, these regulations don't prevent companies from threatening our drinking water, special places, and public health. Our report, fracking failures, analyzes violations of these rules over a four year period. Our message today is clear. When it comes to fracking, every company is a bad actor. The prudent action to take is to reinstate the moratorium so that our public health and environment are truly protected. Here's just one example from the fallout from these violations. On the morning of Tuesday, February 11, a group of fracking workers were about to begin a safety briefing at a fracking well site. The three wells there, owned and operated by Chevron, Apalachee, and Dunkard Township Pennsylvania, southwest of Pittsburgh, had been drilled and fracked, and they were about to begin producing natural gas. Before the safety meeting began, however, some workers were hearing a hissing noise from one of the three well heads. One of them, Ian McKee walked over to investigate. The hissing noise was methane escaping from a damaged well. As McKee approached the well, it exploded. The explosion killed McKee instantly and produced enough heat to rupture and ignite a neighboring well and to cause a propane tank nearby to explode. It took 14 days to cap the leaking wells. On March 18, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection cited Chevron for none violations in connection with the event, including hazardous venting of gas, failing to prevent explosion and fire, failing to maintain functioning equipment intended to prevent blowouts, and releasing fugitive air contaminants without a permit. The company was also cited for leaking polluted fracking wastewater and for blocking DEP officials access to the site for two days following the explosion. Stories like Ian's are tragic, but unfortunately not isolated.
From fortune 500 companies like Cabot Oil to Wildcat operators to firms like Chevron who tout their clean records, our report down that all types of oil and gas companies are prone to infractions of environmental rules. The data shows that the top 20 violators of air, water, and health protections racked up thousands of violations over nearly four years, averaging more than one every single day. We're not talking about misfiled papers, we're talking about serious risks for workers, drinking water, and public health. There are at least 243 document cases of contaminated drinking water sources across Pennsylvania from 2007 to 2014. Air pollutants are released during at least 15 parts of the oil and gas process and fracking was deemed such a threat to public health that the state of New York outright banned it. The bottom line is that North Carolina has a lot to risk when it comes to fracking and our communities deserve to be protected from harmful drilling. We applaud those legislators who are with us today, standing up for our environment and public health. We urge the governor and other leaders in the General Assembly to follow their lead and reinstate the moratorium on fracking to truly ensure that our drinking water, landscapes, and public health are protected. Next up, we'll hear from Representative Pricey Harrison of Guilford County. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thanks for that and thanks for coming. I've said repeatedly the problem with fracking is it's largely exempt from any federal oversight, and that's because it's been left up to the states. Well, North Carolina does not have a history of extractive industries so we were creating new rules from and when the legislature lifted the ban, lifted the moratorium on fracking, we promised the people of North Carolina we would have the strongest rules to protect the public health and safety and environment of North Carolina. We broke the promise last summer, we lifted the ban, we didn't have the rules in place, and now the rules become effective today. They have many weaknesses, especially regarding waste water, disposal waste water and water quality protections, air emissions, which got a lot of attention last week and this week when we removed the requirement, the Environmental Management commission adopt rules relating to air regulations, and the criminalizing chemical disclosure. Just recently I read that there's been a California report released about the problems with some of the toxins that are contained int he waste water and the problem is we don't even know what they are because of this disclosure issue. So I think that we ought to hold back on rushing in to fracking, we know that because the price of gas is so low that we're likely just going to get the Wildcatters and those are the least responsible and the least regulated in the industry. So I'm with my colleagues here calling for the reinstatement of the moratorium, thank you. I'm going to turn it over to Robert Reives now. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Representative Harrison, thank you Liz, and thank you for coming and it is something that we find extremely important and extremely relevant to North Carolina. One of the reasons that many people who live in North Carolina stay in North Carolina, one of the reasons that many people who don't live in North Carolina move to North Carolina is our clean air and water and our tradition of protecting that. We just don't feel, and Representative Brad Salmon and I filed a disapproval bill for the rules for the reasons that you've heard from Representative Harrison and for some other reasons. We just don't feel those rules adequately protect the people of North Carolina, specifically our particular counties in Chatham, Lee, and Harnett, which are all at the epicenter of any fracking that may occur. One of the big issues that I have personally is the fact that we don't give local governments control. One of the things I think we should really concentrate on and we really need to be careful about is telling our local governments that they don't have the right to decide who comes in their county, who does business in their county, and how they do business. We want local governments to have the opportunity to regulate fracking. Right now, we've got issues galore with the rules, with the fact that they do not address who's going to pay for all the damage, whatever trucks are coming back-and-forth on your roads in your counties, how do you get that damage paid for? You look at bonding, the bonding insufficient at this point in time to protect us in the case of a real fracking accident. Whatever somebody feels about the issue of fracking, what you've got to recognize is just like any other industry there will most likely be some sort of accident and if we don't have appropriate bonding for these companies coming in then that will be left to the taxpayers to pay for that. We ought to allow local governments to have the right to regulate the noise, we ought to have them have the right to be able to regulate where they can do their fracking, what neighborhoods are affected. When people buy their properties, one of the things they are proudest of and that we're proudest of for them is to be able to own homes, to be able to own pieces of land and to be able to have an opportunity to raise their children and to feel safe. At this point in time, with the way the rules are set up, you don't have those protections. Forced pooling could cause, even if you disagree with somebody being able to frack on your property, forced pooling could cause you to still
have to allow your land to be fracked. So with all these issues that we've got coming forward, we feel like, again, we've got to step back and take a look at the rules, take a look at how they protect our citizens, and it shouldn't be about how you feel about the industry. It should definitely be about the fact that you want to make sure that your citizens have the best rules, the best opportunity, themselves, their property, and their families, and thank you again for being here. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Good morning, my name is Senator Mike Woodard, I represent District 22, which includes Caswell, Person, and Durham Counties. And the shale area extends up through Chatham County and includes 2/3 of Durham County, which is why this is a very important issue for me as well, why Senator Foushee and I joined with Representatives Reives and Salmon in a bill to stop the rules, implementation of the rules, and to re-institute the moratorium. Because it's very important to the environment and public health of the residents of Durham County as well as Chatham and on down throughout the shale basin. We have hit zero hour for fracking in North Carolina, permits can begin being issued. We've been promised over the last five years that North Carolina would have the nation's toughest fracking rules and here we are at zero hour and we do not have those rules. Even just last night we once again rejected the chance to have the nation's strongest rules. The industry and their supporters in the General Assembly have turned their back on a safe, clean environment and on the public health of the residents of North Carolina by rejecting these rules and by not living up to the promise that they've made to the voters and residents of North Carolina for these tough rules. For the reasons Representatives Harrison and Reives have shared with you, I join with them today in calling for re-instituting the moratorium on fracking in North Carolina. The rules are simply insufficient for us to move forward with the issuing of permits. I want to take a moment and applaud Environment in North Carolina for issuing their report "Fracking Failures." This report documents one state that's further along in fracking and the fact that they had rules, they haven't been followed, they've been violated quite a bit. This should be a clarion call to us, all of us, whether you support fracking or not. A clarion call for us to stop fracking now, re-institute the moratorium, and let's spend some time with the rules. Hundreds and hundreds of North Carolinians visited with the Mining and Energy Commission as they conducted their hearings across the state over the last year and the people have spoken on this, the rules that have come from MEC are not sufficient and we not stop, we need to slow down, and we need to spend more time living up to that promise we made to the people of North Carolina for the nation's toughest rules. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Again, I want to thank all of you for coming today and thank you to our legislators for standing up for the environment and public health. We will now be available for questions, we'll do them individually, and then just a quick reminder is that there's another event in this room at 12:30 so we'll just be available individually or int he hallway for questions, thank you. We'll do it individually, great. Thank you again. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'm going to ask [??] this so people at home can hear what you have to say. So, what state does have the nation's toughest laws on fracking, where do ours fall short? [SPEAKER CHANGES] The trouble is that it's definitely difficult to go line by line and I don't know the exact answer. The truth is is that there are states, like Maryland, who have tougher regulations than we do. Once again, we were promised the nation's toughest rules. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I understand. I'm told Wyoming, surprisingly. I was at a Shell briefing in Denver in the fall and that's what I was told. Actually, did pass some really air quality protections, and that was probably largely as a result of that pavilion study the EPA was engaged in and stopped, prevent it from continuing. And then Pennsylvania has also enacted some strong air rules but Colorado and Wyoming, I think, are best overall, but Pennsylvania and Ohio, Colorado and Wyoming all passed really strong air quality protections. [SPEAKER CHANGES] This is for any of the legislators who want to answer this, when you're trying to persuade your colleagues, we know what they say on the floor, but in private when you're having a conversation with them, what's the tone, what's the rush given the price of natural gas, given the price of oil right now, and given the fact that there's two of the boards that are supposed to be managing
[Speaker Changes]: This got nothing to declare unconstitutional. [Speaker Changes]: What is the big rush? What are they saying? Why are we here? [Speaker Changes]: Any Mechanisation job and ?? but the rest is always been about jobs and they want to be accounted poised and to commence fracking and I think the real pressure is for offshore fracking. Is not really for the inshore fracking, it was offshore fracking. But we know from the study that was conducted a couple of years ago, the Commerce Department anticipate 387 jobs would be created by fracking. It's not going to have a stay on North Carolina out of work frackers of course, we don't have any. It will be out of state ?? like the job . So the premise is, job creation and this is not going to happen. It is just a false premise. I don't think ?? [Speaker Changes]:I would say this is too-hardy beyond belief, because those under 400 fracking jobs are going to be replaced by destroying a natural resource, water, that drives the economy in every region of the state. So water is of much greater value and it is for ever. They will destroy the quality of ground water for ever, where they do this fracking and the jobs are just flash in the pan, short-term, Wacka [??] jobs, that do not sustain economies, they do quite the opposite and they leave local government holding the sack for the clean-up so, to position this as a jobs decision is again just another incredible misrepresentation of the facts. [Speaker Changes]:This group calling for moratorium is it stronger than this group in numbers or this is what you got for as vote for reviewing a moratorium [Speaker Changes]: I think there are more legislators, for various reasons just couldn't be here today so, [??] I am [??] she is respond to the bill with me and whole delegation was in the house was favour of the moratorium [??] so it is larger [Speaker Changes]: you state that filling a bill to [Speaker Changes]: We have filed the bill [Speaker Changes]:we have filed the bill [Speaker Changes]:Yes, senator representor Reeves, Simon filed one in the house [Speaker Changes]: As short of those bills do you have any lags. Is there a Plan B. Is there any back-up plan if the moratorium bills falls short. [Speaker Changes]: [??] [Speaker Changes]: Losses. That's my guess I just think that since we are going to have some violations between Motor Act and Clean Act and other things and the thing may be there in the avenue, I am not sure, I am not lawyer, audience want the answer for that. i think we were sort of outnumbered on the regulatory end and we got a department sort of disinclined regulate too much any ways. It is, when I said , responded to your question, yes ,well the states are the states that I have identified having strong programs,they also have problems so it is not clear we got an area where we set up a regulatory structure that actually does did best for the people in the state. [Speaker Changes]: At the summit said we are shooting for the long mall than the high mall I mean, in answer to your question earlier, I think you looked at a lot of states and we are particularly choosing from the best that are not there, not from the least that are out there and pricing mentioned in the states I think we are bit taken by that , we have been [Speaker Changes]: looking ?? [Speaker Changes]: Just Representor Harris reading between the lines , you said, regarding these losses that would happen if the violation actually took place or little bit of losses will up [Speaker Changes]: i am not the expert on this but I am I guess the premier was issued that seem to be in violation water quality or the federal regulation, So I think that would be the source of the losses. we are not here permitting I guess, aplications is not being accepted today. So well it is been little bit down the road.That's my guess because I think that is the main avenue or recourse right now [Speaker Changes]: I also want to ask, Ronaldo ?? and representor Reeves if this is better for use in your district [Speaker Changes]: We heard ten ??. We heard, there is actually business interest in doing this right now. [Speaker Changes]: I am not going to any promise yet being required [Speaker Changes]: well I can tell you that I will be the last person to contact about that. and also we would have heard of anything at this point of time, we just don't know and I think that part of the problem that if you don't want to is, Wait.
Until the business starts coming you want to make sure everything is fixed and in place now. And the reason is and I speak this really from the law side. It's better to make your rules and make your laws before there are conflicts with people on each side. Because then it does become unfortunately about politics about personalities things of that sort. And we want to have those things in place, to answer your earlier question I did want to comment on we also don't know what's going to happen as a result of the unconstitutional finding of the committee. We don't know what direction the governor may have an opportunity at this point if he would like to weigh in we don't know. And there's a lot that's up in the air but the real issue that you've got is that again you've got communities real communities with real people who have taken politics completely out of it I can speak for Chatham and Lee county I mean to a person your generally going to find people saying I'm not comfortable with the direction we're going on fracking. Because that's going to be a real effect you know when you have a property or a home that you've spent X amount of dollars for and all the sudden it's worth half that because again it's about perception. Too many times we get caught up in the safe what's not safe things of that sort, I definitely have opinions on that. But you also have to recognize what's the perception I mean just what my seat mate just said representative Queen we can make up three hundred and eighty seven jobs I have that kind of confidence in North Carolina. We can get three hundred and eighty seven jobs within the industries we already have in place. With the industries that already want to come here. But they start to perceive that we don't care about our environment we don't care about our air and water, that's something a industry coming to North Carolina is going to consider because they are bringing not only themselves but they're bringing their executives their bringing their families their bringing workers their brining people here who want to locate in this state and we've got to cautious of that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And I just need to add to that the Governors budget has five hundred thousand dollars for exploratory roles. I think the point of that is to show industry we've got this resource. But I will just add that it doesn't look like our own rules are going to protect us from the problems associated with these exploratory wells. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up question about your businesses. I haven't heard from any local business who's excited about this because they're just not in that game but number two they have a lot of concerns about the use of water. I think representative Queen hit the nail right on the head these businesses need water particularly when you look at southern Durham county you live in Chatham and Lee these are agricultural businesses they survive on the water and the use of their land. And a lot of these farmers I talked to and I'm sure you have to Robert these guys don't like the forced pulling component of this the land is very very important to them and they use that land as their business. So if we're dirtying up the water without regulation and without protection these businesses are scared about fracking coming in. We have had overtures you all have covered last summer the land speculators were already trying to buy up land in Durham and Orange counties including a park from the town of Chapel Hill they did show very much planning foresight when they went to the Chapel Hill town council and wanted their park, but anyway. And we knew the attorney general had to crack down because these folks came in they weren't prepared they weren't ready they didn't have their licenses in place they had not done what they needed to do. That's the fear I think we have. Is that your going to upset your wild caters we're not going to see big companies those companies best prepared to come into this industry go into this new frontier for North Carolina. We're going to have the small companies who are less experienced less prepared to handle this properly. [SPEAKER CHANGES] How solid is the legislatures ban on using injection wells for fracking waste water? Is there [SPEAKER CHANGES] It's an interesting issue because I feel like there was enough work created by the prospect of taking it out east and injecting it. I think the back lash was pretty strong so I don't think they are going to go there. The waste water issue is huge right now all we've got the option is waste pits. It's tough in coal ash we haven't done a good job of managing waste pits. So there's also a proposal to send it to water treatment plants and we don't have any facilities that are adequately built to filter out the toxins and contaminants that are found in fracking that can include a number of organic compounds many of which are carcinogenic. So the waste water issue is huge and we've got to overcome that and I don't know if because of that they'll be pressured to do injection. But it seems right now it's holding pretty strong. [SPEAKER CHANGES] One more question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yeah I think we have time for one more then we'll [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mine is more of a procedural question I guess I can ask it later unless someone wants to speak to the bond specifically the clean up bond I know the mining energy commission can and I think the rules say may have a company come in to set a clean up bond rate some amount that is set aside for clean up is that
mandatory in these rules, would that be a way to tighten them up or is there, do they have to have some money in reserve for cleanup? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, it's my understanding, I've spoken to staff over at Daimler and DENR about this and it's my understand that there's a minimum of a million dollar environmental damage bond that gets set and then based on the permit of the unitization, that they set an additional bond for cleanup and all of that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] How does that stack up with other states, do you know? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'm not sure but I can get back to you on that. Well thank you again, everybody, for coming. Again, I'll be available for questions and thanks again to our legislators for standing with us. Have a great St. Patrick's Day. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'd like to welcome everyone today. This is a good week for Raleigh, it's a good week for the media, and I think you'll see our sincerity in keeping the sunshine bright and keeping it going and also looking after our newspaper friends. That's, many times, hard to talk about but today it's very easy to talk about and I think we have reached a compromise on a bill that is good for all parties concerned. When I look at this bill and I look across the state, the one fear I have is some of the other bills I've seen have neglected our folks that are in the rural areas and have no access to internet. That hits a lot of my folks, especially in the Transylvania County area out in the remote reaches. So we all would like to have high-speed internet access, we would all like to be able to access records immediately but some folks don't have that ability and it is my opinion, and I think many of us up here, that until everyone has that option available to them, for high-speed internet, we must do certain things to protect and still get news out. I think this bill will do that and accomplish that and have the public information out there for the people to see. I know in my hometown a lot of people love to go to the legal notices first because it gives them something to talk about when they have coffee that morning and it also, in some cases, I have heard where it has precipitated fundraisers to help some folks out to keep their property. So, with that being said, I think this bill accomplishes that and I think it protects all the folks an the media. So I recommend it to all and hopefully we'll have a positive report out of the Senate and send it over to our friends in the House to pass it and make it law. I'm going to turn it over to Marilyn now, and thank you again for coming. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Senator Apodaca. I am Marilyn Avila, represent House District 40 here in Wake County and I too, like Senator Apodaca and other people who've signed on to this piece of legislation, believe that we need to keep all lines of communication open, primarily because right now we're in a transition period in information dissemination. It's sort of analogous to the horse and buggy days, transitioning to the automobile. We didn't pass a law overnight and say get rid of your horse and buggy and buy an automobile and we let it take place as people could make that transition financially and in their own articular way and that's true here. As he pointed out, there are certain areas of the state that have some severe limitation in connectivity and actually just straight out wanting to use this particular source. So I don't think it's our job to limit, in any way, and hide, unfortunately not maybe intentionally but just by default, the information that citizens need on what their government's doing. The other thing, too, is the logistics of making a change of this nature. When you look at how we publish the information, how is it going to be gathered if we let all of the different entities control their publication? The most, I think, illustrative instance is someone who does business with government and they will go into the legal notices to see
the publication of bids for construction projects, would they have to go to every municipality website? Would they have to go to every county website? Would they have to go to every government entity website to find that particular information? So, as we make that transition there's going to be a lot of questions involved in, as we make it, how can we make ti convenient for the public. This isn't something that you can pass a piece of legislation on one day and say effective on X day, you can only get your information on the internet. So I think just the sheer way that we have structured this bill makes a smoother transition and helps us get into the information age with the internet for everybody's benefit. The issue, too, for me is that in taking this approach we are not removing the responsibility for publication in newspapers from private entities and it does not look good, does not smell good for us to be making laws that shield us or benefit us when we do not allow that same benefit to others. Those are just my first off-the-cuff responses as to why I felt like this piece of legislation was the correct way to go and I would now like to offer the microphone to any one of the sponsors who would like to make any additional comments. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Marilyn. I'm just going to say a couple of words. My name is Senator Norman Sanderson, District 2, I am one of the primary sponsors on the Senate version of this bill. To me, this is, always has been, and always will be a point of transparency as far as those of us who have been elected to serve the public in government at any level, whether you're talking about municipalities, whether you're talking about county commissioners, whether you're talking about state level or even a federal level. You know we have a responsibility as those elected officials to inform the public about what we're doing. There's an old Chinese, or there's a Latin proverb, really, that goes back about 1500 years that says "to be forewarned is to forearmed," and I think that speaks directly to what we're doing here. There is, in our society, i think an underlying desire that if we as people see something that is going wrong or that has been done that is wrong, we as a people will move to correct it. I think just as much on the reverse side of that is if we as a people see something that is about to happen that is wrong, we as a people will move to block it. I've seen it in my district time and time again for things that have tried to slip in under the radar and try to get done before the public knew what was going on. And when the public finds out, if it's already been done then they're very angry. If it hasn't been done then they move very quickly and organize to come together to stand against it. This is about, again, we being elected officials, the responsibility to be informed. The other side of that coin is also that the people, when they're informed, they have a responsibility to act, and I think that if we will do that, if both sides of that coin will work together that's when government works at its best. That's when we are in unity, that's when we know that the things we do as elected officials do a great deal for the public good. I agree with Marilyn and I agree with Tom that we are heading, at some point, technologically advanced to the place where we may be able to do this totally by the internet, but until that point we, to move to this too quickly would be to disenfranchise, I think, a large group of people that we represent in this state. I appreciate the press core and the press association for being able to sit down, or being willing to sit down at the table and negotiate this with us and to work on this bill because, as Senator Apodaca said, I think this is a good bill and I think that with your help, with the help of the citizens in this state, we'll be able to move this bill forward and we're going to come out in the sunshine, a week of sunshine of the sunshine week in this state. We're going to come out looking okay, and so that's what we're trying to do. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'm Louis Pate from the state senate and I represent Wayne, Lenoir, and Pitt counties. About 40 years or so ago, and I don't think there's anyone in this room save me and
Laughing Junior over here. The principality of Sweden was going to change what had been in effect for centuries I suppose of driving on the left side of the road to turn over one night at midnight and start driving on the right hand side of the road the next day. Obviously there were a lot of, there was a lot of chaos: front-end collisions, rear-end collisions, everything under the sun. That's not the way to make a change, any kind of change, especially that involves an awful lot of people. So I use that example as a reason why, that's a bad choice of words, but as a reason for us to go into anything very slowly and deliberately. I think that this bill is a reasonable compromise that will allow us to plan for the future because the future is coming. We will be much better for taking this sort of a half-step before we go in to anything any farther, which would give everyone a chance to do the right thing and will keep our citizens informed as to what the legal notices are around our state. Thank you very much. I'm representative Malone from Wake County. And I think that the old saying that the government that governs the least, governs the best leaves it up to the people to have them well-informed as to what is going on. And you know whether or not it's this or whether or not it's protest petitions or whatever it is; when you're talking to people, the people who live in your neighborhoods, the people who you have breakfast with, that you associate with, that you go to Kiwanis with, that come here and ask you for your help they want to know what's going on. And when you're telling them and you're keeping things open and transparent they feel more comfortable with you. They have ??. They feel confident in what you're doing and you can move legislation forward if they know that's the kind of person that's serving them. They have a right to know if things are going to effect their lives, their bank accounts, their futures, and this is one way to ensure that they do. Yes, one day I think that we will be able to go electronically and I think that'll be a fine day but we're no where nears that right now. People like to read their newspapers, they like to get that Sunday morning sit in front of the bay window and have a little coffee and read the Wake Weekly or the News Observer and I think that they need need to know that information and they got a right to it and that's why I was happy to sign on. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Go ahead. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I don't want to be the only one not speaking. My name is Ted Davis, Jr. I'm from district 19, House district 19 and I was very happy to be part of this. The history took us back to the last session where we tried to move forward on this and we weren't successful so we didn't give up, we kept going. We're now here and we've got both the House and the Senate working together and I look forward to a great bill being passed by both chambers and put into law by the governor. And I want to thank ya'll for coming. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'll just be redundant at this point, I support the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Since everybody's spoken I guess we'll open the floor for any questions if there are any we'd be more than happy to take them and direct them to whomever. If there are no questions, thank you so much for coming and we look forward to a successful completion of the bill. Thank you. Background Noise