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House | September 29, 2015 | Committee Room | Appropriations Committee, Part One

Full MP3 Audio File

Folks will take any extraneous conversations outside. We appreciate the work of our Sergeants at Arms that are continuing to pass out bills in the like. Our Sergeant of Arms that are with us today, Young Bay, Regi Seals Bill Moris, Jim Maren, Marvin Lee, Ray Cook, David Latten, Warren Hawkins, David Lithicum, Corry Bryson, and Dean Mashburn. Alright, the first bill that we will have up is senate bill 37. Senate bill 37 there is a PCS for this Bill and Representative Harley moves that the PCS be properly before us without objection and the Senator is here to very briefly tell you about this Bill that we've already passed once. Thank you Mr. Chairman and members. This Bill arose out of a situation that occurred actually in my hometown of Lumberton. We had a very tragic event where a decorated police officer, officer Jeremiah Goodson[sp?] was killed three years ago this Summer in the line of duty. and there is a law already on the books that provides for children of slain officers, police officers, firefighters, or EMS personnel may receive free tuition at community colleges or the university system. Officer Vincent and his wife, his cousin had for some reason had a child and for some reason they decided she could not raise the child. Officer Goodson and his wife had stepped up several years prior to this and got a custodial guardianship in raising that boy as their own, when he was killed, the following spring. This child graduated from high school, applied to college and was accepted. Applied for this waver and was turned down because in the bill, it just says parent- child it does not allow for legal or custodial guardianships. This bill just this provides that, a legal guardianship or a custodial guardianship by a court order, would have the same effect and that would provide Officer Goodson's child the free tuition and any other child that may occur to in the future. The reason for the PCS is, the original bill had the date that would occur this fall but here we are a little later than we thought so and the colleges and universities asked that, it would not it would be too difficult to try to retroactively do it and asked that it be done for this spring and that's what the PCS did and I'd be glad to answer any question. Al right representative Floyd. At the appropriate time Mr. Chair. Alright representative Torbett, representative all is recognized Rule for a favor vote PCS on a favor to the [xx] of the speaker. You've heard the motion on the floor all those in favor of the motion please signify by saying I oppose no, the I's have it and the motion is agreed to thank you very much, senator. Thank you. Alright, the next bill is proposed committee substitute for House Bill 658 and Representative Horn moves it be properly before the committee without objection and Representative Stein berg, I'm sorry representative Stein berg, where are you, there you are, you are recognized to present the PCS. Thank you Mr chairman you have in front of you the PCS for House Bill 658 and what this bill is adapting to do is to appropriate 368000 dollars for the for each centre which is our newest [xx] centre the one that we put 10 million dollars in to back in 2005, down in Cheryl county.  This is a very important facility for us and what has happened over the last few years  is money has been taken out from to keep up and maintain this facility have been insured with other facilities who have eventually closed and in the mean time,  we're in a situation where there is a lot of work that needs to be done to bring that back up in to protect our investment.  If we cannot appropriate this money, we're going to lose in Terrell county 8

fold time possessions and 12-15 part time possessions, which will probably in Terrell County which will triple the unemployment rate in Terrell County. So it's very very important. I'd be happy to answer any question. I think most of you are familiar with the mission of the 4-H and they do a lot of work not only with the youth, but but also they do a lot of work with the military families and the handicapped who are stressed have stressed social economic conditions. So please, if you have any questions, I'll be happy to address them Representative Brody. Thank you Mr. Chairman. I'll give you two questions both at once here. What makes the eastern as supporting the Eastern group here more important than supporting any others? and the other question is, next year are we going to also see 365- 67 thousand. Does it have an end to it or is this the beginning of a long term support to this center. Thank you for your question, I think representative Brody what I hope and I said my opening remarks and I hope you heard them we are not seeking additional funds for this facility, we're trying to recapture some of the funds that we've lost over the years that have been shared with other four H centers that have eventually closed. They were four H centers that were on the margins and even this could not save them. We have a $10, 000, 000 investment that the state made on the state owned property 200 acres, back in 2005. So there is work that needs to be done, there is work that's been neglected and we want to be able to keep this facility up and running. It is the premier 4H center for all 4H centers in the state and as a matter of fact let me just add this if I may it's interesting to note that many of the folks around the legislative building that are younger than you and I have when they heard of this bill or they talk about this 4H center they were remarked at how wonderful facility it is and they've been there over the years, so it entertains people from all across the state. Okay Follow up Yes, Mr chairman, I mean to my second question then, if you're needing this to keep less funding than before, if we don't ever increase the funding by allegation, next year or the year after, we'll keep on getting the same same request. We won't be getting any additional request but you will be getting, we are hoping to get them back to the level where they were receiving money before. I mean, that's the whole idea, these are additional funds we cannot in my view we cannot neglect this property, we can't the penny wise and proud foolish and say, to hell with the $10 million investment and just let it fall into disrepair. The only thing that facility can hope to recoup the money and to stay open would be to raise the rates that they charge significantly but they are not going to have the personnel there to be able to accommodate the groups as well so, Okay. Just a notice of explanation this was supposed to be in the budget for just a variety of reasons it didn't get there so this is the only way to attempt to fix it may not work but Representative Arp For a motion proper time I you hold up for just one moment Representative [xx] Thank you Mr. Chairman I'm familiar with the situation and I this is a good we need to support this agency that I can't vote for this bill because as long as we have 30, 000 fewer children on early child subsidy than we did in 2007 and those are essential programs than those also we need to make every effort to back fill that, everything that was said about this 4H facility I could say about subsidies and early childhood education.   Representative Daughtry.   Yes in respect of Representative Brody his question about why we fund this in the east, Representative Stanberg told me the kids in the east are much smarter and brighter than the kids in the west. I am sure that the bill sponsor wishing to have votes from the West, vehemently disagrees with the gentleman from the East. Let's just move ahead

to our motion, because we'l just go up or down on this. Representative Iler. Favourable report Mr. Chairman for the PCS for House Bill 658 unfavourable to the original. You've heard the motion from Representative Iler, all those in favour of the motion please signify by saying aye? Opposed no? the ayes appear to have it, the ayes have it and the bill is agreed to. Thank you ladies and gentlemen, members of the committee, thank you. The next one up is proposed committee substitute for Senate Bill 456, I believe Representative Stam he might just want to come on up here Representative Stam. Representative Speciale what's your question? This fiscal impact sheet we just got doesn't have a bill on it, which bill is this for?  I believe that it is for 15. [xx] I'm sorry, I believe it is for Senate Bill 561. We'll get to that one senate bill 456 Representative Stam you are recognized Thank you, committee substitute before us Representative Brown moves that the PCS be properly before the committee without objection Mr chairman this does relate to update scholarship but it does not appropriate more money to update scholarships. This was brought to my attention by the state education assistance authority by  Elizabeth [xx] who is the administrator of this program for this current ficsal year set something like 17 million is appropriated in for next school year like 24 million problem is they have way more applicants for kindergarten and first grade than they can handle under existing limitation that be no more than 35% but way fewer upper grades so the effect is they have applications in say for a family with the fourth grade or fifth grade or in a kindergarten and that they can offer it to the fourth and the fifth grader but not to the kindergartener. Now the reason that limitation on 35% was put in to start with was for fiscal reasons so that you didn't have an imbalance of costs versus benefit, but since we already have the 24 million in for the second year, this will not require an increase in appropriations from the existing budget so I would ask that you support this just to let a little more [xx] a little kindergardeners into the program with their brothers and sisters. Delayed answered questions, Representative [xx]. Thank you chairman [xx] I really do appreciate members who have a lot of excitement and about programs and opportunity scholarship budget the house [xx] senate budget increased the fund, this year and when we finally saw our final version of the budget, it took it up a mere two to 24 million, I didn't say anything about it did it, voted for our budgets and move forward and when I first read this bill it took me a little while to figure out what it's going to do, but folks what this bill in my opinion is going to do, it's going to create a back log next year, property the scholarship they are going to come back and tell you they don't have enough money for all the kids apply for this and we don't even though if this program is working or not, we don't even have any we haven't even gone through a full year to see what kind of results it's producing, I'd encourage the members even go and look at what schools these kids are choosing to go to, some of you might find that interesting if you looked at it, my question is not directed to anyone, it's just a statement as one end, why don't we just take the money they got a actual increase which again I'll support it, they got that in this years budget, why not just move forward to come back next year, evaluate it, see what these kids or test scores, how are they performing and let's take from there and see if we need to do this next year. This last few two weeks a session always scare me

to death, I've been here for 11 years they scared me all even Democrats and Republicans, we need to just let this go I don't see a need for this today not ask for you to vote no. Representative Jackson Thank you Mr Chairman I'd like to echo Representative Hallway's comment although I will.