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Senate | March 7, 2013 | Chamber | Session

Full MP3 Audio File

Senate will come to order. Sergeant-at-arms will close the door. Members will go to their seats. Members and guests of the gallery, please silence all your electronic devices. Leading the Senate in prayer is the Reverend Peter Milner, Senate Chaplain. All members and guests in the gallery will please stand. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Let us pray. Lord, thank you for your common grace. That you give to all of us. As we put into place laws, statues and practices across our land. They have consequences on people and may their ethic reflect our dependence on your strong voice. Oh Lord, help this body, I ask to lead lives that mirror your spoken word in scripture. And may our laws reflect the very real gestures of how you have dealt with each of us. Whether were republican or democrat, you love us. May we live lives in honor of the God that we serve and I make my prayer in the name of the one who spoke everything into existence. Amen. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Berger is recognized for a motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. President. The journal of March 6th, 2013 has been examined and is found to be correct. I move that we dispense of the reading of the journal and that it stand approved as written. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Without objection, so ordered. The Journal for March 6th stands approved as written. Senators, our nurse for the day is Judy ?? from New Bern, North Carolina. Judy, if you’ll please stand and be recognized. Thank you for your service today. Senator Allran is recognized for a point of personal privilege out of order. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. President. On behalf of the Senate, I would like to extend the courtesies of the gallery to Team Leadership Newton. That is, 6 students from Discovery High School in Catawba county, and 12 students from Newton-Conover High School in Catawba county. And their sponsors include, Todd Clark, city manager of Newton. Thank you, Mr. President and members. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much for being with us today. Ratification of bills, clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Enroll bills. The enrolling clerk reports the following bills duly ratified for the presentation to the Governor. House Bill 82, an act to update the reference to the internal revenue code and to ?? from certain divisions of the federal amount of tax payer relief act of 2012. The following bill duly ratified and properly enrolled and presented to the office of Secretary of State. House Bill 37, an act authorizing Cleveland county to convert certain, describe property rights, gift, private sale or long-term lease. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Reports of standing committees. Senator Daniel, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Send forth a Committee report? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator, you can send forth your report. Clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Daniels for Judiciary 2 Committee submits the passage to Senate Bill 123, clarify sex offender residence law, favorable. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senate Bill 123, calendar. Senator Apodaca, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Motion relative to the calendar. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator, you have the floor for your motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. President. Members, Senate Bill 54, time for recording foreclosure notice, needs a little more cosmetic work so we’re going to remove it from the calendar and re-refer it to the Judiciary 2 Committee. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Without objection, so ordered. Senators, we’ll move right into the calendar. Public bills second reading. House Bill 23, clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] House Bill 23, digital learning, competency school employees. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Soucek is recognized to explain the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. President. This has come from our Digital Learning Subcommittee.

The committee we had in the interim where we're looking at how do we move forward into the 21st century with going from a school environment being taught that to an individual learning platform for every single student. What the digital learning competencies looks at is we need to have teachers who not just understand how to work a piece of technology but how to integrate that effectively into the classroom and so what this is doing is urging our teacher certification for new teachers, existing teachers and principals as they get their certification or renew it to have a degree of training so that they can properly implement not just the technology but the entire learning environment. This is it passed overwhelming through the house and no controversy or no opposition and I urge your support. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Is there any further discussion or debate? Hearing none the question for the senate is the passing of the senate committee substitute of house bill 23 on it's second reading. All in favor will vote "aye", opposed vote "no" five seconds will be allowed for the voting. The clerk will record the vote. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Nesbitt "aye" [SPEAKER CHANGES] Fifty having voted in the affirmative and zero in the negative senate committee to substitute to house bill 23 passes the second reading without objection will be read a third time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] North Carolina general assembly ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any further discussion or debate? Hearing none all in favor of the passage of the senate committee substitute to house bill 23 on it's third reading will say "aye" opposed "no." The "ayes" have it senate committee substitute to house bill 23 passes it's third reading will be sent to the house for concurrence in the senate committee substitute. House bill 44 clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] House bill 44 transition to digital learning in schools. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Soucek is recognized to explain the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. President. This goes along with one of the things we discovered through the committee is that this isn't something you impose on a school system in ?? we saw this tremendous lift from a school system having somewhere past the 100th in rank in North Carolina in graduation to top five. I think one of the greatest attributors to this was there transition to this type of environment and the key factors we saw were leadership and instruction. We saw buy in from the superintendent, from the principal, from teachers and probably most important from the community so what this bill is doing here is a statement from the general assembly of our intent to move in this direction because so much of this of what we are trying to accomplish here is going to be through the vision of the future and what is does do is indicate our intentions to move forward with textbooks moving to a digital environment not just instead of being paper being on a computer but having information transformed in a much more innovative way in which it is going to be communicated. I urge your support. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any further discussion or debate? Senator Rucho for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I applaud Senator Soucek and the house members for bringing this forward. I did have the opportunity to visit the Mooresville for school and I will tell you, you sit in their classes and you see these children all hovered around their computers. It isn't about going from hardback paper books to digital devices. It was a reforming of the entire educational system and if you ever get the chance you need to go pay a visit over there and there are other schools in Watauga county and the like but the bottom line is this is going to revolutionize education and utilize the internet in a way we that we have not even begun to imagine. It's already started in Mooresville and they transformed a mediocre to a high excellence school and we should be moving this across the entire state so that every one of our children will be prepared for the global jobs of the future. I urge you to support this bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Senator. Senator McKissick for what purpose do you rise. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Ask Senator Soucek a question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Soucek do you yield for a question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I do. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Soucek I certainly applaud the efforts to move us from traditional textbooks to digital learning and I think that is an excellent move for the state of North Carolina of course one thing that is included in this bill is saying that we will increase far greater funding for the digital technology to be available. The only thing that I would also like to ask a question about is those low wealth areas of our state and for those individuals that don't have access to laptops and desktops in their homes. How are we looking at as a state providing access for those individuals that otherwise won't have it as we make this progression from traditional textbooks to digital technology because that has to be an integral part so that you don't have this technology gap.

[Speaker changes.] Absolutely, I think that's a great question. First, let me comment on the question...one of the things that was most exciting about this entire program is that we saw learning across the board from all students, from the high privileged and high challenged. Everyone seeing a significant amount of increase in value of their education but the lower ends of poverty, of lower education, of higher challenges, we saw a greater percentage increase so we saw that's one of the reasons why we wanted to do this. And we're going a little...the details in that are a little beyond where we are right now because we're still kind of in the structure but we are aware of that and that is something we are planning on addressing specifically because it is one of the most critical areas of this entire concept is the low wealth, the greater challenged students have the greatest advantage and the greatest need for this and part of that is and the bill we're walking through is evaluating those exact things around the state so we can address those issues. [Speaker changes.] Thank you. Only comment I'd like to make...I think it's an excellent direction for us to move in...I think if we can overcome that digital divide and equalize access to educational tools and resources, that it's a great thing for us to do. Guess I just wanna make sure that that second component is the way we proceed in this ???????? [Speaker changes.] Any further discussion or debate? Hearing none, the question before the Senate is the passage of House Bill 44 on its second reading. All in favor will vote aye. Opposed will vote no. Five seconds will be allowed for the voting. Clerk'll record the vote. 50 having voted in the affirmative and 0 in the negative. House Bill 44 passes its second reading without objection, will be read a third time. [Speaker changes.] North Carolina General Assembly enacts. [Speaker changes.] Any further discussion or debate? Hearing none, all in faovr of the passage of House Bill 44 on its third reading will say aye. (Ayes.) Opposed no. The ayes have it. House Bill 44 passes its third reading and will be enrolled and sent to the Governor. [Speaker changes.] House Bill 10. Clerk will read. [Speaker changes.] House Bill 10, Remove Route Restriction for NC540 Loop. [Speaker changes.] Mister President? [Speaker changes.] Senator Rabin/Rabon???, for what purpose do you rise? [Speaker changes.] Thank you, Mister President...to send forward an amendment. [Speaker changes.] Senator, do the members have copies? [Speaker changes.] Yes, they do. [Speaker changes.] You can send forward your amendment. [Speaker changes.] Clerk'll read. [Speaker changes.] Senator Rabin/Rabon???? moves to amend the bill. [Speaker changes.] Mister President? [Speaker changes.] Senator Rabin/Rabon???? is recognized to explain the amendment. [Speaker changes.] Thank you, Mister President. Members of the Senate, this is a clean up of the amendment that we did yesterday, and I want to thank Senator Nesbitt for bringing a couple of items to my attention. What this amendment does is it does absolutely nothing to the first part of the bill, which has to do with 540....??? that yesterday, that will go forward in tact, I mean as it was ...but what this amendment does is it removes those three projects from the turnpike authority. It adds that prior to bond issue or going to local government for bonds and financing, that the legislature be given 180 days notice and it puts or requires that these projects be either put in the Mobility Fund or meet the requirements of the Mobility Fund and/or the prioritization that we've been trying to do for the last two years, which we passed in the last session and put them in the TIP program. Now, just so you will know, any project can qualify for the Mobility Fund at the request of local MPO's or RPO's, ok? This is a policy decision that we've been moving forward. It does not kill any project. Please listen, it does not kill any project. It puts ???? TIP to stand on their own merits and, if they choose to do so, their local MPO's or RPO's can request that this project be put into the Mobility Fund. Good projects will be driven by data. That seems to be the desire of this body and is certainly the desire of the Transportation Committee and I request your support on this amendment. Thank you. [Speaker changes.] Any further discussion or debate? [Speaker changes.] Mister President? [Speaker changes.] Senator Clodfelter, for what purpose do you rise? [Speaker changes.] Would the gentleman yield for a question? [Speaker changes.] Senator Rabin/Rabon?????, do you yield for a question? [Speaker changes.] I yield. [Speaker changes.] Senator Rabin/Rabon??????, it's a...probably a technical question. I've got two copies of the amendment, they both have exactly the same version number on them but they have different language?

And one of them, one page one line thirty one, the substance requires prior consultation with the general assembly, and on the other one, the language on line 31 requires prior consultation with the joint legislative commission on governmental operations, and they both have the same version. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Look the first one over, please, sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I did not, but I think everybody in the chamber wants to know they got the one with the language you intend [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, sir. ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] ?? Senator Rabin, what ?? do you rights? Do you make a request, please? [Speaker changes] Senator, you have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, if we could please, I request that this be displaced for a moment or two so the staff makes the proper ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator, do you want to withdraw this amendment right now, and then resubmit it when its corrected? We want to take a few minutes to do that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Let’s stand as esse then for a few moments and we’ll see if we can get this amendment taken care of and we’ll come back to order. OK thank you. Let’s come back to order. Senators, as you make your way to your seats here, I think we got this worked out. Senator Rabin’s gonna offer the amendment, now on your desk, you have copies, on your desk. They say Amendment 1 right now, but this is Amendment 2. So Senator Rabin is recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman, I mean Mr. President. All I wanted to finish saying was somehow both amendments ended up with the same barcode, and the problem has been corrected and so the members should have the proper one in front of them. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Senator. You can send forth your amendment. The members have copies, and the clerk will read Amendment Two. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Rabin moves to amend the Bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] OK. Is there any further discussion or debate? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Jenkins, what ?? your [??]? [SPEAKER CHANGES] May I ask Senator Rabin a question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Rabin, you’re up for a question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] If I can hear it, yes, sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Rabin, reading this amendment, it appears that what’s been done in the ?? section is that there are three probjects that have been struck from the Turnpike Authority: the Gardenparkway, the ?? Skyway, and the ?? Country Bridge. Is that correct? [SPEAKER CHANGES] That is correct. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I, also, this amendment, the previous amendment that this replaced transferred 63 million dollars out of the turnpike authority back to DOT to be used for mobility fund. Is that correct? [SPEAKER CHANGES] The original amendment did, yes sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] So now, it would lead-- [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator, senator, do you have a third question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes I do. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You must approach the chair with each additional question [SPEAKER CHANGES] I did not as far…a question then. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Rabin, do you yield for a third question? Senator Rabin? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, I reyield. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well, Senator Rabin, then the math would be that this 63 million dollars left in the Turnpike Authority, which is not designated to any projects. Following your comments earlier today about the mobility fund and other projects standing on their own then with this 63 million dollars be available for other candidates for the turnpike projects? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I can’t …I can’t answer that, and be sure that I’m giving you the correct answer as to whether that will be available to those projects at this time. The two projects that remain are bonded, I would assume it would need it to take it as obligations …already been taken care of. It is available at least until it is handeled and dealt with in the appropriations of the proper time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any further discussion or debate? ?? the passage of Amendment Two, all those in favor vote aye, opposed vote no. Five seconds will be allowed for the voting. The clerk will record the vote.

36 having voted in the affirmative, and 14 in the negative, Amendment 2 is adopted. Now the bill is back before us. Is there any further discussion or debate. Senator Nesbitt, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES]Thank you, Mr. President, to speak on the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Senator, you have the floor to speak on the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Thank you, Mr. President. I just wanted to send out a word of thanks. I think it was 2 days ago when I was standing on this floor, and saying when are we going to begin to listen to listen to one another, and we did. I got a sheet here, I still can't figure out how much money we're talking about, but according to this information, we thought we're talking about $60 million, $35 million of it was for 40 years, and $28 million of it was for 50 years. $2.8 billion. And I kind of point that up to you because by the end of this session, no more money than we've got in transportation. That's real money. And we need to make those decisions when we can all get in the room, and we can all talk about transportation, and figure out what to do. I went home last night and pulled up the mobility fund, and you all may want to pull that up. They actually have a schedule of what they're fixing to spend this money on. And It's my understanding talking to people, that as a general rule we created the mobility fund to do major projects that would overwhelm the local area. For instance, the Atkins River bridge. It's probably $100 million, $200 million, $300 million project up there, that $300 million would have killed that. It would have taken every bit of money that they have 10 years up there if you did it that way. And clearly it doesn't benefit that local area nearly as much as it does the state, and it gave us a way to accumulate money to do those kinds of projects. If you look now what they're planning to do, it's little projects. It's things like HOV lanes on I-77, and the bus on the median here in Wake County, and little things. And I'm telling you, I've been around this stuff for a long time, and transportation just ends up being this way. And the question is, who's going to decide? And I highly recommend to you that you not give up the ability to decide over here, because if you do, you'll never have any input. DOT's about more powerful than we are. It has a lot of power flowing to it, because all of us want roads. But anyhow, I commend you on that. I would say that I;m concerned about striking the projects. When we put something in a bill up here, and say we're going to do it, it gives people reason to believe there's some certainty to it. And it's my understanding, I don't know if Senator Clodfelter is going to speak, or others are going to speak in here, but the Garden Parkway project kind of has something to do, as I understand it, with one of these terminals that we're trying to create around the state, where you drop stuff off, and then it goes to the court, those kinds of terminals. The Mid-Currituck bridge was done to resolve the problems down on the coast as best you could resolve them. And the whole intent of it was, well, everybody coming from up North will use it, and we'll charge them tolls, and get back as much money as we can get from them, and get them off of the other roads, and the ferries and the things the local people use. And that way they'd at least have better access to their transportation. But you're going to find it very difficult over time to tell everybody down East that it just costs too much to move you. And that's kind of what we do to them. You all know that. We've told ferries. Well, they've got ferries because they don't have a road, and they don't have a bridge. If you didn't have a road, a bridge, or something in your area, you'd want us to try to get you from one side of the creek to the other, without charging them an extra thing to get there. So, there's a reason to all this stuff. It's not a boondoggle, and it's not somebody just using power, it's decisions we make up here that are usually driven by people in influential positions, but

There are areas of this state that will never be served if it’s left to one power center in Wake County. And if you’re new here and haven’t learned it, it won’t take you long to figure that one out. So I object to taking things out I told Senator Rabin this morning I said, I understand how the game is played and rest assured when we take it back we’ll take all yours out. But that still don’t make it right and so I’m very defensive to these projects and hope that before the end of the session we can see the wisdom and perhaps doing toll roads in these areas so they don’t get in here and gobble up all the money. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any further discussion or debate? Hearing none, the question before the Senate is the passage of the Senate Committee Substitute to House Bill 10 as amended on its third reading. All in favor will vote aye, opposed will vote no. Five seconds will be allowed for the voting, the clerk will record the vote. Tucker? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 33 having voted in the affirmative and 17 in the negative. The Senate Committee Substitute to House Bill 10 as amended passes its third reading. The amendment will be engrossed and it will be sent to the House for concurrence in the Senate Committee Substitute. On the motion of Senator Shirley Randleman of Wilkes County, the Chair is happy to extend courtesies of the gallery to the students of Franklin Elementary School from Surry County there with us today. If we have any students from school please stand and be recognized. Also, like the time to thank our pages for the week, pages thanks for the work you did this week. We hope it’s been an enjoyable time and we hope you come back and see us. Thank you for your service. We have any notices or announcement? Any notices or announcements? Senator Daniel, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Short moment of personal privilege. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator, you have the floor for a point of personal privilege. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. President. Senators, on your desk I’ve placed a little historical sketch of Thomas Burke, the founder of Burke County is named after. There’s a portrait if you haven’t seen it over in the right hand side of the chamber so I hope you’ll stop and look at that. There’s only one known drawing of Governor Burke and its located in the North Carolina Archives and from that Burke County History Museum commissioned a portrait which you see on the right hand side of the chamber over there which is on loan from the Burke County History Museum temporarily. I think it will be displayed in the third floor gazebo or whatever that’s called by an architect and then will be returned to the Burke County History Museum so I hope you’ll take an opportunity to look at that and I think one of the notable things that I thought about Governor Burke’s history was probably the only Governor that was captured by the British imprisoned and escaped to return to his duties as Governor. So I think that’s an interesting part of his history. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Senator. We’ll call that the atrium, instead of the gazebo. Any other notices or announcements? Senator Gunn, for what purpose do you rise? I’m sorry, Senator Goolsby, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Moment of personal privilege, just to make another comment on Thomas Burke. I noticed Senator did not make a comment about what his training was. He was both a practitioner of medicine and law and ?? the end that he passed away at age 36. I think I know why. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any other notices or announcements? Is there any further business to come before the Senate? If not the Chair recognizes Senator Berger for a motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. President. I move that the Senate do now adjourn subject to the introduction of bills and resolutions, the receipt, referral and re-referral of Committee Reports, and the receipt of messages from the House and the Governor. To reconvene on Monday, March 11, 2013 at 7 p.m. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Motion to the Senate do now adjourn subject to the stipulations stated by senator Berger. To reconvene on March 11th, at 7 p.m. seconded by Senator Goolsby. All in favor will say aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Oppose no. The ayes have it. The Senate stands adjourned.