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House | March 28, 2013 | Committee Room | Government

Full MP3 Audio File

Good morning to the House committee on government. Welcome today and as the chair we have a few remarks to start off. We have a heavy agenda, we have 7 bills today and we're going to get all 7 of these done today so I'll ask for the committee's indulgence so we can proceed. Starting off today we have Miles Heath from Wake County sponsored by Representative John Gill. We have John Hodges from Wake County sponsored by Representative Ross, Leah Perry from Chatham County sponsored by Representative Fisher and Baley Yow from Lee County sponsored by myself. Introduction of sergeant at arms, Marvin Lee, there he is in the corner, Mike Clampett, got him in the back and Billy Jones. Up first this morning we have House Bill 245. [SPEAKER CHANGES] ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] You have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Ladies and gentlemen, this bill deannexes 23 acres from the town of Troutman. The, and I will tell you up front there is disagreement between the Town Council and myself and the circumstances leading up to being here, there was 200 acres annexed into Troutman for a commercial development and a gentleman, when he come, he turned down, that fell through, he only bought 23 acres and two years ago went to the town and asked them to deannex. They said yes, but it has to be done legislatively. He talked to them again and confirmed it and went to work building a house. He built a house on it with the idea of living there and building a farm. He did get a variance so he could have livestock and at the variance meeting they talked about how the legislature was deannexing and they did give him a variance to do the farming and no legislation was ever introduced to deannex so I drafted legislation to deannex the property, called and talked to the town mayor and they said yes, they had told him that he could deannex and that he had acted acordingly and then they held a meeting and decided that they didn't want to do it and I'm before you and I ask that you let the gentleman go ahead and deannex. There are no water or sewage facilities, so. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Any questions from the committee. Representative Ramsey. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. And. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Ross. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Just one. The property as I understand it when the second buyer bought the property was already in the city limits. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The property was part of the town limits when he bought the property and he, yes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] So the buyer knew the property was in the city limits when he purchased the property. [SPEAKER CHANGES] He knew the property was in the city limits. He bought the property, he had not planned on living there but he asked them if he could deannex it and build a home and live there and that's when he started building on the property, when they told him he could deannex. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any other questions? Representative McNiell. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Sorry. You did say that the city has not provided water and sewer to his property, is that correct. [SPEAKER CHANGES] They, it's on the other side of the 200 acres from where his 23 acres is, but no, there is no water and sewer to his property. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Turner. [SPEAKER CHANGES] That was going to be my question also, thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any other questions from the committee. Representative Ross. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Is the water and sewer close enough for him to access water and sewer. I mean, just because he hasn't tapped on doesn't mean it's not there. [SPEAKER CHANGES] It does not cross his property. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does it run down the edge of his property? My question is. [SPEAKER CHANGES] No. [SPEAKER CHANGES] He can't access? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Somebody would have to run water and sewer to him to have water and sewer. [SPEAKER CHANGES] OK. [SPEAKER CHANGES] OK, the chair also knows that we were asked to pass out a handout on this last night, today, and does everyone have a handout. Just want to make sure you have that. Does anyone from the audience have any questions or want to say anything to the committee? OK, I'll stand that. Representative Ramsay, we have a motion on the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, Mr. Chairman, I make a motion

?? favorable report House Bill 245. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Gentleman, we have a motion for a favorable report 245. All in favor say aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any opposed? Then that motion is to be re-referred to the House Finance, correct? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, that would be my motion, Mr. Chairman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Thank you, committee. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Next we have House Bill 68. Representative Torbett. We have a PCS before. I have a motion. Representative Collins. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman, members of the committee. The bill in front of you, House Bill 68. This is in response to a notification I received by resolution from the Gaston Board of County Commissioners asking that they be allowed to establish an ombudsman that would be a spokesperson for the foster care parents in Gaston County. It is a pilot program. I will leave it at that. You pretty much have the information in front of you. If you have any questions, I’m here. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Any questions from the committee? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Davis. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, thank you, Mr. Chairman. At the appropriate time I’d like to make a motion for a favorable report. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Earle. It’s the appropriate time, Representative Davis. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. At this time I’d ask that we allow a favorable report of this bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Favorable report to the PCS. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, sir, it is a PCS. Excuse me, a favorable report for the PCS and an unfavorable report for the original bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Representative Davis. We have a motion on the floor. All in favor say aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any opposed? In the opinion of the chair, the ayes have. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Next we have on is House Bill 290. Representative Hager.They’re passing out the PCS. One second, please, representative. We have a motion to put the PCS before us? Representative Ramsey, thank you. Representative Hager, you have the floor. The PCS is before us. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman, members of the committee. This bill is a fairly simple piece, I’ll explain one of the PCS in a second, but the main body of the bill, this allows the Rutherford County Commissioners to be an ex-officio on our airport authority. We’ve had some numerous problems out there on the airport authority. We had some insurance issues. We’ve actually had a death out there on that airport, believe it or not, so we want to be able to have some kind of presence there, some kind of connection back the County Commission so we can kind of tell what’s going on. The PCS is put out there because there was a technical correction staff wanted to make in the section 7, which we’re not really dealing with section 7, we’re dealing section 2, but they thought this was the proper place to change the chapter 40, which no longer exists, to 40A. It really has nothing to do with this bill other than a technical correction for the statute. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Questions for the committee? Representative Presell. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I just have a motion at the appropriate time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Representative Collins. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Hager, is there any opposition that you know of to this bill? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I do not. The airport authority are in agreement with this and the county commissioners are of course. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Fisher. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I just had a question of the bill’s sponsor. I’m trying to understand why with a five member airport authority, yes, with the five member airport authority, why would you need the entire board of commissioners to serve an ex-officio authority? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I think it just gives us the option to some folks that maybe can’t make it sometimes. You can have two or three there at one time or two or three next time. Just to provide connection. Ex-officio means they are non-voting members. They’re not going to change the vote by having one there or five there. It just gives them all the option to be there if they want to be there. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Is there a member of the county commissioners that serves on….

The airport authority board currently. [SPEAKER CHANGES] If you look at the terms of the initial 5 members, you've got the appointed the 4, 3 years ?? talked about, remember we don't have a member right now that is on there, so what we want to do is be able to have some connection to the board, to be able to have official connection there instead of just attending as a part of the audience. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Any other questions from the committee? Anyone from the audience have any questions or statements. At this time, Representative Presnell, we'll take your motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I move we have a favorable report to the PCS in finance. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Unfavorable to the original to finance. We have a motion all in favor say aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any opposed? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Representative Hager, while you're there we have another bill for you this morning. House Bill 326. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chair. Please, I'll go ahead and continue. This bill, this adds Rutherford County into the list of I think it's 84 or 85 other counties that require before land is condemned by another city, another county, another entity that it go through the county commission for approval, so basically it wouldn't allow, Representative Ramsey, wouldn't allow someone in Henderson County to condemn land in Rutherford County, an entity, a city or a county. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Questions from the committee. Representative Ramsey. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman, a motion at the appropriate time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any other questions from the committee. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative McKissick. [SPEAKER CHANGES] What is that bill number, I don't think I have it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative, the bill number is 326. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yeah, I expect I have it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Adams. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chair. I think I understand what it proposes so for example would that be any adjoining county or do you have a specific, is it making reference to a specific county or any county that may border that one. [SPEAKER CHANGES] It's probably easier if I read the statute to you in Chapter 48, it says before final judgment may be entered in any action of condemnation initiated by a county, a county, city or town or special district or other unit of local government which is located wholly or primarily outside the county we're speaking of, Rutherford County in this case, whereby the condemner seeks to acquire property located in the other county, in this case Rutherford County, the members will first prove that the County Board of Commissioners of the county where the land is located has consented to the taking, so it could be any county, any of the 99 other county, any of the cities also outside the county. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any other questions from the committee. Representative Ramsey, you have a motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman, motion for favorable report of House Bill 326. [SPEAKER CHANGES] We have a motion on the floor. All in favor say aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any opposed. In the opinion of the chair the motion passes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman, committee. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Next we have up is House Bill 318, Representative Conrad. I need a. [SPEAKER CHANGES] This is a local bill for the city of Winston-Salem, and I'm going to start with the compelling reason for a favorable report for this bill, and that is that it will save the taxpayers of Winston-Salem $2 million, and I will go back and explain how that will be accomplished. A couple years ago there were some changes in the seismic codes that require additional earthquake resistance in certain facilities where first responders are housed, so the city of Winston-Salem is going to have to do renovations to their public safety center not only for the earthquake, increased earthquake resistance, but also it's an older building, some general renovations. They are going to have to move the first responder personnel to temporary headquarters to do the renovations. The condition of the code says that they can only stay there 180 days. The renovations are going to take up to potentially 5 years. So what this bill does is change the 180 days to 5 years and would expire in 2018. The cost savings, of course, is if we did not approve this bill they would have to do the seismic upgrades to the temporary headquarters which would cost $2 million just for the temporary period of time and then also do them on the permanent structure which doesn't make any sense at all, so Representative Haines is here, he's also a primary sponsor of the bill and we have Greg Turner

From the city, once in Salem, just in case you would have any questions. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Representative Floydd, from the committee. [SPEAKER CHANGE] At the appropriate time, Mr. Chairman, 2.5 versus 5. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Thank you, Sir. Representative Adams. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Thank you, Mr. Chair, just a question. You've got a, I guess its a sunset on this, in other words you're going to advise it . . . [SPEAKER CHANGE] Well, its the five year period, they're asking for an extension from the 180 days for temporary housing to up to five years. I think they put a little ?? in there. They're not anticipating it will take the full five years to do the renovations, but as you know with any type of construction project there can be delays and other issues, that will have to be resolved. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Follow up? [SPEAKER CHANGE] Follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Your city wants, I mean, they want to take it back to a 190 days after that period of days or what? [SPEAKER CHANGE] Well, just this one particular project. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Any other questions for the committee? Representative Floydd, we'd like to use the appropriate time. [SPEAKER CHANGE] We move for a favorable report, but with a refferal for a regular reform. [SPEAKER CHANGE] All of you here for the motion on the floor, say aye. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Any opposed? Congradulations, ??. Next, we have House Bill 294. Representative Ford, time. I need a motion, bring a PCS before. Thank you, Representative Collins, has put a PCS before us. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Thank you, very much. This bill is a local bill for Derrick county and Brunswick county. The history of it is, I was contacted by Derrick county in regards to boats that have been sunken in canals. The reason they've been sunk, because people didn't want them anymore and they left them, and eventually they sink. So, I'm a little embarrassed to bring this bill before, but happens is their county threw one out there to try and clear some of them and they were informed by the individuals that they did not have the right to clear their boats out of the water on them. So, this would give their county the right to take those out. The folks that do have the right is the core of engineers, and they do not have the money or the interest to come and do it, so this would give the county the right to do it. We ?? it after the current vehicle, abandoned vehicle laws that are on the books and you can see that in there, so that we can protect the interests of the property owners as well. That would give them the proper notice and then, the holding of it, and the sale of the vessel afterwards, and it's only for those boats that are sinking, sunk, or that are on the bottom. or, those that have been anchored more than 30 days at somebody else's dock without their permission. I welcome any questions. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Representative Goodman, from the committee. [SPEAKER CHANGE] A motion for at the appropriate time, thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Any other questions from the committee? Representative ??, you have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Move for a favorable report. I think its a general referral, isn't it Mr. Chairman? [SPEAKER CHANGE] Yep. A referral to finance. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Where do I . . . [SPEAKER CHANGE] On the PCS. Go ahead. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Motion for a favorable report on the PCS to the original unfavorable with referral to finance, thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Okay. We'll strike the referral to finance, there is no longer need. Thank you. Do you have a motion on the floor. All in favor say, aye. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Any opposed? Motion passes. Next we have before us House Bill 334, Representative Ramsey and Moffitt. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. House Bill 334 is a bill to allow Buncombe county and National City Schools to use a portion of their sales tax dollars for digital education. Its modeled after the language of the bill that passed the house earlier. It allows a portion of our lottery money to be used for digital education. The history of this bill, back in 1983 the general assembly, took its existing sales tax dollars that Buncombe county was receiving. So, this is not a tax increase, wasn't a special funding for Buncombe county. We took existing sales tax dollars the county was receiving and restricted that for capital purposes. Since that time many school improvements have been made, well over $200 Million dollars in Buncombe City School system and an apportionment share for the National City School system had been

It's been expended. So right now the challenge for that the county schools-- they really don't have significant capital needs. They need more for operations and to allow for some digital education they would support. This has been run by our school superintendent, the county school attorneys, our county finance director, our county manager, and they're all supportive of this language. It would benefit Asheville city schools, but the challenge Asheville city schools have is they're about 5,000 students, the counties about 25,000 students. This money's a portion on a [ADM] basis, and the city schools need all of their funding for brick and mortar projects. So they're really not going to be able to take advantage of this authority. But the city schools do have advantage of a supplemental tax in our county, which makes our city schools one of the highest funded systems in the state because of that supplemental tax. So I would ask for your support of this bill. And open to any questions. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Questions from the committee? Representative Fisher. [SPEAKER CHANGES] At the appropriate time, Mister Chairman, I'd like to move for favorable report. [SPEAKER CHANGES] All right. Back to the committee. Any other questions from the committee? Representative Fisher it's the appropriate time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I move that we give House bill 334 a favorable report with a referable-- referral to finance. [SPEAKER CHANGES] We had a motion to the floor. All in favor say, "Aye." [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any opposed? Congratulations. Thank you, thank you House committee. That adjourns today's agenda. Thank you.