Good morning, and if our members would please take their seats we're going to get started. Our first bill this morning will be Senate bill 407, electronic vehicle lien title, Sen. Brunstetter welcome to the House finance committee sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Madam Chair. Members, what this bill does is it requires Department of Motor Vehicles to implement a statewide electronic lien titling system by July 2014. It mandates participation in the ELT by all individuals and lien holders normally engaged in the business or practice. It provides 2 different ways for the DMV to get there. We are now going to- We are the last state on the eastern seaboard to move towards electronic lien titling, all other states have it. We've worked hard on this bill, there's no opposition, and I'd ask for your support. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Rep. Starnes, you're recognized sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I move for a favorable report. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I have a motion for a favorable report on Senate bill 407, any further debate or discussion? All in favor will say "aye". [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] All opposed, "no". Thank you Senator. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you members very much. I appreciate it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] ??, You'll need to report who's gonna run it on the floor on all the Senate bills. Our next bill will be Senate bill 378, assess propane dealers, distributors, Sen. Jackson, welcome to the finance committee this morning. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you madam chairman, good morning members. I appreciate the opportunity to be with you this morning. This actually authorizes this bill will a voluntary assessment on propane to not exceed 2/10 of 1%. It is being requested by the dealers and distributors. This will sorta join 19 other commodity groups in North Carolina that has assessment and it is also a voluntary one where you can get your money back and the end, and we'd appreciate your support on this. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Rep. Collins? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Just for a motion at the appropriate time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] It's the appropriate time, sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I make a motion that we give a favorable report to Senate bill 378. [SPEAKER CHANGES] We have a motion for a favorable report. Further discussion or debate? Seeing none, all in favor will say "aye". [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] All opposed, "no"? Thank you Senator, and would you report who's going to handle the bill for you on the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Okay. Okay, Rep. Samuelson. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Thank you all, committee. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Sen. Hartsell, Senate bill 248. Choice of hearing aid specialist. Sen. Hartsell, are you in the room, sir? Obviously not. Senate bill 571, various plates and Rep. Iler, if you're going to handle this bill sir, would you like to have staff? Sen. Brock, it's your bill sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Madam Chair. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Rep. Alexander is recognized for a motion that we will have the PCS before us for the purpose of discussion. All in favor will say "aye"? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] All opposed, "no"? You may proceed, Sen. Brock. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Madam Chair. Members of the committee, this is the annual special license plate bill. I believe if this bill hasn't covered every organization, award, or honor in the state of North Carolina, then we'll probably get through the rest- the other 2 next year. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Sen. Brock, would you like for staff to expand on a couple of provisions that are different in the PCS? [SPEAKER CHANGES] if staff would just expand on the PCS please. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Ms. Griffin. [SPEAKER CHANGES] This PCS just does a couple of things, it adds 3 new plates that were just requested since the bill came out of transportation, one for the professional engineers, one for the North Carolina Bluegrass Association, and one for the Sneeds Ferry Shrimp Festival. One thing that this bill did was to eliminate the $10 special registration plate fee for certain military plates, and the combat veteran plane and the military veteran plate expired as of July 1st, 2013 along with a number of other plates due to a provision that was put in place a couple of years ago. So this PCS re-enacts those plates, and keeps the elimination of the $10 for those plates. And finally, there were provisions, specific provisions for 2 towns in the bill, but this bill already has a provision that would authorize any municipality if it gets 300 applications to produce
play for that municipality so that general authorization would cover any town, so we did not need the specific authorization. So those are the only changes in this bill, since it left House transportation. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Warren. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Madame Chair just at the appropriate time for a motion please. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I’ll accept that motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I’d like to make a motion to get a favorable report to the PCS for Senate Bill 571 unfavorable to the original. Madame Chair if the bill sponsor wishes I’d be glad to present the bill to floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] That’ll be great. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Starnes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I have one question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] We put in it trigger mechanism I think a couple of years ago that staff referred to that if they don't get their three hundred applications within a certain period of time then they just sort of dropped off the list, which makes sense to me but I don't understand the reason why we're reenacting three plates that didn’t get the applications and we’re to reinstating them. Senator Brock can you tell me the logic behind that? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Make sure I get, they’re all the military plates. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I understand that but I mean obviously there wasn’t enough interest in them to issue them so whether it's a military plate or a Carolina Thunderbird tag if there's no interest why do we want to keep perpetuating them. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Starnes I might be able to answer that, that was just a terrorist call we thought it was the courteous thing to do to extend to the military one more timeframe if in effect these people were out of the country, and back now of whatever we thought it was nothing more than a courtesy sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] So that they would, will a clock start running again on these tags? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Lewis. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Madam chair, just a quick inquiry for staff of the bill sponsor, on page 6 line 2 I've read the bill summary, but I'm still not sure what it stands for. I was just curious. Somebody could tell me it appears actually be a standard license plate. I don’t know what it is. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Lewis are you talking about on the PCS page 6, line 2 did you say? Are you talking about line 9? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Madame Chair I apologize if I don’t have the correct version. It reads IBPOEW. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, it’s a very long acronym it stands for the improved benevolent and protective order of the elks of the world. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You want to go any farther Representative Lewis? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Based on the ayes of the chair I will not follow-up. Thank you Madame Chair. [SPEAKER CHANGES] We have a motion to give the PCS a favorable unfavorable to the original. All in favor will say aye. All opposed No. Senator Brock, Representative Warren will handle the bill for you sir. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Madame Chair members of the committee. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Our next bill up will be Senate Bill 248 choice of hearing aid specialist. Senator Hartsell. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Madam Chair, members of the committee 248 arises from the Treaty of Versailles of the last session. I say that when the hearing aide specialist and the audiologist separated not necessarily amicably, but they separated. As result of that however, it is from a fiscal perspective the boards are hearing aide license and have asked that they be authorized to increase the fee for the initial application. that's what the bill does it authorizes them to go from 250 to 500, subject to the adoption of rules and going through the rulemaking process and that I don't think they’ll go to that begin with, but that is and I think the fiscal folks. There’s a fiscal
And all this relating to that. There was some question about increasing the fee for continuing and its not being done in this particular instance. This is what they think they need this to do the examinations and proceed with it. Other wise the bill has been through a couple, actually a bunch of committees relating to the underline issues associated with identifying hearing aid specialist as the opportunity for individuals to accept them and other wise. I'll be glad to try to answer any questions, I probably muddled it up more than I should have. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Questions from the committee? There are folks from the outside that would like to make comments. If not the chairs waiting for a motion. Representative Moffitt, you're recognized for a motion sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you madam chair I was paying attention. I move for a favorable report on senate bill 248. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You've heard the motion, further questions debate? See none. All in favor will say aye. All opposed no. Senator Hartsell, would you like to designate someone to handle [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Moffit was so kind to make that motion, if he would be so happy to, I would appreciate it. [SPEAKER CHANGER] Senator Hartsell if you would just remain there we will hear Senate bill 103 Hartsell. Representative BAlly is recognized for a motion that we have the PSC before us for the purpose of discussion. All in favor will say aye. All opposed no. Senator Hartsell. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you madam chair members of the committee. You may recognize this as having seen it before. You have. The bill originally was an extension of a sunset with some definition of language clarifying certain specific items. And how you would calculate majorities and that sort of thing. The original authority sun-setted on July the first. And it is necessary to do, the kinds that have this lengthy item in here so that we can clear up the fact that it extended the sunsets for the two years it was in the original bill that you've already adopted from this committee. And cleans up. They're couple of currently pending applications or circumstances I think that they are in southern Ardell county. It may be something else but that's the only one I really know of. I'll be glad to try to answer any other questions. Special assessments bonds are literally just that. They are a mechanism to bond assessments that are voluntary. And voluntarily ??. Similar tot he way that cities and towns use to at one time fund pavement of streets and roads and certain questions. I'd be glad to try to answer any questions. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Questions from the committee? Representative Brawley from Ardell. [SPEAKER CHANGES] If I might comment on it. This is, currently theres an application pending in Ardell county. And if we dont backdate this they lose basically two years of work that they put into this. And alot of folks have been concerned about this being a tax. It is an assessment which the owners of the properties agreed to put upon themselves to pay off the debts for doing the paving and the infrastructure. In the project their developing. And at the appropriate time I move we give the post committee substitute a favorable report unfavorable to the original bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Further comments from the committee? You've heard the motion. All in favor will say aye. All opposed no. Ok Senator Hartsfell would you like to designate somebody. I'd be glad to volunteer. Maybe I can do better this time. Senate bill 81, Senator Rucho welcome to the finance committee. Representative Luis you're recognized for a motion PSC. Representative Luis moves that we have the PSC before us ..
purpose of discussion. All in favor will say aye. All opposed no. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Madam Chair, members of the committee. This is a bill that came over to us earlier in the session from the Senate. Senator Rucho is here, he filed the original draft. We've made enough changes and there's been a long enough process, he agreed to let us handle it over here. As a brief background, Charlotte has the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, a nice large, successful airport, with the hub of US Air. It's facing some interesting changes coming up to it. One change we just had was we got a new city manager, and the city manager right now is partly over the airport. We have a fabulous airport director who is about to retire, so there is going to be some transition there. And as you know, of course, the airport is the-- the airline itself, US Air is merging. So in essence we're going to have a new airport. Our hub is a unique hub. The hub in Charlotte is unique in the fact that it has very few of their passengers are actually people who board in Charlotte. Most of them are transfer passengers. As a result of that, it means that our hub is not as secure as it would be if most of your passengers were people who lived in the area and were boarding the planes there. Therefore, we have been very sensitive to the idea that Charlotte has stayed a really successful airport because we had great value and low rates. So it was in the airline's best interest to use us as a hub, even if there weren't a lot of people jumping on the planes in Charlotte, because they knew that they could operate their flights more efficiently through Charlotte. Therefore, that is how we've grown to be a great hub. But as you know, being the hub has brought some wonderful economic development opportunities to the Charlotte region, and frankly to the state as a whole. It has kind of put us on a lot of people's map. Now that we've got that, with the process of people doing all the transfer flights, we really need to keep that hub in Charlotte. As a result of that, some conversations that started earlier in the year with various stakeholders, and by the time session started, there were a group of people that felt very strongly that for the future success, not as a judgment on the way the airport had been done before, but for the future success, the model that seemed to be gaining the most traction and seemed to be most successful was the idea of an airport authority. Senator Rucho filed a bill, we took it through the Senate. It was controversial. You don't have to be in Charlotte to know that it was a controversial bill. When it got over to the House, we said, "Okay, Charlotte, we understand that you're upset about this. We'll give you some time to look at the alternatives and to try to do something else." So they hired a consultant. We'd agreed to a delay until after the consultant had done their report, with the assumption that once the consultant did their report and brought it back, that we would then be able to work together with the city of Charlotte to come up with whatever the consultant said and come up with the best option. The consultant came back at the beginning of May and said, "Hey, you've got a great run airport. All those things I just told you. But, for the long-term success of the airport, we suggest that you ought to have it as an airport authority." We thought at that point that the city would say, "Okay, it's not our preference, but we'll work with y'all on figuring out how to structure an airport authority." That was not their reaction. Their reaction, frankly, was to dig in and to then shoot their messenger, which was their consultant that they paid for, and also turn around, frankly, and shoot us a good bit on- that we were part of the problem. I'll admit, having been a former county commissioner, I was pretty floored by the reaction that they had, that they would not work with us. Since the time that study came out in early May, we have continued behind the scenes, quietly, to try to work with our city council people to figure out a way for us to all sit down at the table and work on things. On June 26 we sent the city council an unprecedented offer. When you had this removed out of your committee, it was here in the committee, it was supposed to be heard. We moved it out of this committee over to rules, because we had turned it into a study. We proposed to the city council a study that we felt balanced everybody's interests and gave everybody at the table a vote to decide, what is the best option for the Charlotte airport. Should the best option be leaving it like it is, making changes, something in between, or an airport authority? As of Monday night, they have rejected that offer, and have instead invited us to come and participate in their study which would basically mean a non-voting, sit in the audience and give us feedback role for the legislature on their procedure on looking at what would be the best for the future of the airport. With no other options, since we had acknowledged our preference for an authority, they had acknowledged their preference to leave everything like it is, we offered to have an opportunity to sit together and talk.
we have before you an airport authority. As I go through the bill what I’d like to do is show how we took the study. I got the study here. We took the study by the consultants and tried to incorporate as many of their suggestions into the body of this version of the authorities as we could, We also because for the last two months we have been talking with various council members and hearing their concerns we also tried to put into place some of their concerns. They do not support this bill. We still think that it is the best for the future of the Charlotte airport and frankly their consultant believes that an authority is best for the Charlotte airport so with all of that said, I appreciate the chair moving things so quickly before us, so that we had time to do that. I would like to go through the bill and give you an overview of what it is and then staff will fill me in where I am either incorrect or incomplete and then will open up for questions. The first change we made if you look at the title Enact to create the Charlotte Douglas international Airport authority. The original version, said regional Airport. We heard back from people in Charlotte that they wanted the formal actual title so we now have the Charlotte Douglas international Airport. On sections one, two and three are pretty standard types of things in your definitions which are accustomed to seeing. Section four is a change from the original version, One of the complaints we heard from the city and one of the feedback that came from the consultant was that the makeup of the authority needed to be a little more local centric and so what we did in and also smaller they were concerned about it being a little larger, so we took it down to eleven members two of those will be registered voters in the city of Charlotte, appointed by the mayor at least one of whom shall be a resident of the west side. I just visit west side of the city of Charlotte. The reason for that is that one it gives them two votes on the Council, but one of the issues that the city had brought up was their concern since the airport is on the west side of town. How do we make sure that the voices of the people on the west side of town are heard? We’ll make sure that one of those appointments is a resident of the west side of Charlotte. Interestingly, the consultant had said that one of the sometimes short fallings of authorities is because they aren’t elected they don't hear from their constituents as much so we’re making sure the constituents voice is going to be heard in that piece. Same reason for a number two where the city of Charlotte appoints, the Council appoints two people one from the west side of town. Then because it is a regional airport we went to the county that the airport is in and all the surrounding counties and had each of them appoint one person to speak to be part of this board that left us with basically five members from Mecklenburg County and five members from outside Mecklenburg County, so we need in the top right vote, so we added the eleventh member and the eleventh member will be appointed by the other ten members and there again that’s to make sure that the body as a whole can come together and not have this sense of us against them, so we viewed that as a way to keep them working together and to address the concerns that people have had of making sure it doesn't become a split divisive board. Then if you go down to the rest of section four, all the way through, frankly, section five there’s a pretty standard boilerplate language on a how people are appointed, how they’re replaced. Whether they can be sued, do they get compensated for travel, all that kind of stuff that we normally have. If you flip over to page four, section six, this too is boilerplate language for an authority. It basically talks about all the stuff that they shall have the power and authority to do an authority as it says a body, both corporate and politic, meaning it does have a lot of the same authorities that you would expect an elected body to have, including things like the power of condemnation. But those are pretty standard and were in the original bill. If you flip over to a page six you get into the things about at the bottom of a section six B, the whole issue of taxes, licenses and fees but because they have that sort of authority that’s pretty standard. Section seven is where we start doing the actual transfer. One thing I failed to mention in the other part, one of the things we did do is phase this, so what you will see is that the people who are going to be appointed to be on the authority will be appointed as of October first. The reason for that is to give the all of the bodies that are doing appointment the time to come through and make sure that they can appoint the best qualified people and to get that done, given summer vacations and everything else we gave in October first. However, the actual transfer of the authority will not be until January 1, 2014 and that’s what’s happening in section seven. The reason for that
Are two fold. One, is because the city is doing a study of many of the thing the consultant brought up. We haven’t in any way interfered with their study. So they will continue to do their study, and later on you will see a section where we then tell these new authority members, they were appointed in October, that in that interim you are to work with the city on the results of their study. So as we do the transfer and begin to move this over you are incorporating whatever they come up with in their study. So that we can make sure we’re not missing anything. So the authority members will be appointed in October, the transfer will happen January 1, the city’s study’s due to be done at the end of December. So that should give them time to work together. That’s what’s happening in Section 7. 7b is the actual transfer, 7b2 are the protections on that. You go to Sections on page 87b3, upon the request of the exec. director of the authority the city of Charlotte shall continue to provide such administration services to the authority as it currently provides and shall receive compensation. The consultant had brought up a concern that when you do these transfers, what happens is in the process of the transfer you still need some of the city, access to some of the city employees and everybody agrees that’s a good thing. So what this does is allows that seamless transfer to happen but the authority will be compensating the city for the cost of that. So it allows them to continue whatever they need to continue and also to be compensated for the pieces that need to be compensated for. If you look at the bottom of that page, there is a new section. Section 7f. This came up both with the city and with the consultant. The city’s put an investment in this airport since they built it in 1930 something and some people accused it as a taking. And so we’re saying, we’ll compensate you for it. You look through, if you read this it says, in consideration of the property they’ll go through and figure out what has not been compensated, what do you do compensation for, and once we resolve all that, the authority will compensate you if there’s shown to be any need for compensation. Of course some people thin there’s none, some people think there’s a bunch. This provides an avenue for them to go and figure out what that compensation needs to be and provides that the authority will compensate the city. Sections 8, 9, most of the rest of this up to section 12 are pretty standard about making reports. They’ll make reports not only to Charlotte but all the surrounding counties. When you get down to section 13 on page 9 line 34, this is where we explicitly state that in its initial decisions the authority shall consider the consultant recommendations made to the city of Charlotte in 2013 considering governance of the airport. So that means the government study will be included in what they do. Section 14 says basically if they do all of this and when it goes in place in January they say, you know you should have added this provision in your bill or you should not have added this provision or whatever, this allows them to come back to us in the short session and tell us if we need to make changes to this documents. There again, we’re trying to work with the city, we couldn’t get that cooperation and so if by chance we’ve missed something between us listening to them and what their consultant said they can come back and fix it in the short session. Let’s see, and the rest is the implementation, it does say that in Section 15, in between the period between October 1 and December 31st, that interim period, that he city’s employees will be available to the authority members for any kind of consultation that they have. This is to make sure that we continue to keep those lines of communication open and so it’s authorizing the city employees who haven’t transferred yet will still be able to communicate with the authority members. That is the gist of it, staff did I misrepresent something or miss something? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Samuelson, you’re recognized for an amendment to do a technical. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes this is an amendment that says on page 2 lines 22 through 23, delete the phrase west city and substitute the words west side. And as a member of the committee, I’d move approval of this amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Members you have the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] It says the same thing. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yea it’ll do it under both but we’ll need to make that change. We need to make it under both the city council appointments and the mayor’s appointment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Lines 20 and 23.It does say it, my bad. It does, 20 and 23. Thank you. So it changes it in both.
Members of the committee, you have the amendment before you, so debate, discussion on the amendment. Seeing none, Rep. Samuelson has moved for approval of the amendment, all in favor will say "aye". [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] All opposed, "no". ?? back on the bill. Questions on the bill. Rep. Brawley, do you have something that you would like to add? Anything? Questions from the committee? Rep. Hall. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Madam Chairman, and this question is to the bill sponsors, I guess. When you were going through the history of what is happening with the consultant's reports and the recommendations and the city study vs. having an opportunity to sit down with the legislature, you indicated we had previously moved toward having a study bill ourselves and the city is now proposing a study. Why is there not some combination or effort for both parties to conduct these studies? You said they invited us as the legislature to participate in their study, we had a study bill, but now we have a bill that just moves ahead, it seems that both parties recognized the need for a study period but we're now just moving ahead with something. Is there a reason why we're now ignored our own recommendation to have a study? [SPEAKER CHANGES] That's a very good question. We offered to them an unprecedented study. That study would have given equal voices to the House, the Senate, and the city council. Equal as in co-chairing, equal votes, equal setting of the agenda, we put all options for the airport on the table that could be studied. We treated them as equal partners in working on this decision. First, not only did they then refuse to participate in a study that would have treated everybody as equals, and I use the analogy, everybody at the dais, everybody with a vote, everybody with the ability to influence it without asking us questions about it frankly when I call a number of them over the weekend, even though it was 10 days later, none of them- the ones I got had not even read the study that we had sent them. They said well why don't you come participate in our study? In their study, it is a manager doing their study, and the city council would be the only voting members. So what they were saying to us, we offered to them co-equal voting power. What they offered to us was why don't you come and sit in the audience and listen to our study and provide some feedback, but we will keep the final vote. We didn't feel like that was good faith, because what they had indicated to us in the way that we waited them to do their- their first request was let us hire a consultant and do a study. We said okay. So we waited, and gave them time to hire a consultant. They rejected the consultant's decision because they didn't like it. They said they had grounds for doing it, and that's fine, but we waited, in other word's we've been in good faith, and everything we've told them we would do and in every offer, and they've rejected it. And so at this point we were like- we actually considered. We actually considered doing the study and just having them okay you're not going to agree, fine. Don't appoint anybody, we'll do the study without. There was questions as to whether their staff would be available to us, whether they'd allow their staff to be available to us, and then if they didn't participate in the study, we'd come back in the short session and they'd still fight us. And so [SPEAKER CHANGES] Rep. Hall, do you have a follow up? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'm sorry, I've got passion on this one. I've just never treated that way by my city council. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Okay. Thank you Madam Chair. Has there been a public survey of any type? You talked about the we and the they, I know you all represent the citizens of Charlotte and Mecklinburg county, so I guess the question goes back to the citizens, has there been any survey or testing of the preference of the citizens of Mecklinburg county regarding [SPEAKER CHANGES] We have not done any kind of polling and I would say from email traffic over the time, it waxes and wanes in various directions. [SPEAKER CHANGES] One more follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I looked through the bill and I see that there's some requirements in the bill for existing contracts and etc. to be carried out, and I'll try to go to the specific section. I believe it's number 7 line 23 on page 8, and it indicates that they will comply with the employment and human resources policies of the current board.
?? reference to any contract and procedures and requirements in here if it is then I missed it. Can you tell me how this new entity that is being created is bound by the existing policy regarding contracting and those matters that had been the traditional method of doing business for the airport authority that exists now[SPEAKER CHANGES]I'll let staff correct me if I'm wrong but my understanding is we provided for the initial transfer of the contracts but once those contracts expired they are not bound by them. The consultant, one of their comments in the prose of authority was ability sometimes of authorities to not have to be bound by certain types of conditions that government controlled entities do but I will let staff[SPEAKER CHANGES]Is your question Representative Lewis whether the normal process for the[SPEAKER CHANGES]we were separated at birth[SPEAKER CHANGES]?? there are two Halls Representative Hall is your question whether is the authority be bound by the same state law purchasing contract requirements as the city[SPEAKER CHANGES]or the same purchasing requiring policies that are currently being used by the authority and specifically my reference is again is going to be to local and small business contracting opportunities, minority and women contracting opportunities if the current authority has such procedures and practices [SPEAKER CHANGES]May I address that?[SPEAKER CHANGES]Yes[SPEAKER CHANGES]Representative Hall this is a special case minority satisfies and small business contracts are neither governed by city of Charlotte policies or state but by the federal government because it's an airport and receives funding from the FAA city of Charlotte contracting regulations do not apply to the airport in the same way they do the other departments because they are frequently superceded by the federal government and in those cases specifically the ones you mentioned the federal government regulations take precedence over both our and city of Charlotte[SPEAKER CHANGES]okay thank you[SPEAKER CHANGES]Representative Terry[SPEAKER CHANGES]Thank you, Ms. Chairman I have a number of questions if I may on page eight, eight and nine about the transfer of property and benefits to the compensation to the city of Charlotte what if they don't agree on the compensation now maybe I don't understand this we keep talking about we and they and we and they don't does not the city of Charlotte have complete authority over the airport currently so they own it and they're saying we're inviting you to participate in our process that you're saying no we want you to be a partner in what we want to do I don't understand some of that and the compensation what if city of Charlotte does not agree with the compensation on that another question is [SPEAKER CHANGES]Representative ?? if we can take the time Representative Samuelson you want to take the question one please[SPEAKER CHANGES]on the first on the part of we versus they remember that back in the twenties the state gave to the cities the permission to develop airports so once again this is one of those things where they are able to do that because the state gave them permission to do that and then on the other part about letting legally or whatever they do if they can't agree I'll let staff answer that part[SPEAKER CHANGES]Mr. Cowan[SPEAKER CHANGES]could you repeat the question[SPEAKER CHANGES]She wants to know if basically in these Representative ?? will you please repeat your question for Mr. Cowan[SPEAKER CHANGES]Thank you Ms Chairman what on the compensation for the city of Charlotte if the city of Charlotte disagrees with the compensation will the county board or whoever who will be making that decision about what the compensation should be like we're talking about this what happen to ?? who's going to make that determination and if there's disagreement on this compensation please who determines that[SPEAKER CHANGES]the city has control over the airport service through December 31, our city policies will govern over the airport as of December 31,??.... says the employees are transferred with the same compensation and benefits as they were receiving
The city of Charlotte on that date after January 1st and after the authority can adopt its own personal policies as to its employees [Speaker Changes] Follow up. [Speaker Changes] I wasn’t talking about employees. I am taking about compensation for principal interest on the bonds and indemnities and if they disagree on that. For them taking the Airport, you need copies for them taking this Airport. [Speaker Changes] Well I think that obviously there could be disagreements between the authority and the city over the amount of compensation. Obviously the courts are available to resolve the issue. [Speaker Changes] Thank You. One more question [Speaker Changes] Yes Madam [Speaker Changes] About the employees from the city. Will they be grand fathered in to working for the authority when the transfer comes or will they be teaching new people how to do their job and when it becomes a regional authority will they then be eulogized because they are no longer working for the Airport and they are working for the city? [Speaker Changes] Rep Brawley [Speaker Changes] Rep Holley , the employees will be transferred with the seniority in tact their pay in-tact because this is a governmental entity their benefits and their current local government employees pension plans would be made available to them. When the authorities created it applies to the secretary of state to be added to be added the pension program. As a matter of fact is that permission is not being denied. Essentially, their benefits everything would move in tact to the authority as if they can change to a different department within the city. [Speaker Changes] Thank you one more question [Speaker Changes] Yes Madam [Speaker Changes] Other question is regarding the different county entities that are part of it. Like to make a statement to me a regional airport authority that’s going to be regional. If you are going to have if you have a number of airports in the airports in the region, they would also be participating in the authority. It’s my understanding is that some of these counties have their own airports. Yet they are going to have a say [??] airports, but the authority would have a say in this. I don’t see where this fairness is there? We are going to do regional authority issuing encompass all the airports in the region as a cohesive body and to give some body, you are giving some of these counties to have their own independent Airports. The ability to have a say is something that they don’t have a piece of the puzzle. They have their own. I want to know is there something in the future where those airports would be coming in to the fold of the authority or not. [Speaker Changes] Rep Brawley [Speaker Changes] No Madam. All of the airports in the six county regions except the Charlotte Douglas are general aviation airports. They are not airport that supports regularly scheduled airline services. This is the only international airport hub in the region. It is the economic impact over the entire area is what makes it important and is the reason for the transition to the regional authority. Because it is not just an airport for the private aircrafts with all those come in and fly out. There re several airports in Mecklenburg County that are covered by the authority and would not be,. It’s only the international airport [Speaker Changes] Rep Alexander [Speaker Changes] Thank you very much Chairman . First I want to commend my colleague on the work that they have done on this measure since they came out of the senate. It has been greatly improved. I want to acknowledge it. I have some problems with it. Some of it stems from the fact that I served for a couple of terms on the Charlotte Douglas Airport committee. I am a resident on the west side of the city. In fact planes fly over my house every day multiple times. And I actually used to represent the airport before last change in district.
...the line, so I have more than a passing interest in history with it. And because of that, I am profoundly concerned that what I, what I started on the Airport Evaluation Committee it was in the old, we talking about the old airport. We were just beginning to deal with building the core of the new terminal, and that Josh Birmingham was the gentleman who ran the airport at that time and was helping to shape the vision for the airport. At that time Jerry Orr was one of his assistants. There has been a long history of support for the development of that airport stemming from decisions that the city of Charlotte made. And as Representative Samuelson has acknowledged, that has gotten us to the point right now where we're one of the lowest cost airports in the country, if not the lowest cost airport in the country. And, in part because of that, I think it's incumbent upon us to not rush to judgement. One of my key problems with this is that the bill already has concluded what the best structure going forward is, yet the consultants point out that of the ten largest airports in the country right now, I think seven of them are not run by authorities. The consultants also point out that most of the time when you change governmental structures it's because of a problem. But everyone acknowledges that there is no problem right now with the way the airport is managed and in its direction. In doing some research and in going over the bill, one of the things that I've uncovered is a discussion about what just compensation might be. Some folks estimate that it could be as high as three or four billion dollars. Now I don't know if that, if it would go that high, but if it did, that in effect would have an immediate impact on our tax structure. It would, in effect, be a way of, in order to gain control of an asset through an authority, we would impose a ta-, what amounts to a tax on everybody in the state of North Carolina. Now, again, I don't know to what extent that those figures make any sense. Some people are gonna argue that it's much lower. Some folks may argue that it's much higher, but I think that's one of the kinds of things that needs to be very carefully considered. I would submit to the members of the committee that this is not something that we should rush to judgement on. It is sufficiently important because everyone agrees that the airport is a, is a tremendous economic engine. And it's the kind of thing that we, we might be best served by holding over for a much more comprehensive discussion in the short session. One in which we have an opportunity to have the product of everything that the city is doing now through this, through the manager study. And have it, everything on the table in front of us. So I, again, I commend you for what you've done. You've brought this measure a mighty long way, but again, I would urge the members of the committee to, to pause and to not precipitously rush ahead. We do have time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Just one clarification or correction to your remarks. If you look on page 8, line 50, any amount to be paid by the authority to the city pursuant to this subsection shall be paid from future revenues from the operation of the airport. It's not gonna be paid by the taxpayers of North Carolina as a tax. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Rodney Moore. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Madam Chair. Representative Holley basically asked my question about, and I'll ask it again specifically. It troubles me, Representative...
The position above said, is that nobody has Hansel and the man said good as mad that this totally bad that, that detect that sense of command to the plate and the situation and given an opportunity to lead a message that says that a plan that that said that says that had been planned as a stand-up that AMA, just about as they that that many of the explanation as to high 11-telling them that, gas and got the best value-and-a bet that if the plant that is the man that says that from an end to take a bat that that echoes that again that the center that that said, adding that the state-of-the magnified public so back in if you have other questions from the committee, said she got shot question, (SPEAKER CHANGES) I've been involved in this issue that could have read somewhere that show with the city had a consultant and the consultant recommended the doom this has happened , as you might miss that we went through all that they had consulted everything and not speaking of managed care company recognized and they make a favorable, mission-eight KDPCSM table in Geneva HL bailout taking nation and from smell continue with any further questions to see the best inside that place census, and(SPEAKER CHANGES) I think the five that have had this is so for the bill's sponsors a list that the law from allegations, we going from the value of this as if they have a belly nobody knows an issue to determine is gonna be paid for some outlook of a barely any increased costs alone the citizens is not a waste of the page, but the question elephant and take them both to settle the bonding status of the city's solid if this as it is removed from their control ownership and loan between we haven't had any effect in Seoul hasn't been determined, regarding the bonds that you cornered NT by the Airport it's not a sedentary T. Thomas Edison’s five, number 26 W issue bonds to come to know that everybody needs than dynamic data that suggest a consultant's study that this machine of ICMS is not a problem and other authorities can you imagine that also I say I'm a bond rating for 5 to 9 share of volunteers from, and they see as of today by reading for the Airport is separate and apart from the bond rating from severe shoulder and that's sense that if the Airport fails to make the bombs from revenues the next resort is the airlines that operate at the hope that the city are shown itself so there will be no change in the suit for widespread liabilities of this economy 1,000,000 -and spare hand , this time that demand like to direct the school at the time and place in the news thank you and I am going to stand out like a man, a practice and Alexander N saint two represent its annual seminar center bombing and speaker talents and governor Tom , and the Fournier company, for that bill that was sent to the City Council two of five about the shot Airport planning commission that's not the fathers of a fire from the pencil com and I have said publicly am disappointed that the say they did not take advantage of that opportunity and am out of session and short session two KA contentious issue SNA that Wayne State officials and local officials and the NFL and everybody works away the problems that we have here is the state said, it's going to have one in the five A. Charlotte Airport will become a 58, says said no way down one and 58 ?? …………..
Now, we did have the slowdown on the house side to say okay. We're willing to talk about it with you. In the beginning there was an outreach on the senate side to the city. It was rejected and the bill moved forward. The house had a slower time to less time and said look, we'll slow it down and talk about it and the city rejected it. So I think what we have to recognize is this has been - and for members of this committee if you have not been following it on a week by week basis, there are a lot of nuances involved with this whole issue. This is an issue that a lot of county and its city council members, candidates that are running for reelection have polled on this. And it's polling pretty high [??] no too, but I'm one who says politics is about compromise. So we know that the majority will vote to support this bill. It probably would have passed coming out of the senate but it was slowed down and the city said no. I'd like to just ask - and for the record of said this same at committee and I'll say it at transportation, I'll say it in here. My husband has been the assistant aviation director at the airport for 32 years so I know a little bit about the Charlotte airport and how it works, the politics, the business component, the federal connections, all of it. I will also tell you that there are 200 plus employees that have been sitting on pins and needles throughout this whole process here at the state level. They have no certainty about what's going t happen to their benefits, to their vacation, you're allowed to carry it over. They're sitting there concerned. So my question Madame Chair and then a follow-up comment if you will, my question is what is the message that we send to these 200 plus employees? What's going to happen to their jobs when this becomes a total transfer January the first? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Samuelson. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Their existing contracts will transfer with the benefits in place. what will happen after that no one knows. The plus to them is that rather than trying to do a study where we weren't sure if the city was going to participate and dragging this out for another year or 18 months they will now have the certainty that as of January 1 their contracts will transfer over and that authority will then determine what happens finally. Brit at least they've got some certainty now of what the path forward is. No one can give anybody certainty in this day and age about any job anywhere including all of us. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow-up question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes Ma'am. Representative Carney. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well, if this authority bill had not come forward they'd have quite a bit of certainty, the 200 plus, maybe a small percentage would not but.. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I would [??] [SPEAKER CHANGES] representative Samuelson please let the member complete her remarks. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. The airport was only going to grow, is only going to grow, and my follow-up question is specifically to their retirement benefits going forward as of January 1st. And maybe Madame Chair this is for staff, if they are let go do their benefits continue? And they are listening, they are listening to this committee today. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Carney I believe Representative Brawley might be able to address that question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yeah, the airport authorities [??] employees of the city of Charlotte are part of the local governments retirement plan which is administered by the state, and this as an entity would be able to join the plan. They would make an application to the secretary of state and upon approval would become members of the plan and then everything would then just move over. So everything should remain intact. I'm not aware of a case where an authority like this was created and was refused permission to join the local government plans administered by the state. By the way, the money that's currently paid for the benefits of the airport employees is from airport revenue, so that the source of funding for them will remain intact. And I would also say there was...
?? ...hurting people. Four or forty-eight members of security lost their jobs when CMPD took over security at the airport, but I would suggest as I know Gene and people that are at the airport are going to be, probably, more valued by an airport authority which is focused to just on that entity. Then they might be by city council that has multiple departments with whom they're dealing. They will be the favorite employees of a very focused body. That's my opinion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Madame Chairman, may I continue? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, ma'am. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'm glad you answered that because I wanted the both sponsors to answer that question not me for the employees that are listening. I have heard the discussion for several years from, through my husband and others, at the airport, about Charlotte Douglas becoming an authority. I've heard it for the last fifteen years of my marriage and, but it was never acted upon by the governing body, locally. No one ever took it forward to them to say, "Let's discuss this." That's, that's kind of what has happened here, they were bypassed, initially. Rumors were circling that there was a bill up here and yes, sure enough, a bill appeared and then, they were reached out to. The consultant did members recommend, ultimately, in the future, that this VIEN [??] authority. I don't, I think that members, people in our community don't understand the process, but the consultant also said, and I'm sorry I don't have the report in front of me, there were various things things that still needed to happen, that still needed to be looked at, and there were still questions that needed to be answered, and they are not all in this bill, and I know that you've written us a clause in here that they shall consider. Well, what is really needed here, in my opinion, is mediation between the state and the city. To just come in and say, "Stop, sit down, work it out." I'm sorry we didn't have mediator with the proposal that the state came back and offered. I just don't think for my city, for moving forward that it's the right time today to vote in reaction to, we want a good role working and talking, I still think there could have been an opportunity. One more shot, take this interim period to continue the talking. If they want to keep their study and the state keep the study, come together then. This is a major airport. The major airport in this country. We don't compare to RDU and we're saying overnight, within six months, "Wham-o, you're an authority." Now we can put all these little sections in here and say, "Shall, may, will." At the end of the day, we're going to find ourselves, by saying, "Take it or leave it." At the end of the day, we're going to be involved in a lawsuit. It happened in Asheville. The state said, "Wham, you're an authority." They're in a lawsuit. I just don't think, or whether should be an authority or not, that is what you're voting on today as a state knowing that this city government does not want it. So, I would ask you to vote "No" to let's take a little more time and, again, I do, my hat goes off to Representative Samuelson and Representative Brawley, and Speaker tell us, and Senator Richard [??] for agreeing to take the time to look at this a little further. I just wish you would continue with your cooler heads and let it wait a little longer. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Further questions from the committee? There outside visitors that would like to make comments? Sir, if you would come before the microphone, hold the button down. We give you a few minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Madame Chair. Representative Samuelson and Brawley and Sarah DaRocha. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Sir, if you will identify yourself and who you represent. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, I'm ready with that. I'm the legislative liaison for the City of Charlotte and I, too, would like to start off by thanking Representative Samuel...
Slowing down the bill as it came over to the house to allow the studies to take place and to allow for other communications to take place. We appreciate the fact that we have been able to come to your offices and talk to you about this issue for last several months and for continuing your open door policy you have always had in the past. I'd like to first start off by saying that the city has not closed the door on communications with the delegations with the general assembly. In the Mayor's letter that came to representative Samuelson earlier this week, she said that a consensus can not be reached on council to support the study commission. There was not a outright objection in fact that there was even a meeting held at the council on this issue and were the issues that was brought up was the composition of the study committee. At the end of the day, understand that the house and senate are separate institutions so as the study council, we'd all be represented equally however only one third (1/3) of the appointees would come from city councils and the other two thirds (2/3) would come from the house in senate. My council did not see that is very equal. Also, we have started studies, detailed studies on financial procurement contracts, human resources and other issues to continue making Charlotte Douglas International Airport the best airport around. It is known right now as the lowest cost major hob U.S Airport. We want to continue it in that position. And we have undertaken those studies to continue it and that position for the long term. We also have not closed the door on changing the governance structure at the airport and a resolution that was passed the city council by June 10th, they said that they'd like to get an Airport governance structure that best achieves the objectives of keeping the Charlotte Douglas International Airport as one of the best performing and lowest cost major hub airports. That is still our goal and whether that evolves to becoming a authority or keeping it as a department in the city government or some other model, we are open to those suggestions. And studies we are doing now will hopefully lead to looking at that structure in next several months. Also, I know a few people mention the term litigation, what we call the L word I guess. We don't want to go to litigation, we don't think that is a really good alternative for obvious reason however at the same time we are concerned about unintended consequences from the legislation. We have not had an opportunity to review it but there are huge risks. It's a 4 billion dollar asset delivering 12 billion dollars of value to the region each year. And we do help the judiciary responsibility to protect the airport so we'll keep all the options on the table. In enclosing, I'd ask you to satisfy the legislature for this year, let the studies that we are doing continue. And again we invited the delegations, members of the general assembly to take part in the study. We didn't see that invitation as the way it was characterized today, in fact today was the first time I heard that characterization. I am very sorry it was perceived that way. But in enclosing, I'd ask you all to satisfy the legislation for this year, you can always come back next year in an act of legislation if you feel it's necessary. Thank you Madam Chair. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Sir. Seeing no other hands and no further questions or debates, we have a motion to get the PCS a favorable report and favorable to original bill. All in favor say Aye. All opposed say No. The Ayes have it and this meeting is adjourned. Members of the committee, I'll ask you to be on standby finance. Most likely we'll meet again either right before session or right after, today.