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House | June 18, 2014 | Committee Room | Finance

Full MP3 Audio File

Welcome to house finance should be in resting ??. I would like to thank our pages, Christen Based, Sabrina Coles, Steven Dipri, Sarah Woods and Cole Shalcorks. Of anything it's pronounced incorrectly please forgive me. I would also like to thank our sergeant arms Mr. Seals, Mr. Lee, Mr. Brandon and Mr. Clampat thank you all for watching about our door. Members of the committee we will now take the PCS for Senate bills 493. Representative Shepard moves you have the PCS before discussion. All in favor say aye. All oppose. Motion carried. The bill is before Representative Murry. Present you Christmas tree bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] There are three provisions in this bill that deal with finance committee related changes. Section 1.7 of the bill establishes the landscape contractors licensing the board authorize the board to collect fees. Section 1.8 establishes different utility regulatory fees for retail services of certain tele communication providers and section 3.2 establishes behavior analysis licensing board and authorizes the board to collect fees. There are multiple auditions and provisions in the bill but specifically related to the finance committee those are the three provisions that deal with finance related matters. Authorizing landscape contractors licensing there's been multiple complaints from members of public that this is a registration only board and that if there is landscape contractor issue, the boards can actually do anything about it so this is a suggested remedies by the landscape contractors and it only applies to landscape contractors doing jobs 25000 dollar and greater. The regulatory fees for retail services and certain tele communication is exact contends of house bill 1092 which is a product of a ihram over side committee. Section 3.2 the behavior and licensing board because this bill also contains the all term insurance provisions in house bill 498. As a result of that we need to have a behavior licensing board to help address proper over side for that service being provided by behavior analysis. With that if I left any major details out Mr. Chairman we do have a extremely capable and helpful staff is being put in this bill together over past couple of weeks. With that I will be answering questions. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Representative Howard. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman at the appropriate time I would like to send forth an amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Members of the committee while we wait for copies of this amendment I would like to take a ?? from the last meeting. Representative Bobbie moves approve the from the last meeting of June 11 2014. All in favor say aye. All oppose. Morton carried sold. Thank you. Any member have questions for representative Murry while we wait for the amendment to be copied. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Luebke. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman I wondered if the staff to go over the adjustments to the utilities regulatory fees, I can just hear staff explanation that in particular is different what we do analysis. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Miss Heather yes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Luebke this is also identical to house bill 1052 and there's a separate summary in your package for 1052 and there's a chart and they might be helpful but in short in past 20 years the state ?? government have basically being in the process of deregulating foreign service and the state have adopted two alternative form of regulation for foreign service so for companies

for this alternative form of regulation their reg fee will be reduced. Basically we're taking out the jurisdictional revenues for just those two types of telecommunication companies who have elected to be regulated under subsection H or subsection M in chapter 62 and that will be subject to a lower reg fee. So if you look on the second page of the summary for 1052, subsection H jurisdictional revenue will be subject to .06% and .04% in 2016-17. Subsection M is subject to .05% in 15-16 and .02% in 16-17. So this is not effective for this fiscal year. The bill does not set the corresponding rate for all the other jurisdictional revenues that would apply to all other public utilities and the wholesale rate of telephone companies. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman. Right here. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Hager. [SPEAKER CHANGES] If it's okay I think Representative Luebke has seen this in Public Utilities. We ran this bill in Public Utilities a few weeks ago. I just want to let him know that. That we actually passed this out of Public Utilities, they put it in the reg reform bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow-up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman and thank you Representative Hager, I remembered in Public Utilities. My question then is, again for staff, so this has nothing to do with the utilities fee that we typically put int he budget bill? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Heather. [SPEAKER CHANGES] This does not set the fee for this year. It is that same reg fee. So basically what it is doing in fiscal years 15 moving forward it's going to basically create subsets of that reg fee. So we're going to have one reg fee that applies to public utilities other than telecommunication providers and it will also apply to the wholesale revenue of telecommunication providers and then we will have new separate rates for the retail competitive jurisdictional revenues for those telecommunication providers. So we're actually just creating subsets of the reg fee, basically. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow-up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And, thank you Mr. Chairman, and overall is there a staff assessment of what the fiscal impact would be for this, the other members of the staff might comment, what's the impact likely to be? [SPEAKER CHANGES] There is and we do have a fiscal note. I'm just trying to find it. It is in your packet and it does state, again, this does not impact this fiscal year. These changes do not come into effect until the 15-16 year. So it would, by creating a lower rate for these competitive jurisdictional revenues, it will have an impact on the regulatory fee but the bill also provides that it is the intent of the General Assembly to adjust the main regulatory fee to make up that difference. So let me find that fiscal note and I will point that out to you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman, right here. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Bizzell. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chair. Rodney Bizzell with fiscal research and the fiscal note, as Heather mentioned, there is no impact in FI 14-15. Beginning in FI 15-16 the impact would be between $800,000 and 1.5 million dollars per year. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow-up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, just a question, I guess more for Representative Hager. Why would you not want to make this revenue neutral in terms of the overall impact of the fee and the purposes to which the fee has been going over the years? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Representative Luebke. Trey Rabin[?] is in the audience, Mr. Chairman, if he would be good but what our intention was, Representative Luebke, is to, and with the agreement of the other members that bring in, especially Duke Energy and some of the other bigger utilities, is to raise their fee during that time to compensate for this. But Mr. Chairman, Trey Rabin's in the audience if you'd like to have him speak to it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Rabin, would you like to address this matter? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Trey Rabin with AT&T, representing subsection M companies. Representative Luebke, if I may address that question directly. We've been working with the regulated and the deregulated industries. It's our understanding that there is a provision within the bill that would allow for the utilities commission to adjust regulatory rates to ensure that they are made whole. There is a sunset process. It's a step-down process beginning July 1st, 2015 that would allow them to accommodate for a reduction in the fee for the deregulated companies while adjusting the overall regulatory fee for those regulated industries appropriately. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow-up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well, I hear and appreciation your comments my question, still I think, is to the bill sponsor

bill's promoter. It shows here on the fiscal note that it is going to be a loss of anywhere between $800,000 and a million dollars, about a million dollars on out. Is there something in the bill that will call for a adjustment so that the fee is revenue neutral or are we talking about a million dollar loss? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Resident Luebke, I'm trying to find the page and the line number for you as we speak. Section 1.8, let me get through section, I needed section 1.7 first and then we'll talk about that. Mr. Chairman, 1.8 section-, let me look at it really quick, I read it this morning and Heather Finnell may know exactly where it's at so if she wants to go ahead and take- [SPEAKER CHANGES] Ms. Finnell? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes sir, and yes Representative Luebke, if you look at section 1.8F on page 19 of the Reg Reform bill, I can hand you my copy if you'd like, Mr. Turner, you got it? So what this is is the reg fee is actually set by the General Assembly each year and what happens is the Utilities Commission comes to the General Assembly as part of the budget process and says this is what we think the reg fee needs to be. And, as you can see from the summary, actually it's part of the budget process this year, the Senate set the reg fee at .13% and the House has set the reg fee at .14% and that has not been determined this year. So what this bill does is say we don't know what the reg fee needs to be in year 15-16, we're going to allow that to be set in the budget but this sets the intent. The intent of the bill is to be revenue neutral in the future and to encourage the General Assembly in the 15-16 year to set the reg at an amount that will hold the Utilities Commission and the public staff whole with the same amount of revenue. But you're correct, it does not actually set that because that is generally set in the budget each year. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Finnell, and thank you, Mr. Chairman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Howard, you're recognized for your amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. To amend the bill on page 26, lines 31-38 by deleting those lines. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Questions or comments from the committee. Representative Collins. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, I'd like to know what, in effect, we're doing when we're doing that and what the presenter of the bill, what his opinion of that is? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I have no opinions on any amendments. [SPEAKER CHANGES] That answered my second question as- [SPEAKER CHANGES] You just opened a flood gate but that's fine. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I still would like to know what we're doing here, basically. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Howard. [SPEAKER CHANGES] These are the rules for the division of employment security that should have been in place fourteen months ago and all of the rules should go through the UI oversight committee and without deleting here that is not going to occur. So I would ask for your support. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Howard moves for the adoption of her amendment. Further discussion or debate. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Brawley, Robert. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Is there anyone here from Employment Security Commission to comment? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Is anyone present from Employment Security? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, sir, Representative Stam. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well it's, anybody from Employment Security know to be here that knowing that it seems to me this is a pretty significant change, should we- [SPEAKER CHANGES] We do it all the time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Let me ask this question, is this part that's here before us for Finance, it looks to me like the part that's finance committee changes on your summary are the first three or is the entire bill open for discussion? [SPEAKER CHANGES] We'll see how far we get. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Or is this here- [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well when we had the appropriations powered it was only here for- [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman, I believe Cindy Avret[?] can explain. We've asked for these rules from the division for several months in order to put them in legislation for the short session and then this just overrides any oversight of that commission. The reason that the oversight committee was established was in order to be able to look at rules that were being proposed in order for us not to get back in to a situation that we are currently in. I've spoken with the Senate, the Senate is not aware of this

...had no contact with anyone so what we're trying to do is just put it back where it needs to go and that way all the rules would first come through the bi-partisan oversight committee. And that's all it will do. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I have a parliamentary inquiry again for the chair. May I ask my question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Of course. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Like when the appropriations bill was here all that was open for discussion for discussion were the finance changes. It appears to me that this bill says the finance ?? changes are 1.8 and 3.2. My question is, I've got lots of questions throughout this whole bill. Is the whole bill before us or just the finance committee? [SPEAKER CHANGES] The amendment is before us now. And amendments will be taken as time allows but we are going to vote this bill out today. It will leave this committee before the appointed hour. [SPEAKER CHANGES] So is the answer to the question that the entire bill is open...[SPEAKER CHANGES] If you want to bring an amendment forward you'll see how it goes. Representative Starnes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman. I support the amendment and also the bill is properly before the committee. I have never seen the finance committee handcuffed by any type of arbitrary rules. When a bills in the committee it's [SPEAKER CHANGES] It's fair game. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Open market. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes Sir. Further discussion or debate? YOu heard the motion from Representative Howard for the adoption of the amendment All in favor say aye. Aye. All opposed? Motion carried. Amendment is adopted. At this time Representative Hager, you are recognized, send forth your amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman. Section 9 was a bill that came through I believe it was last long session that we I believe, decided not to move forward. This amendment removes the landscape license fee 'cause I believe that we should license things that have to do with the health, safety and wellbeing of the citizens of North Carolina we should not arbitrarily license things we think need to be licensed so this removes that section. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Discussion, debate from the committee. Representative Luebke. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I just would like to slow down on some of these things that we're rushing through. I'd like to hear more than justification for eliminating this. [SPEAKER CHANGES] That's why I said discussion and debate, I wasn't trying to rush you through, to be honest with you I wasn't. [SPEAKER CHANGES] No, no I know you weren't sir. I know that the amendment comes in out of nowhere so I'd like the staff to explain what this amendment does. [SPEAKER CHANGES] We'll determine which one is saddled with that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Luebke, my understanding is it just removes the entire landscape contractor section from the bill. This bill has been debated in multiple forms and multiple venues. There is a reasonable level of discussion on whether it's a good idea or not so without taking sides, I'm just bringing forth ideas that other people have decided to call regulatory reform and if this body determines, if this all gust body in the house finance committee decide that landscape contractors is not regulatory reform than that's the legislative process and I'm comfortable with that. But that's for this committee to debate and I'm willing to listen to it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Miss Karen Cochran Brown can address this section. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chair. As Representative Murray indicated Health Bill 61 was a bill that was considered during the last long session that would have transferred the landscape committee contractor registration board into a licensing board. This amendment would just delete that provision that is included in this bill from this bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Starnes. I'm sorry. ?????? Alright. Follow-up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] ??? the bill that she referenced debated in the long ....[SPEAKER CHANGES] The bill you mentioned that was debated in the long session, did that in fact pass the house and go on to the Senate? [SPEAKER CHANGES] It did not. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Ok, so this is actually bringing back a bill that has already failed once? [SPEAKER CHANGES] It has not failed to my knowledge it was debated I know in the House of Commerce Committee, no vote was taken on the bill. It has a finance application obviously so the bill is still alive in the House of Commerce, currently. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Starnes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you ladies and gentlemen. If anybody ever needed proof that the resurrection is real, this is it. This bill has failed in congress.....

this bill has been in front of Finance before and never got a favorable report. With this bill, for years they pushed this bill and it's never been successful but it's resurrected again. I think we should support the Hager amendment. This is not regulatory reform. This is an attempt of somebody to try to change policy which is a very substantial change in policy but every time it's been vetted in a separate committee it never gets enough votes to pass. I think we ought to take it out. [SPEAKER CHANGES] It's not the first time we've seen something come back from the dead. Representative Samuelson. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'm actually going to speak against the amendment. This is exactly what you all said, it's a licensing thing, and unfortunately these licensing contractors, these contractors have tried to get licensed for a number of years and their timing just happened to hit when the republicans came in and we didn't like licensing. And yet there are all these other entities that have licensing and we're not going around and revoking theirs and they've worked with people to try to make this as agreeable as possible by raising the limit so that your average lawn care company is not covered by this and so I would just urge your defeat of the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Brawley, Robert. [SPEAKER CHANGES] To speak on the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You're recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I would also speak against the amendment. It only affects contracts over $25,000. It does not affect your personal landscaping. We have contract license requirements for general contractors for if their contract is over $25,000 and without this provision in here they're going to have to have a general contractors license anyway. This simply allows them to operate as a landscaping contractor with a license when they're contracting for over $25,000 worth of work and I oppose the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Is there a Mr. Michael Currin in the audience who'd like to speak on this amendment? Mr. Currin, please state your name and title for the record. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, my name is Michael Currin. I am from GIC, the Green Industry Council, as well as from Greenscape Inc., a family owned business that I started 35 years ago this year that my son now runs. I hear the concerns but I think that you need to keep in mind that 85% of the industry is under about $500,000 a year. The $25,000 per job keeps them well within the ability to operate just as they always have. The other thing that is really important is, for the benefit of the industry, for the benefit of those companies that are doing work that is larger than $25,000, if you remember or you may recall that the general contractor's license provides for jobs over $30,000 to require a general contractor. The general contractor's industry is not interested in the landscape contracting business. They're interested in structures, habitable buildings, and those types of things. We do work all the time that is far beyond that limit. We need this bill in order to allow us to operate as we are doing. The other thing that is really important, the public is affected by the work that's done. I serve on the Irrigation Licensing Board in the five years that that bill has been in effect. The people who have become before that board who have been reported for violation, it is so obvious that they do not need to be doing irrigation contracting based on their lack of competency, their fraudulent business practices, and these types of things. So this bill ties with the irrigation contracting licensing bill to facilitate, for those of us int he industry who improve the environment, create outdoor living spaces that help to get people out into the environment, improve their health, and keep people in a much better condition than if they sit behind a computer all day. We protect, through what we do, the water, the quality of water, and that is upcoming problem in this state. And so what we are doing in this industry has a direct impact. So this bill is small business friendly. It does not keep people from starting out as I did.

With a one person company with one employee who was over 70 on Social Security and building a business that I can pass on to my children. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] So I just encourage you to consider your amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Stay at the podium. Representative Collins, you're recognized. Mr. Kern, please stay at the podium. There may be questions from the committee and Representative Collins has a question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Sure. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I have a question either for Mr. Kern or whoever can answer this question. One of the many jobs I had back when I used to teach school, one of the many summer jobs, was running a lawn maintenance crew for a landscaping company and my question is would this include a company. Let's say I have a contract with a guy who owns several McDonalds and he also has me his private residence. And I cut his grass and trim and do bushes and take care of his irrigation system and all that kind of stuff and my contract is $1,000 a week, which makes it well over that. Are we talking about a one time job or are we talking about $25,000 a year, or what does that $25,000 mean would be my question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] If you'd like to stay I can answer that question for him. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Sure, all right, please. [SPEAKER CHANGES] It's $25,000 per year per job. So I would say if you have a McDonalds and you're getting $1,000 a month for it then you're robbing the guy that you're doing work for because that's an extremely high price for maintenance at a McDonalds. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Can I follow up? Maybe you didn't hear what I said. I said he owns 3 or 4 McDonalds and we do his house, which takes half a day, a half a full day with a crew every single week. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Those are all individual jobs, so it's $25,000 per location per follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] So if he's paying me $500 to do his personal maintenance for his residence, then it does fall under this provision. It would be $25,000 a year, is that correct. [SPEAKER CHANGES] $500 a week. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The mic is not on, I'm sorry. We're not hearing what you're saying. Don't start over, just continue. [SPEAKER CHANGES] It does not cover maintenance, it covers landscape contracting, so if you're mowing grass you're exempt from this bill. So the $25,000 doesn't apply there. [SPEAKER CHANGES] So you're telling me they'll separate what I'm doing as far as putting in irrigation and taking care of that? I guess, to me this is really nebulous. What if I'm planting trees and bushes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Collins, let's let Karen Cochran-Brown answer this so we can get clarification. Miss Karen. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chair. Representative Collins, the specific provision if you care to look at the bill is on page 10 beginning on line 37, and it basically provides any landscaping work with a price of all contracts for labor, materials and other items for a given job site during any consecutive 12 month period is less than $25,000. I think what that means is that you can't have any single contract in that 12 month period that would exceed $25,000. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Bill Brawley. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to speak more theoretically based on a point that Representative Hager raised, and I came across something, an economic principle called regulatory capture. And I actually discovered this through looking through taxicabs, I'm going to use that example, but it applies here. A regulatory board will make regulations, the general population doesn't really care, they don't pay attention, but the people in the industry do. And what happens over time is the board, instead of protecting the public, protects the industry. Begins to restrict entry, control who can do it and who can't, we've seen the example in some taxi contracts recently where things become very restricted because the regulatory board begins to represent the regulated and not the general populus. And with the free market and the rules that we already have, I think Representative Hager's making a good point, if we're going to do this this has to be vetted as a separate bill and discussed in great detail. We don't have time to make this decision today. I'm going to support his amendment and if we want to come back and look at this in the long session, let's do it, but today let's take this out. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Jones.

Thank you Mr. Chairman. I have two brief questions. First is for staff. I just wanted to find out what if they know, what neighboring states positions are on this issue. Are we in line or are we out of line. Do we know? [SPEAKER] Ms. Cockram-Graham. [SPEAKER] Representative Jones, I do not know that. [SPEAKER] Thank you. Follow up Mr. Chair. [SPEAKER] Follow up. [SPEAKER] I just wanted to ask if there was anybody that came here today to speak on the other side of the issue. [SPEAKER] No one has stepped forward. Representative Starnes. [SPEAKER] Mr. Kern you can be seated. Kern excuse me. Representative Starnes. [SPEAKER] Well here we are with a bill that says regulatory reform and this is regulatory enhancement. We're creating more regulations on individuals. And this is not only here, but if you turn to page 35 you've got behavioral analyst licensuers doing the same thing for a behavioral analysts, whatever that is. But we established a board or study commission to something in the interim to look at these people that wanted to have a license. And I'm not aware that any of these came through that committee with a positive report. I just think that it's unfair for us to start picking and choosing and loading up a bill in the guides of regulatory reform when it's actually increasing the regulatory burden on people trying to do business in this state. This is the type of thing that might be a good idea, but today is not the day and this is not bill to do it. And I hope that we'll support that amendment. [SPEAKER] Representative Hall. I knew we'd shut it down eventually anyway. [SPEAKER] You did a good job Representative Lewis. Thank you Mr. Chairman and as we look at this question of regulatory capture which is an interesting concept. But again, I don't think it really applies here. This is a question of protecting folks and when we have regulations that protect people certainly they if they get out of hand, we always as a legislature have the opportunity to come back and change them, just like we're trying to change things now. This idea that this should not stay in the bill, it should stay in the bill. We regulate this fashion all the time. We have things in the budget bill that are certainly policy changes galore. So that question of whether or not we should be able to change it, we should leave it in the bill until we have some discussion that says it should not be. It is getting vetted pretty well this morning. And so I would ask that you vote against the amendment. And Mr. Chairman I call for the Ayes and Nos. [SPEAKER] Yes, by all means. And I've been here 16 years and policy decisions have been in the budget since time immemorial. It just didn't happen lately. Representative Hagar. [SPEAKER] Thank you Mr. Chairman. This bill has been vetted as Representative Starnes said, it's been through two committees. It didn't come out of a study committee. What they're trying to do is put a bill that wouldn't pass into reg reform, basically is what's trying to happen here. We've looked at this three times now and it's time to put this to bed. It is an incumbent protection program as Representative Brawley was talking about. We've said this time and time again. It protects the people that are in the business and does give a barrier to entry for folks that want to be in the business. I'm for the free market. I'm for young folks getting into the business they want to get into with the least barriers as possible. There's rules and laws out there to take care of fraudulent issues. All you're doing is adding on top of them. It's not needed. It's irrelevant and it's beat three times so please vote for the amendment. [SPEAKER] Representative Jordan and Lewis. [SPEAKER] Thank you Mr. Chairman. When I look at issues such as regulation and licensing, like Representative Hall says we look at protection of the citizens. And it seems to me in this situation to use common sense. The most problems that I think our citizens would be with small fly by night issues and this completely exempts anything under 25,000. So I think it needs a better discussion and probably shouldn't be in this bill and actually needs to be looked at further. There seems to be a lot of problems with it. I would suggest we vote for this amendment. [SPEAKER] Thank you. Representative Lewis. [SPEAKER] Thank you Mr. Chairman. I know time is getting short and I appreciate your indulgence. Could I ask Representative Brawley of Iredell, a follow up to his remarks. [SPEAKER] Representative Brawley do you yield? He yields. [SPEAKER] Thank you Mr. Chairman. Thank you Representative Brawley. Would you speak again just so I can understand it. If a landscape job, for instance may be mowing, I don't know, rest stops let's say were to exceed a certain dollar amount, $30,000 or something like that. You actually have to have a general contractor's

Fact there's license to bid on those. Did I understand that? [SPEAKER CHANGES] That is what I was told this morning. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mister chairman, may I ask staff if that is indeed the case? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Miss Karen Cochran-Brown [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mister Chair. The general contractors licensing statute provides that anyone engaging in the general definition of contracting, that does projects that exceed $30,000, has to have a general contracting license. We have heard from members of the landscape contract and registration board that landscape contractors who engage in projects in the landscaping project, if they have any hardscape in the landscaping project, have been required to have a general contractor's license in order to do that work. So that's basically that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mister Chair, may I ask Miss Cochran-Brown an additional question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Proceed, yes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mister Chairman. Thank you Miss Cochran-Brown. Just to be clear, this would apply to both private contracts and also state contracts, so would it be fair to say that if it is indeed a landscape contract, like I said, like mowing a rest stop, providing landscape at a rest stop, that the total cost exceeded $30,000, that the cost of or the cost to the contractor of hiring the general contractor, would in fact increase the cost to the state or increase the cost to the private ?? who was trying to hire these folks? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Not completely sure that I understand the question Mr. Lewis, but I will say that this provision includes specific exemptions for certain state contracts including DOT and other states, so they are exempted from the licensing requirement, and I believe there may be a similar, not completely sure about this, but I believe there may be a similar exemption in the general contractors licensing app. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mister Chairman, I won't labor the point. I don't know, to be totally candid, if this belongs to this bill or not. I do think, at some point, we do need to address the fact that if indeed it is a landscape oriented project, that the requirement to have a general contractor, which I forget which speaker made that point, who generally builds homes or commercial structures or what-not, to pay them just to have their name on the job seems to add cause. It doesn't seem to be a very efficient use nor does it seem to provide any additional protection to the public. I think under this proposal for the amendment that may be addressed for change. So, I'm sorry for taking us down this path, but I do think this is important to point out that it seems to me like this is overkill to require a general contractor, if you're talking about a very large landscaping project. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Further discussion or debate? Hearing non-representative Hager Moose for his adoption of the amendment. Clerk call to roll. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Alexander. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Against [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Alexander, no. Representative Blust. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Blust, Aye. Representative Robert Brawley. [SPEAKER CHANGES] No [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Robert Brawley, no. Representative Bill Brawley. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Bill Brawley, Aye. Representative Burr. Representative Carney. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Carney, Aye. Representative Collins. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Collins, Aye. Representative Cotham. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Cotham, Aye. Representative Davis. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Dollar. Representative Hager. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Hager, Aye. Representative Hall. [SPEAKER CHANGES] No [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Hall, no. Representative Hamilton. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Hamilton, Aye. Representative Haines. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Haines, Aye. Representative Hardister. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Hardister, Aye. Representative Holley [SPEAKER CHANGES] No [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Holley, No. Representative Howard. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Howard, Aye. Representative Johnson. Representative Jones. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Jones, Aye. Representative Jordan. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Jordan, Aye. Representative Luebke. [SPEAKER CHANGES] No [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Luebke, no. Representative Lewis. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Lewis, Aye. Representative Grier Martin. [SPEAKER CHANGES] No [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Grier Martin, no. Representative Moffitt. Representative Rodney Moore. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Rodney Moore, aye. Representative Tim Moore. Representative Myer.

Representative Meyer, Aye. Representative Samuelson, No. Representative Schaffer, Aye. Representative Setzer, No. Representative Stam, Aye. Representative Starnes, Aye. Representative Stone, Aye. Representative Tine, Aye. Representative Waddell, Aye. Representative Warren, Aye. Representative Wells, Aye. The amendment is adopted 24 to 8. Representative Blust. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank You, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee and I don’t mean any disrespect for the bill sponsor, he’s being a great practitioner, a great legislator, doing what he’s directed to do but I did not know I could go to you with any subject under the sun that I wanted passed into law, the law of this state and had it inserted into a bill called regulatory reform. Mr. Chairman, I don’t know that we’ve ever done this to this extent and just because something’s happened before doesn’t mean at some point you have to dig in and not be pushed any further because I think these things accelerate over time and I don’t wanna get in trouble but I’m prepared to. We just debated for about 25 minutes one portion of this bill and what about all the other portions? I mean, what kind of legislating is this and I’m for a lot of these, probably most of them. But these all should, I wonder if I should make a motion to separate all of these into separate bills. [SPEAKER CHANGES] It won’t be recognized sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] But I’m serious, this is not good legislating to put a hodgepodge of totally unrelated provisions onto one bill, call it something it’s not and run it through with a straight face. Increasing the penalties for graffiti, I can go through hearing name of these things and I don’t wanna vote for this and what’s it’s used for is to get something that would not pass, we’re trying to get them to pass and we’re in essence, bypassing the entire legislative process for certain provisions if we do this and I just don’t think it’s a good idea and I’m not gonna go along with it. I’m gonna vote no. Members, at some point you’ve gotta turn around and make a stand or it’s gonna get worse and worse as time goes by and I’m gonna make my stand right here. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank You. Representative Carney. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank You, Mr. Chairman. First I would just like to ask staff on the section 2,3 – clarify outdoor advertising amendments. [SPEAKER CHANGES] What page is that, Representative Carney? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Page 24 and it goes to the top of page 25. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] If you will repeat the question, Miss Becky? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Carney? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well, I guess what I’m asking, I’ll just ask specific question rather than just go over that ?? sake of time. On page 25, on the top of line 1, it’s a carryover from the other page. I would like for them to explain to me what the addition of or any non-conforming sign means?

Miss Churchill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Carney, I believe what is going on is within the regulatory scheme for outdoor advertising, there are signs that are non-conforming, that are still in place because they have been grandfathered. So they are still allowed to be maintained and you have to get the permit to maintain it but it’s not technically one that conforms with the placement of new signs because it was pre-existing. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman, I would like to send forth an amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Carney is recognized to send forth her amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The amendment is to amend the bill on page 24, line 26 through page 25, line 4 by deleting those lines. And I’m going back to the previous comments, and yes, I know we’ve had policy on these bills - I’ve been here 12 years. But this is one, if you look at line 40 on page 24, there’s a whole new section in there that is in essence saying to the industry, you get to decide what you’re going to cut at just carte blanche. And to grandfather in all of these, to me, the permanent grandfathering of all billboards statewide is not the way for us to go- to just allow an industry to control. We all know that a few years back, we had a bill up here that really, in essence, some voted for it thinking that we were protecting our cities and protecting their billboards. And, in essence, when it came back to us, in it, there was a change and it has just about stripped our cities from any say and our local governments from any say in the regulating of these billboards. So I would ask for the removal of this and your support. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Discussion or debate? Representative Jordan. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Question for the amendment sponsor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Carney. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Sure. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Carney, you said there was a new section that gave carte blanche. Which section was that, please? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well, it was line 40 on 24. And it’s also the addition of any non-conforming sign. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Speak on the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You are recognized to speak on the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] It looks to me like it says specifically acceleration or deceleration ramps, so I don’t think it is a carte blanche issue. That’s the way I read it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] May I respond? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes ma’am, I’m sorry. Proceed. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well, it says “and” if you look, it says “and along” it’s the first part that the Department of Transportation shall issue a selective vegetation removal permit upon request of the owner of outdoor advertising or the owner’s agent for the cutting, thinning, pruning or removal of vegetation outside of the cut or removal zone defined in General Statute 136 and the acceleration. It’s the first part that is wide open. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Further discussion or debate. Representative Luebke. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well, I guess it’s a question for staff. So, would staff respond – Miss Churchill? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Proceed. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I’m just trying to get a conclusion as to what this amendment – what the language is before the Carney amendment. Is it saying that any outdoor advertiser who feels that the outdoor advertising is being not seen clearly because of trees, can with the permit, have those trees cut down? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Proceed. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Within certain limitations, 136-133.1 already sets some limits on the geographic area and how much can be cut so that still would remain in place. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Oh, so it can be, if I’m the owner and under the circumstances set in the language, if I feel the trees block the view of my outdoor advertising, I can have those trees cut down? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Further discussion. Representative Bill Brawley. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Can I ask a follow up of staff? The trees that we are talking about cutting, are these on private property or these in the public right of way?

Mr. Chair… [SPEAKER CHANGES] I’m going to be honest, Representative Brawley; I don’t know. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Starnes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Well I’m going to support the amendment for this simple reason: this is not regulatory reform; this is… and I have always been very supportive of the outdoor advertizing agency, and I’d like the billboards to be able to have the trees cut down in front of them so that you can see them, but here again, it’s just an example of taking a bill that was supposed to be regulatory reform and we’re loading it up with a policy issue because it couldn’t get out of a committee somewhere. This is not the place to be putting this type of legislation. This ought to be a bill somewhere else, so I’m going to support the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Further discussion or debate? Representative Carney moves for the adoption of her amendment. All in favor say aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] All opposed. [SPEAKER CHANGES] No. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Motion carried. Amendment is adopted. At ease for a moment. Representative Stam, you’re recognized to send forth your amendment. Copies are being passed out. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Would you like me to go ahead and be explaining it? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Please. [SPEAKER CHANGES] This addresses the graffiti provision; that’s a new criminal statute with a new felony. It really should be in a judiciary committee, not regulatory reform, and I just move to take it out just to make the passage of the bill easier. I’m actually for this bill, Representative Murry, and I just think we ought to take as much of the graffiti out of it as possible. [SPEAKER CHANGES] This ain’t my dog. I’m just walking it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Let’s get the leash back on it. Any further discussion or debate? Hearing none, Representative Stam moves for the adoption of his amendment. All in favor say aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] All opposed. Motion carried. There goes the kitchen sink. Further discussion or debate from the committee? [SPEAKER CHANGES] On what? [SPEAKER CHANGES] On the bill. Representative Collins. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I have to come down with Representative Blust. As I look at this bill, I see at least two things that I have voted against as separate bills in the past. I think they both actually passed the House, by the way, but I just, in order to be consistent with where I’ve been before, I’m going to have to vote against this just because it contains those two things. Again, if we could decouple this thing, vote on one at a time… This kind of reminds me of when I was a freshman and the Senate passed us back something that was so heinous that in the finance committee, Representative Starnes actually made the to me unheard of motion of giving the bill an unfavorable report after we had failed to give it a favorable report. We did, and then it came back over cobbled with about eight other things we wanted from the Senate and we wound up passing it, and I just… I don’t know. I didn’t come here to do things that way, so even though I like probably a majority of what’s in here, I’m going to have to vote against the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Who am I talking to? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Stam. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Stam, excuse me. [SPEAKER CHANGES] There really are a lot of good regulatory reform things in here, so I would ask if Representative Collins would tell us which ones that he voted against and doesn’t think should be here so that perhaps I could prepare an amendment for him. You can think about that, Jeff. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, think about that. We’ll come back to you. Representative ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman, and I just wanted to ask Senator Walters – I mean Representative Murry – if the high-intensity discharge part is still in this bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes sir. Section 1.1. If you want to look at the… [SPEAKER CHANGES] What page is that, Representative Murry? [SPEAKER CHANGES] It’s the first page. Part one. The original bill as filed by Representative Walters dealt with aftermarket head lamps, and so that is the first section of the bill. It deals with… it deals additionally – we actually expanded that to aftermarket airbags as well, and so we can address if there’s any major changes between Senator Walters original bill as filed, but it still deals with the regulatory issue of aftermarket head lamps and transfer of automobiles when you have added aftermarket head lamps and aftermarket airbags for public safety, so that is a regulatory provision in the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow-up? [SPEAKER CHANGES] No follow-up, thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Stam.

I'd like to just say a few good things about the bill. That would be pleasant. A pleasant change, please. For example, just taking your summary here is rather than going through the bill itself. 2.1, property owners have had rights to have density credits for years, but they're never told about it at the time that the government exacts land from them. This requires the government to actually tell them about that. Section 2.2c, all the problems people have had with the highway corridor map problem, people in Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Charlotte, where land is tied up for decades. This is a simple change going from 3 years to 1 years that the government would have to decide whether to proceed if a property owner wanted to develop the property. Just something very, very reasonable that needs to be done. 2.7 is extremely important. Protest petitions are about as anti-democratic a thing as I can think of. Basically what it says to city councils is forget majority rule. If one person files a valid protest petition, they may only be about 5% of the adjoining owners, then it makes it almost impossible to make a legislative change to the zoning because you have these super-majority requirements. That has actually passed the House last year, and we're told that this time that the Senate will actually agree with it. I don't know why they didn't pass it last year, but they didn't, but I'm told that they probably will this time. I could just go on and on. Well, let's take a couple of other things. Mug shots as public records is in there. Autism health insurance that we voted for before that the Senate doesn't seem to be able to take up as a stand alone item. A vast majority of the House passed the Youth Skin Cancer Protection Act, that's regulatory reform and actually the people opposed to it before, the Suntanning Association, they've even dropped their opposition to it. This gives the Senate another chance to do the right thing. So, there's a little bit of additional ethics revisions in there for local boards. So overall it's good, and I'd be very interested cause we still have some more time, if there's some stuff that you voted against Representative Collins that could come out, let's do that rather than kill what's overall a very good bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Samuelson. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chair. I want to build on what Representative Stam said. You know, y'all, I don't know how often there's any bill, even if it's on a single topic, that we like and agree with every provision of, and every year we've done basic amends bills, corrections bills and such, and yes, I think some of these are bigger and some of them probably needed to come out, but the idea that you can only vote for a bill that you agree 100% with would mean most of us would not vote for any budget that's ever been presented regardless of which party presented it. So I would re-endorse what Representative Stam said and say if you like most of it and you're not strongly principitally opposed to it, I'd go ahead and vote for it. If you've got strong principial objections to it, that's another matter. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Lewis moves to adopt the PCS for Senate Bill 493 as amended and rolled into a new PCS, unfavorable to the original bill and re-referred to the House Regulatory Reform Committee. Members, you've heard the motion on the floor. All in favor say aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] All opposed. [SPEAKER CHANGES] No. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Motion carried. Thank you all for being here. It has been a real joy and you all. Yes, sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well, now, I have one order of business here that we have to do. We're going to refer House Bill 1059, the venus fly trap taking penalty, imagine that, occupancy tax use to the subcommittee, and Representative Starnes, you are being appointed as the Chair on the Subcommittee on Occupancy Tax. I know you will do an admirable job. Members of the committee,

We have two occupancy tax bills that should not take much time. House bill 1044, Representative ??Louis. Where's my gavel. We're not adjourned yet. You just thought we were. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman. House bill 1044 makes only conforming changes to how the ?? township tourism board is appointed. There's no opposition, I have supporting resolutions from the board, the Dunn chamber of commerce, and the city council of Dunn. I would ask for your support, and Mr. Chairman if I could be recognized for a motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES]You're recognized for a motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES]I move that house bill 1044 be given a favorable report. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Members of the committee have heard the motion on the floor, any further discussion or debate? If not all in favor say aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Aye! [SPEAKER CHANGES]All opposed, motion carried. At this point we'll have house bill 1244, Wilson County Occupancy Tax. Representative Wilson. Representative Martin, excuse me. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Thank you Mr. Chair, thank you members of the committee. I did send out an email last night to all the members of the committee with a lot of details on this if there's any questions. I do have some hand-outs if you did not get to look at your emails. This passed through the occupancy tax subcommittee with a favorable report, unanimous, it has bipartisan unanimous support for the ?? county commissioners. I would move for a motion, or take any questions that you have. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Representative ??Samuelson. [SPEAKER CHANGES]I was going to make the motion that she just did. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Members of the committee you've heard the motion from Representative Martin for the adoption of house bill 1244. ??Voted for discussion or debate. I'm sorry. I'm sorry Representative Martin your not a member of finance. Representative ??Samuelson moves for the adoption of house bill 1244. Sold! Thank you. Any further discussion or debate? If not all in favor say aye. All opposed, motion carried. House bill 1114, Elk Park, deed transfer, Representative Dobson. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Thank you Mr. Chairman, members of the committee. This is a local bill for the town of Elk Park in Avery County. Basically what it states is that the register-er of deeds won't record a deed for property in the town, unless the taxes have been paid on that property. There's already a law on the books for many of the local towns in Avery County, and I would just add Elk Park to the list. I'd appreciate your support. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Mr. Chairman? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative ??Stam. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Ok. Once, once a session for the last ten years I make my little speech on this, and that is if Representative Dobson, i'll vote for his bill if he promises never to vote for one like this for ??Wake County. Even if i'm dead, or gone. [SPEAKER CHANGES]We can't make promises like that. And the reason, one hand of the assembly can't bind the hands of the next. [SPEAKER CHANGES]No, i'm not asking the assembly. I'm saying, and if, Dobson he'll be here much longer than I will, and I don't want this for ??Wake County. The reason is. [SPEAKER CHANGES]He won't run it for ??Wake County, and I understand. [SPEAKER CHANGES]The reason is... [SPEAKER CHANGES]Mr. Chairman. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Cause although the... [SPEAKER CHANGES]I'd like to keep the floor for a second. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Of course. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Although a lot of these tax collectors ask for these things, and this really is for everybody else who maybe asked for this. They think they're collecting more money because of this, but they're not. The dynamics of the real property business, is that one of the ways you collect taxes is to get multiple heirs to go ahead and put land into one person's name, and then you get actually taxes paid. So, i'm gonna vote for it, i'll even make the motion for a favorable report, just never vote for it for ??Wake please. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Thank you for the motion, Representative ??Samuelson? Oh. [SPEAKER CHANGES]He just made the motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Further discussion or debate? Hearing none, all favor of the motion, regarding, excuse me, house bill 1114 say aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Aye! [SPEAKER CHANGES]All opposed, motion carried. Thank you, thank you Representative Dobson. And last, but not least, house bill 1033, authorized fee for repairs of the damn of Richmond. Representative Goodman. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Thank you Mr. Chairman. This is a bill we, in Richmond county there's a damn on a lake that creates some flood control. Plus there's about a hundred homes around this lake. The homeowner's don't have the money to repair the damn. The county wants to form a special tax district, repair the damn, and impose a special tax district to get the money back. Everybody's in favor, there's no opposition. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Representative ??Lueke. You've heard the motion on the floor, any further discussion, or debate. All in favor say aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Aye! [SPEAKER CHANGES]All opposed, motion carried. Representative Goodman, are you prepared for housebill.

1211. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. House Bill 1211 is just a revision and consolidation of the charter for Mount Gilead. It has not been updated in quite some time. There’s no opposition. I ask for your support. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Rodney Moore. [SPEAKER CHANGES]?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Members of the Committee, you've heard the motion on the floor. Any further discussion or debate? If not, all in favor say AYE, all opposed. Motion carried. Members of the Committee, we thank you for your kind attention and attendance. It’s been a real pleasure. Meeting is adjourned.