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House | May 29, 2013 | Committee Room | Elections

Full MP3 Audio File

committee on elections will please come to order. Members, our first bill today that we're going to take up is Senate bill 258, which is the Asheboro charter amendments. This is Sen. Tillman's bill. Is he going to present it, or Rep. McNeill, are you going to be speaking- There's Sen. Tillman over there. [SPEAKER CHANGES] ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Sen. Tillman, we are glad to welcome you to committee of the upper chamber over here, and glad to have you here, sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] As my elder statesman who used to be Randolph ?? down here for about 40 years, Rep. Brubecker was welcoming me to the lower chamber, so I'm now in the upper chamber's committee and I'm glad to be here. In fact at my age, Rep. Michaux, we're glad to be anywhere. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I don't know about that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] This is a very simple bill dealing with the Asheboro charter and it codifies into law the- Mr. Chairman, you are ready for me to go, aren't you? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'm ready for you to go. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Okay, thank you Mr. Chairman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You're too tall of a guy to want to stand in the way anyway so you just do what you- You or John Torbett start speaking, nobody's gonna stop you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Ready to go means out the door. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Last time I spoke five minutes and talked myself out of a bill. I'm going to say you've got the bill in front of you, if you've got any questions I'm going to answer them. I'm not going to talk anymore, this- basically what the city of Asheboro wanted to do, and I'm glad to carry their water. They're good folks. A little charter change, saying the police chief and the fire chief don't have to live in the city anymore. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Is there any discussion or debate on the bill? Seeing not, Rep. McNeill's recognized for a motion [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes sir Mr. Chair, I'd like to recommend the committee give favorable report to Senate bill 258. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You've heard the motion. Further discussion, further debate? Seeing none, so many as favor adoption of the motion please signify by saying "Aye". [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Those opposed, no. The "aye"s have it, and the bill is given a favorable report. [SPEAKER CHANGES] ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you sir. Come back and just report those good kind of comments on behalf of the House. [SPEAKER CHANGES] ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. The next bill we have is Senate bill 325, members we- Chairman Lews has a sign up sheet, Rep. Lewis if you'll hold that up so the members of the public can see it, any members who want to sign- any members of the public who want to sign up to speak would be asked to sign that. We're going to give members of the public 3 minutes to speak on this bill for those who want to. That being said, if I were called- this is a PCS, [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman? Question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman is recognized for... [SPEAKER CHANGES] No, for a question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Gentleman may state his question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Is this bill for vote today? I will defer to the bill sponsors, my understanding is that it is for a vote today, yes sir. The question was raised and I believe Chairman Lewis talked to Rep. Stam and the thought of the proponents of the delegation was to have a vote today. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I have a PCS, there's a PCS- [SPEAKER CHANGES] I was getting ready to make that- accept that motion. Rep. Avila? Is she in this committee? Rep. Avila moves that the PCS be before us for discussion. All in favor of that please signify by saying "aye"? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The "aye"s have it, the PCS is before us. Senate bill 325, Wake County school board districts, I believe Rep. Stam is going to be presenting the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I could present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] What we're speaking about, because there are changes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes sir, the gentleman has the floor to explain the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman. This is a redistricting bill for the Wake county school boarding district. What it does, first of all, is to change the elections from odd numbered years in November, when we have 5 or 10% turnout, to November of even numbered years, where we have 60-70+% turnout. That's the number one thing it does. The second thing it does is provide that every citizen of Wake county, or every voter will get to vote for 2 members of the school board because there's 2 sets of districts. There was a feeling for a long time that if you couldn't

Speedier representative mark Udall with the one district in the mood than other district to Judith were being represented the one really feasible to allow the county this large to have countywide elections for everybody to be too expensive so what this does is give too sensitive for two regional sap and then the individual said the original criticism of the bill (SPEAKER CHANGES) was the cause we're changing compliant even got we were shortening terms for democrats and waiting terms republicans will this be changed because the 82013 elections will forward on those members shore up and 13 will still run in the old district's ability of three year terms instead of four year terms in the new districts go into place in 2016 and for the seven members in the individual districts still go for four year terms in the two region as a staggering of the two of regional districts would be in the late 18 and 22 seven index of indicate some of the changes from the spole to bill the senate plan if you recognize survivor of the minute the region latitude etc., to anyone he was the committee would come out of wedlock 17 to stand in outstanding job of explaining, Conrail him on that an undisciplined on its own their own members speak on the issue and Jerry ?? (SPEAKER CHANGES) can talk to some of the technical issues on the issue that if you use a modem can get a simple answer all this is a nonpartisan election is nonpartisan election and it would be like morality in November of the even numbered years to write a set of the windows would have discussions remembers the committee then we'll ever get to the public works and Ross which the church, V, Mr. Chairman I had some comments about the delegate L7 amendment to ensure that your Serb automated mailing set forth in their data that would be good, thank you Mr. Chairman(SPEAKER CHANGES) I also wanted noted for the record attack on even though the public has been invited to speak not a single member of the weekend school board is available to speak to the A because their interviewing candidates for new superintendent AM to come I think it is particularly inappropriate to take up appeal to the facts terrible word win a majority of that award a publicist of L A not a single one of them is available to be here and speak under the committee can hear from them and I think that in the light of day when we try to do things stand above port manner and there's plenty of time before the end of this session to not only have a committee meeting, when you came here from that IE E's Salaam at the very least on a new preschool just to let you know for the record our school board is supposed to dispel NMS sites devoted they can hear CMFNPR greater wily chamber of commerce is supposed to dispel the nine shared with you in e-mail that we received from on their education committee chair you can go into their website the reason why they are opposed to the bell is because we have had some instability in the lake county school board NBC stability in the school board has not only good for education that good for commerce and attracting people to do business in lee county and more instability creates more on basically incisiveness among corporate citizens to mind when it comes to North Carolina said this isn't just the kind of liberal democratic issue of our chamber of commerce would not receive a display of the audit thing that I think it's important for the committee to L E's N2 with the public and majority of our school board in lake county redistricted D scary CC 2 years ago so we had a republican school board meeting cells contract with outside counsel who is now employed by the state of North Carolina P, $40,000 I could maybe a little bit last four into we draw the district's and you meet the district's presumably to support Republic and spike in the hands democrat ??............

Step over the district's even though it's a nonpartisan election said this will now be the second coming in a four year period of five that the districts are redrawn god's creating confusion among a RC descends AM, it's simply not necessary to delegation of republicans and democrats could have come together in just added two at large seats to the school board there was consensus about that or handed T C's one representing half that anyone representing the other half of turning left the issue of having two people to vote for or is one that we wanted to solve and we will all willing to solve and what is completely unnecessary in the spill is redrawing the lines for the seven current school board members to get medical awards that certain people don't like and can be here to speak for themselves so si told two the school board is against it are chamber of commerce is against it and I think we need to find out whether the CSX lovely county are four events and with that(SPEAKER CHANGES) Mr. Chairman I'd like to send forth an amendment by the number for random to dispel the blaze recognizes enforcement of the members of copies of the amendment from coming from a major star jobs out if we will hold a rented cars are also those copies are at the stability when the water for the they'll come back to you, the thoughts are represented calls the interleague if you wish, without the summer Jamal , so you're having an affair only memory chips that can and the state is there ever any further many members to diverting, that this point to as what is good republican operatives likely station purpose got just a question as to use force to representative will arouse question concerning the deal could have people's home: double day is a bestseller list (SPEAKER CHANGES) if you today, like youthful own code of day two of those individuals often 221 to speak to check the chair will direct questions they represent stamp is the Terri bell labs, I would not be in favor that the we no majority the school board as opposed to the week that the couple hundred citizens speak what one where the other guy area caucus delegation we know some people in favor of some guests of the things we have represented the county commissioners here that are in favor of that and we're getting down to the shore rose opposition and this happens to be a five and we were not full like the awarding of the deep into the budget next Wednesday in the budget the following Wednesday and we need the goal of business almost a demo mainstays follow question of better understand the president in response to a question like this to call sweet no today 8 to 2, members four members may agree or disagree but I think that the school would need to hear from him he'll be possible with taken to put them as they did you know why that was amenable to be a January of us are two big 10 and said Brock and two of the week in the event at the UCD-proclaimed to which you can be decapitated to respond to dispatch and records and further discussion about 4:00 AM at the public person should mistake here missed seven of mine alone saying they recommend: if the county commissioners the year for four V, school board war against it, you know within a year in Canby year, founded the online, would cut would feel very uncomfortable: we had to say we had a review of the company with a fountain we did a couple weeks ago we are weary from Olsen, and returning from the school board members : non-problem you know that it transpires maybe we've seen too much burden of all the speakers of question the bill's sponsor from a center had said that the appeal of the dumbest question , a 17 to 571 of the package and a couple comes down to one with the speed of bill and one of the main objective was to make sure that parents have to vote for humans to 50 school board next president of the, we would have to be with the rest of the one I guess ??............

…if they could just help clarify the purpose, part of that purpose. It seems to me that the two at-large districts that we’ve drawn you could still be voting for a school board member that is not in your district if your child went to a magnet school or somewhere else. My question is, like when you serve on the city council as an at-large member all the members can vote for you, I guess if you could, just tell us why you decided to have two at-large districts where you could still be voting and not be a member versus just two overall at-large which would ensure that parents are voting for the person that represents them? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yeah, thank you for the question. Actually they’re not really two at-large districts. We call them two “regional districts.” At-large meaning the whole county and each regional district represents about half the county. Originally what we planned on doing, we wanted to have four at-large districts. But the rationale opposed against that is it’s very expensive to run a countywide race. So we really wanted to narrow it down so that you only had two people running in larger than an individual school district. So that’s the idea behind it is to keep the cost of running at a reasonable number so we did two regional districts as opposed to two at-large districts. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Further questions or comments from the members of the committee? I think we’ll open it up to public comment at this point. I’d ask the Sergeant at Arms, if you want to check, if you’ll call out the names as they are listed. Did anyone sign up? OK. Is there anyone who wishes to speak on this matter? I see someone coming forward. If you would come forward and introduce yourself and we’ll hear from you. If you’ll press the button there. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I’m Caroline Sullivan and I’m on the Wake County Board of Commissioners. I urge you all to put this to study committee please. When our Board looked at our legislative goals for this year, this goal was a four-three vote and what the majority wanted was five at-large countywide seats and four district seats. The explanation was that they wanted all voters to be able to vote for the majority of the school board. Just so you all know, in Wake County every member of the Board of Commissioners runs countywide. So there are seven of us that do run countywide. I just finished running countywide. The Senate passed a school board election bill that looks nothing like what our Board majority wanted. Instead of five countywide at-large seats we have these two super-seats which will end up segregating urban and suburban voters and urban and rural voters which was not the intent of the Board of Commissioners’ legislative goal. Additionally it redraws the lines in a way that splits even more precincts than were split in 2010. This is going to cost Wake County taxpayers $240,000 to reprint and re-mail new voter cards for all of our county’s voters. Not to mention the extra expense that will be incurred extra ballots for all of the new split precincts. We can add two at-large seats so that we’ll have two countywide school board seats, you can do them staggered so that every year you get to vote for somebody in your district and somebody at-large. We can do that at no cost to the taxpayer, we can simply add them on. If we can leave the lines the way they are, add two at-large seats, it will accomplish some of the goals that the majority had. So, I urge you to not vote for this expensive and divisive bill. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Further comments from the public? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I have planned to speak. My name is Joe Bryan, I’m Chairman of Wake County Board of Commissioners and a past President of the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners. The majority of the Wake County Board of Commissioners is in favor of this bill, Senator Hunt, and now with the changes being made as stated will allow the people the potential to vote for two people on the school board as well as for the public to participate and have greater turnout and greater representation from the public actually at the voting booth in the fall. This is a great improvement about what exists today. We’ve had so many people come to us and say, “I don’t have the chance to vote for one of my school board members, they’re not responsive.” This improves on the system that exists today and we would urge you to vote favorably on this bill. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Further comments from members of the public?

Good afternoon. My name is Claire Barnett. I’m an attorney with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice. My organization represents several Wake County voters who are dedicated to making sure that redistricting plans are fair and legal. Anita Earls, our Executive Director, submitted a letter to the Senate Redistricting Committee on March 25th as part of the public comment process opposing this dramatic restructuring of the board. I have copies of that letter if it would please the committee. The current Wake County School Board, currently unaltered, complied with federal law and has been used successfully in the past election cycle. There’s no clear justification or rationale for this action beyond the obvious partisan advantages that come with the new plan. Equally important is the fact that the second redistricting flies on the face of our state policy, which is to redistrict every ten years. By redistricting twice in four years, we add to voter confusion and increase the de-stability in the process. Finally, our organization has reviewed this legislation and we find that it violates the equal protection clause in the United States Constitution and the one person, one vote principle. The two super-districts have an overall population ?? of 9.8% without any legitimate government rationale. The seven-district plan similarly has an unacceptably high population ?? of 7.82%. This is in contrast to the current districts that have an overall population ?? of only 1.66%. Also, the current districts are more compact than the proposed districts and better accommodate the school attendance zones for existing communities. For example, Lacey and Martin Middle Schools, which are in the neighborhood where I grew up, are in two different districts even though they feed into the same school district. Same with Daniels and Broughton being in two different school districts. Finally, we know that Wake County taxpayers’ school funds, or tax funds, were expended just in 2010 to redraw these districts, and it’s an unnecessary redrawing of districts that will add for more confusing to all voters in Wake County, and we urge the board to reconsider its proposal. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Is there further comment from members of the public? Seeing not, we’re going to now come back to Representative Ross, who has sent forth an amendment. Do all members of the committee have a copy of that amendment? We recognize Representative Ross to explain her amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. As the committee has heard, there is a lot of division within our community about whether or not this is a good idea, and we have had some school board redistricting bills come through this committee this session where that kind of divisiveness occurred, and what the members have done is have a referendum on the new redistricting before it would go into effect, so basically set up the redistricting but have a referendum before it would go into effect, and if the people want it then they can vote yes, and if they don’t want it they can vote no, but then at last you find out from the people how they feel about this type of redistricting. The county commissioners may have heard that they want this redistricting. I haven’t heard from a single person that they want the redistricting, and as a matter of fact I’ve heard again from many members of the business community that they don’t want this redistricting because of the uncertainty it creates in our county at a time when we’re just starting to heal from some of the past problems with the school board, both sides. So for that reason I think it would only be fair to our citizens to allow them to weigh into this before it went into effect, and I recommend the adoption of the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Stam is recognized to debate the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I would ask the committee to reject the amendment. You’ll notice that it’s in November of 2014, which means that the folks whose terms according to this bill would be three years instead of four years would not even really know what they’re running for, and one of the problems if their terms are cut short is what happened in Guilford County – ya’ll remember that from two years ago – and then you get lawsuits about that. I’ve found out around here that if you oppose a bill, you stick a referendum section on it, but we do have

the majority of the county commissioners, all of whom were elected at large, are in support of this bill, and a majority of our delegation is as well. This is not a case like some others where none of the political bodies were actually in favor of it. OK. Further discussion or debate on the amendment. Seeing not, the question before the committee the Now back in debate on the All those in favor, please signify by saying aye. All those against signify by saying no. further discussion in the opinion of the chair the no's have it. The no's do have it and the amendment fails. Now back in the debate on the bill. Is there further discussion and debate on the bill.Representative Flloyd is recognized to debate the bill. Mr. Chairman may I ask a question, please. Would it be in order to move to postpone this to the sixth, to the sixth at four PM? The gentleman may make such a motion. and the motion is debatable. Does the gentleman make such a motion, that the bill be postponed to a later date? To June the sixth at four PM. The gentleman has moved that the vote on this bill be delayed to June the sixth at four PM. The gentleman from Representative is recognized to debate the motion. We oppose the motion. OK. Further discussion and debate on the motion. Represetative Ross is recognized to debate the motion. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I just think that it would be considerate of the body that this affects to allow them to be here.And I call for the ayes and nos. Is the call sustained? Seeing not. The call is not sustained. Representative Hall,for what purpose did the gentleman seek recognition? To debate the motion. The gentleman is recognized to debate the motion to postpone. I would say specifically to the members, that none of the school board members are here today, the very people that this bill affects. The reason that they are not here today is because, I am sure you are aware that we have to replace our superintendent today, since Taddaleth.. there is three people up for that and they are in hearings and meetings today When this bill directly affects those school board members,I hope you at least give them a chance to come and have a say on their elections. Further Mr. Chairman, I would like to raise a question for the chair. You asked for those to stand, and it only takes one-fifth. That's correct sir. I thought I saw one-fifths standing. I saw four folks standing, I just looked and that's what I saw. so... My seatmate says that some of them don't move that fast, Mr. Chairman. [Laugher] Well, I will be glad to entertain the request once again, and I'll... Wait, Mr. Chairman, I would be glad to sustain it on the bill itself. I just don't think it was sustained on the motion to postpone. I only saw four on that. Does the lady truly desire a roll call vote on the motion to postpone or only on the bill itself? I'll grant you a roll call on the bill itself. I'd like it on both please. OK. Is the call sustained for the division? This time it was sustained. Alright. So. The question before the committee is the motion by Representative Flloyd, to delay consideration to June, what was the date again? The third, which is Monday. I'm sorry, Mr., senior moment. June third.. June sixth, I believe is the The gentleman may state his inquiry. I think his motion was at four o'clock PM. Is that correct? It was. Alright. You have heard the motion. Those in favor of the motion will indicate by saying aye when the clerk calls your name. Those opposed will indicate by saying no when the clerk calls your name. The clerk will call the role. Use your mike. Barr, no. Jones. Jones, no. Avla. No, Avla. Blust. No. Blust. Brown. No, Brown. Brian. Conrad. Conrad, no. Gotham. Gotham, aye. Cunningham. Cunningham, yes. Davis. No.

Davis Dixon. Dixon No. Faircloth. Faircloth No. fisher. Floyd. Floyd yes. Ford. Ford no. Fulghum. Fulghum no. Graham. Hall. I'm sorry is Graham. I'm sorry I didn't hear. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You're the only one on the committee. Is that a yes. Graham votes yes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Graham yes. Hall. Hall yes. Harrison. Harrison yes. Aller. Aller no. I skipped Hardister. Hardister no. Mcmanus. Yes Mcmanus. Mcneal. Mcneal No. Machaux. Machaux yes. Mobley. aye Mobely. Murry. Murry no. Richardson. Richardson yes. Rodel. Rodel no. Ross. Ross. Sain. No. Sain. Scheaffer. Schaeffer no. [SPEAKER CHANGES] We're having a problem with this side of the room today for some reason. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Speciale. Speciale no. Stan. Stan no. Starnz. Starnz no. Terry. Terry yes. Louis. No. Moore. No. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Just a moment we'll have a tally. By vote of 12 in the affirmative, and 23 in the negative. The motion fails. We're now back on the question which is, well actually the chair will recognize a motion this time. Representative Stam is recognized for motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Move for favorable report on proposed committee substitute unfavorable to the original bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Alright. The question before the committee is to give a favorable report to senate bill 325 unfavorable to the original. As indicated earlier the chair will do this in the form of a roll call vote. Those members supporting the adoption of the motion will say aye when the clerk calls your name. Those opposed will say nay. The clerk will call the roll. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Burr, burr aye. Jones, Jones aye, Avala, Avala aye. Blust, Blust aye. Brown, yes brown. Brian, Conrad, Conrad aye. Gotham. Gotham no. Cunningham. Cunningham no. Davis. Davis yes. Dixon. yes Dixon. Faircloth. Faircloth aye. Fisher, Floyd. Floyd no. Ford. Ford aye. Fulghum. Fulghum aye. Graham. Graham no. Hall. Hall no. Hardister. Aye Hardister. Harrison. Harrison no. Aller. Aller aye. Mcmanus. No Mcmanus. Mcneal. Mcneal aye. Machaux. Machaux no. Mobley, Mobley no. Murray. Murray aye. Richardson. Richardson no. Rodeo. Aye Rodeo. Ross. Ross no. Sain. Sain aye. Scheaffer. Scheaffer aye. Speciale. Speciale aye. Stam. Stam aye. Sternz. Sternz aye. Terry. Terry no. Louis. Louis aye. Moore. Moore aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 23 having voted in the affirmative and 12 in the negative. The motion is adopted. And the bill will be, the PSC will be favorable from the committee. Is there any other business to come before the committee? Seeing none. We stand adjourned.

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