Senate will come to order. Sargent at Arms close the doors. Members go to their seats. Members and guests in the gallery please silence all electronic devices. Leading the senate in prayer is Reverend Peter Miller senate Champlain. All members and guests in the gallery will please stand. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Let's bow our heads and pray together. Our Father in Heaven, as we come before you for a time like this we pray that you would come not just in word but in power. Lord come. How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land? If I forget you O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth. So Lord today and tonight as senators struggle to weigh and to discern what we shall do as a state, help them to know that you're with them. That You're their strong hand. That they can't do anything without you at all. It's in Your name we pray Amen. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Senator Berger is recognized for a motion. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Thank you Mr. President. The journal of Thursday May 29, 2014 has been examined and is found to be correct. I move that we dispense with the reading of the journal and it stand approved as written. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Without objection the journal from May 29th stands approved as written. Senators let's come to order. Senators we have leaves of absence today granted for senators Bingham and Parmon. Upon the motion of Senator Ben Clark and Angela Bryant of Cumberland, Hoke, Halifax, Nash, Vance, Warren, Wilson counties, chair is happy to extend courtesies of the gallery to Mr. and Mrs. Howard Judd, United States Marine veteran. If you're with us here today please stand and be recognized. At this time we would also like to take a moment and recognize our volunteer page of the week. This is Sharp Newton. Senator Buck Newton's son. Sharp wave so everybody can see you. Thanks for your services son. With that senators we are going to be moving right into the calendar. Senator Apodaca for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGE] Mr. President a motion please [SPEAKER CHANGE] Senator Apodaca has the floor for motion [SPEAKER CHANGE] Mr. President I move the rules be suspended to the end that staff may accompany members on the floor as necessary during the budget presentation. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Without objections so ordered. Senate Bill 744 clerk will read [SPEAKER CHANGE] Senate Bill 744 - Appropriations Act of 2014. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Senator Harry Brown is recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Thank you Mr. President. Before I begin with my remarks, I just think need to first thank my sub-committee chairs Senator Hunt, Harrington, and Jackson for the hard work that they put in putting this budget together. And most of all thank the staff. I know the staff works some long hours and I'm just amazed at how talented they are in what they do. They expertise is just amazing I think to most of us. Also the sub-committed chairs, I know they spend a lot of time putting their pieces together and I just want to thank them as well. The total senate budget for fiscal year 14-15 is a 21.16 billion dollar budget which is a 2.6% increase over the fiscal year 13-14 enacted budget and is .8% more than what the Governor proposed. Additionally the senate budget does not use any non-recurring funds to pay for recurring items. Again no non-recurring funds to pay for recurring items. This is the first time in many many years this has happened. The unappropriated balance for the prior year of 323.7 million plus reversions of 371.6 million which total 695.3 million more than offset the 445 million revenue shortfall.
That we had to deal with in this budget. The Senate budget provides for an average, I’ll start with salaries and benefits, the Senate budget allows for an average 11% raise for teachers. This is an average $5,800 pay raise and moves the state of North Carolina from 47th to 27th nationally and from ninth to third regionally, ahead of Virginia, Tennessee, and South Carolina. This budget also provides a one thousand dollar salary and benefit increase for most other state employees which is a 1.9% increase. It also provides a step increase for those that are eligible and those include the highway patrol, deputy and assistant clerks, and magistrates. It provides for noncertified salary personnel an increase of a $618 per month and this is at a cost of 32.6 million dollars, and it also provides for a 0.8% ??? adjustment for retired state employees and teachers. It also fulfills the commitment state leaders made earlier this year by setting aside an additional 18.7 million to extend supplemental pay to teachers with masters degrees, to those who have completed at least one course in a graduate program as of July 1, 2013. On the education side it includes an additional six million to fully fund the read to achieve program which provides focused reading camps, special literacy, intensive classrooms, and other resources to ensure students can read proficiently by the fourth grade. It funds the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching, but requires the Senate to report on its programs and outcomes in providing professional development and training to teachers in the areas of digital learning and early grade literacy. It establishes the North Carolina education endowment fund, championed by our lieutenant governor, which empowers North Carolinians to contribute to a fund for teacher compensation that supports better academic outcomes for students in public schools. It creates a new small school formula, one that the superintendents of those schools have embraced and gives them certainty on that funding. It gives our university system close to five million dollars and our community college one million dollars to expand the yellow ribbon program which will also be matched by federal dollars to allow eligible veterans and dependents to have in-state tuition at our campuses. In health and human services it sets aside 4.9 million to create an organization that will ultimately house the division of medical assistance and focus on meeting critical objectives for Medicaid including improving quality, moving to the whole person care, and achieving budget predictability. The Senate budget addresses the full cost of anticipated fiscal year ’13-’14 Medicaid liabilities and the ’14-’15 rebates. The cost of roughly two hundred million additional tax dollars for Medicaid brings the total to over two billion, two billion dollars in extra state funding since 2011. It takes steps to bring Medicaid in line with federal eligibility standards that other southeastern states use. It provides funding for an additional one thousand pre-K slots. It focuses resources for child care subsidy program on families with the greatest need thereby reducing the waiting list for subsidy funds. It significantly expands child protective services and provides 8.3 million to reduce the average case load to ten families per worker, the level recommended by the division of social services. It also follows Governor McCrory’s lead in allocating an additional one million to the state medical examiners office. In environment and energy it allocates 1.75 million and creates twenty-five new positions to support the long term requirements associated with the cleanup and management of Coal Ash. It provides over one million for natural gas exploration in marketing the state’s gas resources. In transportation it focuses resources on critical highway needs by creating a new pavement preservation program to emphasize maintaining our roadways before they need more exhaustive and costly repairs, an investment expected to extend the lives..
6000 lane miles across the state by an average of 7 years. It reduces administrative spending within the department of transportation and apply those savings to needed roadway maintenance activities and capital projects. It supports the governor’s budget by including his plans to allow for online driver’s license renewals and makes critical investments in the division of motor vehicles to modernize its business processes and improve customer service. Other areas of the budget continue the Senate's efforts to modernize the state's outdated IT infrastructure. A move that will strengthen protection for our citizen’s personal data and enable North Carolinians to have more customer friendly interactions with state government. It tightens the state's oversight and expertise in dealing with IT by requiring all contracts to include detailed performance schedules and penalties for failure to meet benchmarks. The budget deep below the size of the state bureau of investigation by structuring here as an independent agency under the department of public safety. The governor would nominate an SBI director for confirmation by the general assembly to an 8 year term. The SBI is the only law enforcement division housed outside of DPS. And the vast majority of states locate their investigative arm under the executive branches. And it addresses long standing budgetary backlog and accountability problems within the state crime lab by placing that under a new oversight at department of public safety. Several important capital projects are included in this budget. I will just mention a few, one is that provides 3 million dollars to repair the USS North Carolina battleship's home. A landmark in Wilmington that we been to protect. It provides 1 million of general fund challenge grant to the department of cultural resources to plan for the expansion of the North Carolina museum of history. Again this is a dollar for dollar match requirement for those funds. It authorizes 206 million in general obligation 2/3 bonds to refinance the existing authorized but unissued special indebtedness certificates of participation. This will enable the state to receive savings from higher rated debt and approve the state’s existing bond portfolio. It authorizes 15.4 million in general obligation 2/3 bond to construct the western crime lab in Abbeville. The crime lab received full planning funds in last year's budget, if you remember. And then just a test on the lottery quickly. 56 million in additional project in net lottery revenues or budgets over the previous appropriated by annual totals where 19 million is reallocated to this fiscal year to complete the shift of forward funding for UN ?? based aid and for fiscal year 15-16, 56 million is redirected into the classrooms teachers allotment. I think that is all that I’ll touch on. I think the key plan again for this budget is it does not use any non-recurring funds to pay for recurring items. I think that's important, again the 1st time in many many years that this has happened. For that, Mr. Chairman, I would like, if you would recognize Senator Soucek to discuss the case through 12 budget. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Soucek is recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. President. I will be given by stating the big picture when we look at k12 public schools. Another year what we doing is we are spending more money on public schools than we have in the previous year. 2013-2014 we had an authorized budget of 7.9 billion and this budget is 8.1 billion that's a 2.4% increase. I would repeat when Senator Brown talked about the teacher pay raise how important that is, that's the biggest most significant thing we’re doing in the education budget. He talked about the details, but I will summarize it by saying it is simply a reasonable and necessary to serve an important public purpose. It's reasonable because the cost and benefits between keeping 10 year and the professional track is a choice entirely up to the teachers. It's necessary because local school boards need the flexibility to keep the best teachers in the classrooms and have the authority to do that. That's important for our students, it's an important public purpose because this general assembly is legally and morally bounded to create high quality.
Speaker: Vocation system for our states children and this plan firmly puts us on the right path, Speaker Changes: Some of the details on how we got to this budget and the nearly half going our teacher is the important cause that we had was we adjusted to the budget re analyzed of over projections of the 80M for 37.4 million and also the cost over projection of 64.9 million for sort of five personal salaries the reeves to achieve was touched by senator brown but these also eliminates the ?? adjustment of class and size and stage 2 and 3 it was ?? to be decreased what happen to be will have saving to be exactly that it is today so we know the impact on the way ?? into next year,the master degree was touch on by senator brown and important announce ?? as well as the governor, Speaker Changes: We realize through point 3 million savings from the school bus replacement a lot ?? due to lower than ?? bus prizes in department proficiencies.Changes to the teacher allotment provides a ?? for the basis of ?? for grades k1 rather than k3,that save 233 million recurring bases reduces the state allotment by la central office by 5 percent .The states provide 91.1 million for general office allotment in the 2014-2105 school year ,we revise more county settlements and funding to have the funding that was much more fair and based on the data that is a savings of 3.5 million.For LA have less than 3200 students.We adjusted the funding to be reflected over projected participation by LA 's to receive the state matching funds for the panic allowance system saves almost a million dollars.We do reduce the state funding for G PI by 30 percent and we end the general fund appropriation as we faced out teaching fellows the most money that was left over not necessary to finish the last classes going through over using that for general fund.And one special provision is we direct the G PI to notify the general assembly in riding required to ??.That is the summary of the going of K12 and i ask the chair to recognize senator ?? to continue the community college portion of the budget, Speaker Changes: Senator ?? you have the floor, Speaker Changes: Thank Mr.President ?? over last year.All education spending i up over last year .About 12 billion dollar or 21 billion dollars budget goes to the public schools in the community college the one significant thing is that there is a size and a million dollar appropriation for closing the skills this is the money that they have earned over last year by ?? of some courses and gain students to quick up and out ever before .And we have told them you do this now i think we all have amazed that they could save 17 18 million dollars but they be it they are getting that money back to put into dozens of skills and job they have a plan and ?? for for a very well defined plan of doing that we were able to put additional 330 dollars in to the manufacturing solutions center and house of our senators at 2 or 3 community colleges ??.There are the small changes in community college budget but those are the most significant times and after all presentation i 'm sure you'll take questions but i would like to Mr.President you that might ?? Speaker Changes:?? you have the floor Speaker Changes:The members are brief about my comments about the university systems but o m happy to tel you today that for the first time in few years that i could remember we are actually putting more money into university systems then we did to year before.As we did all the other branches of education i think we shows we are serious about funding educations in north Carolina and specially in ?? i hope the college got the hall filled the same way and ?? we are increasing salaries for the permanent ?? employees,
The university system, one of the programs we're very excited about and forward funding is our Yellow Ribbon Reserve to reduce tuition costs for non-resident veterans who have served us so proudly and returned back to North Carolina with the hope that they stay in North Carolina after their education. And I think it's the least we can do. We've given extra latitude to the Board of Governors in many areas. The Senators and institutes were closing out, as we said earlier,the teaching fellows. This is a, just a brief overview. I think we'll be happy to get into more detail afterwards. But I think that this is a good budget for the University Systems. And I definitely appreciate the kind comments that President Ross issued today talking about this budget. So, that's all I have to say about that. And I'd like to turn it over to Senator Pate, if I may. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Pate you have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. President. I'll open up remarks on the HHS section of the budget and it's a delight to be here today. First of all, I'd like to thank our team, our team of people from the Fiscal Research who, and Bill Drafting who have worked so hard with us to bring us to where we are, as far as these discussions are concerned. I've been in the Senate now for four years and I think I've been chair of the HHS Appropriations Committee for about 25 of those four years. I was 20 years old when I walked in here four years ago. But this is very intricate work. It's very hard work. And it,I believe, it is important because we address the healthcare of our citizens around the state, which is very important to me and I'm sure it is to all of you. I'm going to be briefing the Medicaid reorganization activities that we have been thinking about and that we have been successful in getting them into this budget. It is the intent of the General Assembly to transfer the Medicaid and North Carolina Health Choice Programs to a new state entity that will define a new more successful direction for the programs and that will be able to focus more clearly on the operation of the programs. Now in those four years that I've been in the Senate, every year it seems like we have to come up here and find about 400 million dollars or more to make up for over runs in the budget of Medicaid. It is not doing the job as it should right now. We are, we have no predictability of what our budget is going to be. We are not treating the whole person when they go in for treatment. And we are in a fee for service, a mode that is not contributing at all to the predictibility of our budget. This provision will change all of that so that we have a independent agency that will be running Medicaid filled with people of national stature who will be able to see to this program. Mr. President, I hope that this explains this particular provision I believe we'll have some further discussions we have had putting in about 5 million dollars to set up this program on the first time we're looking it and it is a progress that we will be looking at as we go along. At this time Mr. President I would like have you recognize Senator Hise for other discussions on the HHS program [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Hise you have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. President, Members of the Senate. We begin this Medicaid budget with an estimated 93 million dollar shortfall coming in previous year. By the time we carry over delayed payments, those type of things, we move forward about 50 billion dollars and come to about in total 140 we'll need to pay out from obligations for this year. We also have some significant expected growth in the Medicaid budget to the tune of 206 million dollars that we had to come up with as a change in the rebase for this year. The rebase is a very important num- [RECORDING ENDS]
when moving forward. This accounts for population growth and expected increases in the expenditures for each individual within that. We try to move the re-base number down, as can be done artificially, for any of these, you're creating a larger whole for next year. Something important to consider as we move foward and individuals try to put in different changes to that rebase number. Our goal overall was that we would spend within the amount previously allotted for Medicaid this year. We think that's the step we can take to make so many other things possible within the budget. As we move through, there's some changes that we had to put into Medicaid explicitly. We begin with an LMEMCO assessment: 3.5%. Those funds are actually matched with federal funds and while it is a 60 million dollar additional availability to the state, there are no changes to the amount of money being spent on mental health as a result of that assessment. They will receive the same amount of funds. They will pay 60, they will get 60 back, that's coming in, that's the state sheriff keeping those funds. I know that's been reported a little incorrectly in several other areas. We look at some drug costs, how we change the payments for drugs, how we assess which drugs are going out, making sure that they meet the standards that are available for those drugs. We change from paying for drugs and dispensing fees, to just paying for the dispensing fees and moving to an average acquisition cost to those drugs. We reduce the population that we serve in Medicaid. We are looking at a new reality. Individuals that are over 100% of poverty now have the option under the exchange of receiving an insurance plan that is almost fully subsidized by the federal government. The need to cover those individuals in Medicaid has gone away. We've also, for many years, covered individuals who don't meet the standards for qualifying for Medicaid, simply because they received county special assistance, a program that's half funded by the state, half by the counties. We have now decoupled those. Those individuals will qualify for Medicaid on the same standards as everyone not receiving those payments. As I move through, some other areas of the department to look at. We took significant cuts to personnel within the department. Mostly in vacant positions, which are spent elsewhere. This concept of vacant positions and moving money is one of the more difficult things to deal with in the HHS budget. The department currently holds about 21 million dollars in positions that have been vacant for more than 6 months. We reduced those funds and some savings in contracts. We made up, 13 million coming from the reduced positions, 3 millions from contracts, we combined that into one 16 million dollar figure and allowed them to achieve it in either direction. There are some other positive things we also did. Early childhood education. We expanded the number of students eligible for pre-k by more than 1000 with additional funds. We transfer from block grants as we do nearly every year, that's an available use for the block grants, in additional funds, we've put another 1000 slots into pre-k. In child subsidy, in the grants for individuals to go into, to be taken care of during the day and to learn and be educated from ages birth through 5, 6 through 12, we have changes the eligibility in those, kept all that money in available childcare subsidy and we will reduce the rating list by somewhere in the neighborhood of about 5000 in that operation, this coming forward. Child protective services. Something that's been overlooked, but when we saw what happened in Union County this year, this is an area we've got a lot of work left to do, we've got a lot of changes left to come. We have provided the funds for the counties to move to a case load of 10 cases per case worker. We have also enhanced oversight at the state level of the child welfare program, adding 9 additional positions in the state to monitor what's going on in out counties. We've also expanded in home services under child welfare so we can work
To move through so that we’re not having to move through foster care situations and we expended in the assistance payments for foster care an additional five million dollars to deal with the situations that are coming forward. The division of public health, many of you have seen several articles in the office of the medical examiner and the problems that are going on there. We funded the governor’s recommendation to place an additional million dollars in the office of the medical examiner so that they can begin to straighten out those issues and move forward so they can serve both their communities and law enforcement needs. As we move forward with the Medicaid budget you’re also dealing with the children’s health plan, most of the changes that you’ve seen in the Medicaid budget are reflected in some manner for the same policies affecting both Medicaid and the children’s health plan. I’m sure there will be a lot in this area, but having said that Mr. President I think it’s time to recognize Senator Brock for the NER budget. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Senator Brock is recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Speak to the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Senator you have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Thank you Mr. President. First I’d like to thank our staff that did a wonderful job for us this year. I’d say they’re the best staff but all of our staff here at the general assembly they do a wonderful job for us and I’ll handle the presentation if you have questions today please ask Senator Bingham. I’d like to thank also on the ?? staff Doctor Warren in ??? that helped us as well. If you want to take a look at some of the highlights of the NER budget, some of this you heard yesterday is the forest service which we implement a new cost share method for county specific forest personnel. This match will be based on county wealth to make sure that low wealth counties, their match is much less than the high wealth counties. In the forest service we also implement a new fee on the forestry management plans. We currently have a very long backlog and this will help us to assess forest land at present use value for tax purposes and this will give two million dollars to the state. We also put into farmland preservation an additional 1.2 million dollars to support the preservation and an additional million dollars to provide to federal match funds for military buffers. One thing that we took the initiative as through North Carolina state in our budget is $350,000 for a plant science imitative and $250,000 for food processing initiative. Currently in North Carolina 80% of the produce that we grow is shipped outside of our state for processing. As agriculture is the number industry in our state at now $78 billion we’d like to keep some of that in North Carolina and that will help bring jobs to rural North Carolina. Also in agriculture we provide two million dollars in additional ??? funding which helps impound water so that our farmers will be better protected during droughts. Through the department of labor they got a 2% flex cut. In the department of environment and natural resources, if you’re following along in your money report, on page eight, Shell gas provided us up to 1.1 million for drilling, testing, and analysis of Shell gas wells. With that will be $100,000 for marketing about our state’s gas resources. This is an exciting time for North Carolina to go through and a great economic opportunity for North Carolinians. Also through the budget you will see that we have various provisions for Coal Ash and will provide a total of $1.75 million and twenty-five positions to support the long term requirements associated with the Coal Ash management and cleanup in the state. We’ll have legislation on that soon but we’ll have the money provided to help us in that endeavor. Also in our budget with Oregon Inlet we create a new outer banks land management fund that will provide a total of $15 million that will be used toward the purchase of Oregon Inlet. Of that, $5 million will be general funds, $7 million special funds, and $3 million in capital. Also in our budget with noncommercial trust funds which are leaking in underground storage tanks we provide 2.5 million in recurring funding and a million in recurring funding to this fund. Every year we tapped out, we tap out the money almost on day one because we have so many tanks here in North Carolina that we need to take care of for our environment, and also we see where we..
...leave onsite waste water to fund the HHS back to Deener, back home to where it belongs. One thing that we do, we have an issue, was in the governor's budget but I know it's very important to our lakes in North Carolina, is the aquatic weed control. And we transfer the aquatic weed control from Deener to Wildlife. And we've provided about five thousand dollars from the shallow graft treasury fund that we set up last year, and proivde about an additional four thousand dollars to combat Hydrilla at Lake Waccamaw so we put more money into this process because these lakes have become a part of the life-blood in those communities, as well as a place where a lot of people like to make their homes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The Department of Commerce? [SPEAKER CHANGES] They have a flexibility cut of 2 percent or 1 million dollars and also with access North Carolina, and D4 which is our demand driven data delivery system. We provide half a million dollars of non-recurrent funding to merge these two IT programs that provide state-wide businesses science and economic data to the public. If we're competing against other states and other countries in the world, we need to make sure that we can be responsive in real-time and not in government time which is about two weeks late. We eliminated a [??] resource community grant which is 2.5 million dollars to the state, and a community development block grant, we provide the department with 637 thousand recurrent funding to drive down federal CDBG funds which will be all set by reduction positions in the like amount. Also, part of the governor's budget that we think is very necessary is the apprentice program which we provide a 300 thousand receipt from the community college and they'll waive the fees associated with this for this year. A small example of this is Caterpillar in Sanford, 16 students who have just graduated this month will be starting a new job with Caterpillar in Sanford, working and having an education at the same time at the community college, transferring them to a four-year school if needed. But it's a worthwhile program. Also we..[??]. That's a good idea. Later, Mr. President, JPS is next up on deck and Senator Randleman will handle that part of the budget. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Randleman, you have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. President. And let me begin by expressing my appreciation to our staff. They have really worked long hours to produce the budget that you have before you today and I sincerely appreciate them. I will begin the presentation for the Judicial Department on page I9, Indigent Defense. Items 37 and 38 allocate salary increases for state employees within the Indigent Defense. Item 39 is an administrative reduction to IDS of 233 thousand dollars. Items 40 through 44 allocate salary increases for judicial employees. I'll call your attention to Items 41 and 42; these are pay plan step increases for deputy and assistant clerks of superior court and magistrates. These plans have been frozen for the last five years. Item 45 is a 24 percent reduction to the administrative office of the court's technology service division. Item 46 is a 5 percent administrative reduction to the AOC and Item 47 eliminates the access to civil justice grant. Mr. President, I would ask you to now call on Senator Goolsby. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Goolsby, the floor is yours. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. President. I'll be addressing the front pages of the Justice and Public Safety budget dealing with the Department of Public Safety and what I would first do is, I'm just going to give you some of the highlights that I did the other day when we briefed our budget before committee. We [??] step increases for the state highway patrol, we also restore 11 positions to the ALE and we're looking at savings of about 231 thousand dollars a year for co-locating the ALE along with the SBI. Senator Newton will address when he talks about justice in just a minute as far as the transfer of the SBI and the crime lab. When asked to remove all the misdemeanors from the state prison system, currently offenders with sentences between 91 and 180 days serve their sentences in county jails there was a question yesterday about as we do that and we send those...
County Jails, are the counties gonna have to pick up this cost ? No the counties are asking for this. There's a number of counties that have extra prison space and we actually pay them to take these offenders. And by doing that under the ospeses of the bill we passed several years ago dealing with the Justice reinvestment act we are able to close additional prisons we will be closing down the Fountain correctional center for women and the North Piedmont correctional center for women and converting a third that is the Eastern correction institute to a low custody level saving fifteen million dollars in the first year of implantation. We also dedicate Senate funds for facilities. And again this falls under Justice Reinvestment for offenders who violate the technical conditions of their probation and they are put back in jail. Then lastly we have some other funds we allocate to probation and parole officers for vehicles and also providing additional funds for the state highway patrol for uniforms and additional vehicles. And at this time Mr. President Id ask if senator Newton could be called upon to brief us on Justice. Senator Newton has the floor Thank you Mr. President Thank you collegues, So dealing with Justice beginning on page seven we have increases in items thirty one and thirty two for the compensation reserve and the state retirement system. We have a management flex cut of a million dollars in item thirty three. Item thirty four is the transfer of the SVI to the department of the public safety and thirty five is we are reducing some of the toxicology out sourcing funds that haven't been spent to the tune of two hundred fifty thousand reduction. And then item thirty six is the transfer of the state crime laboratory to the department of public safety. The items dealing with the transfer of the SVI and the crime lab, I think it important to note the manor in which this is being done. The way that we are change the SVI director and the leadership of the SVI which is sorely needed. Is to require the governor to nominate an SVI director and for this body and the house to approve by conformation that director for a period of eight years. This term of eight years would be independent and would straddle govenitourial terms. We are doing this for two reasons, one we want professional leadership and two we want to take politics out of the SVI and we think that it is very important that we do this. I would also note that a vast majority of state in this country do not have their SVI or state police if they have a state police directed by the attorney general office or Justice if you will. There's about nine or so states that do that but the vast majority overwhelmingly are in a department that is administered by the executive branch. However we will be unique, not alone but in the small minority of states by having a very much independent director over the SVI. We believe we can save alot of money as well as have better leadership at the SVI by doing this. We also think that its the right time to transfer the crime lab at this time. The head of the crime lab will report directly to the DPS secretary instead of any law enforcement agency, and we really hope that by installing new leadership at the crime lab it will correct many of the mistakes and budgeting problems that have accured over the years. We have quite a back log there and its time to take some very significant steps to address that. So at this time that is the end of my presentation not wanting to incur the ox meter from Senator Apodaca and I believe that I would ask at this time hapy to answer questions after all the presentations but at this time Mr. President Id ask you to recognize Senator Davis to talk about the general government. Senator Davis you have the floor Thank you Mr. President Id like to acknowledge that my capable co chair Senator Tucker and we each are very grateful for our capable staff. The general government budget represents an overall increase by the general government agencies by two percent or eight point seven million dollars for a total spending level or four twenty seven point five million we recommend many efficiencies and position eliminations and operations reductions we have eliminated the
51 total positions, 33 of those were vacant and 18 were filled. In the department of cultural resources, we have eliminated vacant and filled positions for a savings of $694,000. We closed the house and the horseshoe historic site in Sanford, effective July 1. That eliminates 3 positions for a savings of $128,000. We reduced both the museum of art and history by 2%. Each of those entities has a very strong foundation and significant assets. We reduced grants to libraries by 2% for a savings of $284,000 and we capped those grants to a total of $400,000. No more than $400,000. Roanoke Island Commission is reduced by 2% or $9,000, leaving the park with 441,000 in appropriations and a special fund for about $3,000,000. In the department of insurance, we eliminated vacant and filled positions and we reduced operations for a savings of $654,000. It budgets receipts not previously budgeted for license fees paid by collection agencies. Once netted with old accounts no longer receiving revenues, the amount budgeted is $200,000. We also have a reduction to operations in anticipation of these additional receipts. We have special appropriation here to assist local programs with building a domestic violence shelter and rebuilding outdoor facilities for a total of 175,000. In the department of revenue, we eliminated positions vacant for more than one year, totaling $627,000 and moved expenses to receipt support for about 2.3 million. We’ve provided 2.5 million to the department to purchase new scanners. The old scanners that they have will be vulnerable to viruses and other problems because Microsoft will no longer support Windows XP. We authorize the expenditure of 1.4 million from the collection assistance fee for technology upgrades to the taxpayer assistance call center. We allow the departments to spend up to 7.5 million per year to contract with a third party to collect overdue tax receipts or debts. Authorize the expenditure of 11 million from the ?? benefit stream account for the maintenance of the functioning portions of the system and 5 million dollars from the account for the implementation of a collections case management system. We authorized the expenditure of 7.5 million from the collection assistance fee to provide more e-service and move away from paper. We revised the budget to reflect changes in the IT section of the budget and changes due to ending the contract with CGI. In the secretary of state, eliminated two vacant positions from the corporations division, and we eliminated three positions from the publications division, leaving two positions. The division is responsible for the North Carolina manual, the directory of state and county officials, the North Carolina state constitution and the North Carolina government organizational chart. State comptroller’s office. We’ve provided funds for contract increases for IBM and Oracle products and ongoing maintenance of the cash management system. We provided 2.1 million non-recurring to upgrade the hardware for ??, which is the state’s human resources and payroll system. We reduced operating line items for communication and data processing for a savings about a little over $500,000. Eliminated three and 3/4 filled and one vacant position for a savings of 531,000. In the department of administration, we eliminated ten vacant positions. We reduced the certified utility budget by 1.2 million dollars. Reduced the janitorial services contract by 300,000. We eliminated the county aid to veteran service offices. In the department of administration, we correctly budgets the veterans trust fund, parking fund, motor fleet management fund, and temporary solutions fund. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Are you done? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I have 18 departments. I’m getting the hook, I guess. So at this point, Mr. President, I’ll pass off to my colleague, Senator Meredith, who will discuss the transportation budget. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, before we do that, we do have an excused absence for the remainder of the day for Senator Hartsell. Senator Meredith, you are recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. President. I want to go over the transportation budget summary, but first I want to thank my co-chair Senator Rabin and my staff. Major highway fund budget changes, department staffing efficiencies. We eliminated 300 positions in DOT. 296 of those positions have been vacant for more than 180 days. Pavement preservation, we established a 80.8 billion dollar reoccurring pavement preservation program.
The department of motor vehicles realign existing funds to support the production cost for the new format driver’s license and allocate additional funds to reduce backlog and the medical review and ignition interlock programs. The intermodal reduced funding across the intermodal division by 6.7 Million to maximize the available funds to the pavement preservation program and capture the cost efficiencies resulting from the sale of the division of aviation’s Sikorsky helicopter. Transfers will make the driver’s education transfer non-recurring with the intent of reducing future transfers of transportation revenues from the highway fund. Major trust fund budget changes, strategic party program to run expected revenues, tax cap changes and administrative reductions. This budget increased funding to our landmark strategic transportation and investment program and by 73.6 million this year. Over 10 years, funding for STI will increase by 822 million. Statewide portion would be 329 million, regional and division areas of the budget will receive 246 million each. I’m going to the Senate budget provision, section 34.6 the highway use tax caps and excise tax changes. We’re gonna raise the highway use tax cap on commercial vehicles currently set at 1000 and for recreational vehicles currently set at 1500. These caps will increase to 2000 for January 1st 2015. And they’ll raise to 3000 on July 1st 2015. We’ll raise the highway use tax cap on out of state vehicles from 150 to 250 effective October 1st 2014. By changing these caps, an additional 142 million can be programmed into DOT’s 10 year work plan for projects prioritized under the strategic transportation investment act. Section 34.8, remote driver’s license renewal, authorizes the DMV to renew the driver’s license online enabling DMVs to address and anticipate its surge in transactions while maintaining and reducing wait times across offices. Section 34.11, pavement preservation program. Create a reoccurring funding focus on maintaining North Carolina’s deteriorating roads while encouraging pavement contractors to expand their business to include ?? preservation treatments. DOT is directed to hold workshops and training sessions with goal of outsourcing 90% of pavement preservation activities in 5 years. These funds dedicated in this budget would treat 6000 lane miles across the state for 5% of our secondary road system and extend the life of these treated pavement areas by an average of 7 years. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President, if you will please recognize Senator Brock to go for Information Technology. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Brock, you have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank You. Senator Apodaca if you thought my one page speech on NER was so great, wait to hear 3 pages of IT. The IT budget is one which actually touches every budget. One thing that we’re doing is looking as further as the consolidation and efficiencies that we can attain through IT in our state or that is moving the GIS functions that are consolidated into the office this year. I heard that way more agencies can reach into it and use the shared data from the mapping service with additional 5 million dollars into the GDAC which would help develop an enterprise business intelligence capability and also in our budget we increased funding to CJLEADS. There’s not a single person in law enforcement that doesn’t love this program. We’re able to put an additional 1.1 million dollars into that system. Also, we’re continuing refresh of our computers as we know that many of our operating systems are out of date and we’ll be vulnerable. So we’ll continue our refresh rate of it. You have to have a special exemption from the State CIO to move your backup capabilities to outside the state. Currently we have the Eastern data center and Western data center, they’re not used to full capability and why should we go out and rent something that we already own. Also we’re requiring detail schedules and deliverables from all state IT contracts which would look at our IT contracts over the years and when over by the hundreds of millions of dollars.
And also require a development of clear path for government IT professionals. One thing we have a problem with doing is that our IT people that we train here in the state soon leave for other positions and it’s tough for us to keep a required workforce year after year after year. Also, in our budget we extend the State CIA’s authority to prove unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). It requires establishment of a governance board for UAS, otherwise known as the drones in office of the State CIA. And with that, if he’s ready, Senator Apodaca, we’ll wrap up with pensions and retirements, Mr. President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Apodaca, you have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank You, Mr. President. Members, three things I would like to mention with pensions and retirements. The first is, for about the third year in a row, fourth year in a row, we fully funded the pension plan. So, we’re proud of that. Second thing, we gave a 0.8% collar increase in our retirees and the third thing is, we allow the treasury to hire two new employees to help manage the portfolio in the treasury’s office and that should pay dividends back to the State. So those three major things in pension and retirement and I’ll turn it over to you, Mr. President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank You Senator. Senator Cook, for what purpose you ask? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To offer three amendments. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Cook, you can send forward your amendments. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I believe you have them already? [SPEAKER CHANGES] The clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator, which amendment were you reading? [SPEAKER CHANGES] First one is, page 65, lines 47 to 66. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Cook moves to amend the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Cook is recognized to explain the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I don’t think the board of governors of the University of North Carolina needs our legislator prompting to review and study declining school enrolment. This amendment deletes that requirement. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Bryant, for what purpose you ask? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To speak to the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Bryant, you have the floor to speak to the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank You, Mr. President. Senator Allran, you were there yesterday in committee, you had some concerns over this and I think you were exactly right. We thought through this and I think we’re making a right decision on this. So, we appreciate you for bringing this to our attention yesterday. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any further discussion or debate? Senator Davis, for what purpose you ask? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To speak on the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Davis, you have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] To Mr. President, Members. Thank you for weighing and think hard and long over this. I think our university system, our students, our communities in East and North Carolina are best served and I hereby support this amendment and thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank You Senator. Any further discussion or debate? Hearing none, the question before the Senate is the passage of amendment 1. All in favor, vote Aye. Oppose, vote No. 5 seconds will be allowed for the voting and the Clerk will record the vote. 47 having voted in the affirmative and 0 in the negative, the amendment 1 passes. The bill is amended and is back before the body. Senator Cook, for what purpose you ask? [SPEAKER CHANGES] For an amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator which amendment is it, I think you said you had three. So where are we now? [SPEAKER CHANGES] This would be page 127, lines 49 through 50, these are simple. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Cook moves to amend the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Cook is recognized to explain the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] These are simple, technical corrections. It just simply changes the department of ?? to department of Administration in about 3 places. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any further discussion or debate? Hearing none, the question before the Senate is the passage of amendment 2. All in favor, vote Aye. Oppose, vote No. 5 seconds will be allowed for the voting and the Clerk will record the vote. 47 having voted in the affirmative and 0 in the negative, the amendment 2 passes. The bill is amended and is back before the body. Senator Cook, for what purpose you ask? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To ?? final amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Cook moves to amend the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Cook is recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] This amendment makes a small change to section 13.4. Page 121, lines 39 through 51. I simply add “seafood” to the ??
Speaker 1: …got to be marketing program. Speaker 2: Any further discussion or debate? Hearing None. Question before the Senate is passage of Amendment 3, all in favor vote aye, all opposed vote no. Five seconds will be allowed for the voting, the clerk will record the vote. Forty seven having voted in the affirmative, zero negative, the amendment passes. The bill is back before the body. Senator Tillman , for what purpose do you rise? Senator Tillman: To set forth an amendment. I think you have it AMK- 66 or in 1. Speaker 2: The clerk will read. Senator Tillman: Senator Tillman moves to amend the bill. Speaker 2: Senator Tillman is recognized, explain the amendment. Senator Tillman: This is to authorize a study by the joint educational oversight to study programs for vocational training for students with disabilities. We have talked about this for a long and I thin it is time for us to delve into this. Hopefully it will be a good thing with good results. Appreciate your support. Speaker 2: Any discussion or debate? Hearing none. The question before the Senate is the passage of Amendment 4, all in favor vote aye, all opposed vote no. Five seconds will be allowed for the voting, the clerk will record the vote. Newton, aye. Forty-seven having voted in the affirmative, zero in the negative, amendment 4 passes and is back before the body. Any further discussion or debate? Senator Hise, for what purpose do you rise? Senator Hise: to set forth an amendment. Speaker 2: Set forth your amendment, the clerk will read. Senator Hise: Senator Hise moves to amend the bill. Speaker 2: Senator Hise is recognized to explain the amendment. Senator Hise: I thank you Mr. President. This amendment is designed to be some clarifying changes we had in transferring the Medicaid population that is within the boundaries for the eastern band of the Cherokee Indians. To the eastern band of the Cherokee Indians, the original language dealt with state planned amendments and waivers, the department can submit on behalf of them, it also puts in a notification if any of those were to change, calls to state administration that they would notify the appropriate committee Speaker 2: Senator Stein , for what purpose do you rise? Senator Stein: To see if Senator Hise will yield for a question. Speaker 2: Senator Hise, do you yield? Senator Hise: I will yield. Senator Stein: Thank you. Just want to be sure: is this something that the Cherokee tribe had asked us to do, or is this something they may or may not be opposed to? Senator Hise: Yes, this is something the tribe has asked for, to be able to do, has agreement from all the counties associated and involved to transfer those services to the eastern band of Cherokee Indians. Speaker 2: Any further discussion? Hearing none. The question before the Senate is the passage of Amendment 5, all in favor vote aye, all opposed, no. Five seconds will be allowed for the voting and the clerk will record the vote. Bryan, aye. Forty seven having voted in the affirmative, zero in the negative, Amendment 5 passes, the bill as amended is back before the body. Any further discussion or debate? Senator Curtis, for what purpose do you rise? Senator Curtis: To set forth an amendment. Speaker 2: Senator Curtis, you can set forth your amendment, clerk will read. Senator Curtis: Senator Curtis moves to amend the Bill. Speaker 2: Senator Curtis is recognized to explain the amendment. Senator Curtis: Mr. President, I think that many of us have had some real concerns over how fast tuition is rising in the UNC system. This amendment creates a joint legislative study commission to study tuition in the UNC system and report back on some ways to hold it down and keep it from rising so fast. Speaker 2: Any discussion or debate? Senator Robinsion, for what purpose do you rise? Senator Robinson: To ask the Senator a question. Speaker 2: Senator, do you yield? Senator Curtis: Yes, I do. Senator Robinson: Senator Curtis, is this a conversation with the UNC board of governors in terms of what is going on and that we need to do this kind of thing? Senator Curtis: Yes ma’am, the committee will consists of some Senators, House members, some board of governor members, and some chancellors. Speaker 2: Speaker 2: Any further discussion? Hearing none. The question before the Senate is the passage of Amendment 6, all in favor vote aye, all opposed, no. Five seconds will be allowed for the voting and the clerk will record the vote. Forty seven having voted in the affirmative, zero in the negative, Amendment 6 passes, the bill as amended is back before the body for discussion or debate. Senator Robinson, for what purpose do you rise? Senator Robinson: To set forth an amendment. Speaker 2: The clerk will read. Senator Robinson: Senator Robinson moves to amend the bill. Speaker 2: Senator Robinson is recognized to explain the amendment. Senator Robinson: Thank you Mr. Chair…
Yesterday in the appropriation’s based budget committee I noted that a very key and important university was left out of a private partnership in Greensboro and I happen to know a lot about that because I’ve been involved with both universities and the whole health institution for a long time so this simply amends the bill to include the nursing program for North Carolina ENT along with UNC Greensboro ?? Hospital and Guilford Community College. I commend the amendment to you. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Any discussion or debate? Senator Berger what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGE] Speak on the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Senator Berger has the floor to speak on the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Members of the senate NCEENT was inadvertently left out and this is a good amendment, I urge your support. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Is there any further discussion or debate? Hearing none the question before the Senate is the passage of amendment seven. All in favor vote aye. Opposed will vote no. Five seconds will be allowed for the voting. Clerk will record the vote. Forty-seven having voted in the affirmative and zero in the negative, amendment seven passes. The bill as amended is back before the body. Any further discussion or debate? Senator Bryant what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGE] Send forth an amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Senator Bryant you can send forth your amendment. The clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Senator Bryant moves to amend the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Senator Bryant is recognized to explain the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Thank you Mr. President. Members, this amendment simply amends the section regarding state employees reassignment if they are in an exempt position and reassigned as a result of that and we deleted the thirty-five mile radius which I agree is a narrower radius within which they would have be reassigned. So this amendment just extends that radius to a hundred miles. I feel like this is a family friendly amendment and that particularly women are disproportionately affected by this amendment and parents who would have to pick up and move hundreds of miles away to keep a similar type job that they were reassigned, it at least gives a reasonable radius and a broader options for the appointing authority. I would ask your consideration and support for this amendment, thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Senator Brown what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGE] Speak to the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Senator Brown has the floor to speak to the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Senator Bryant I appreciate this amendment. There’s been some concerns though as we’ve tried to reorganize some of our departments that they need more allowance than a hundred miles so I will have to ask that we vote against this amendment. I know what you’re trying to do, it’s just because of reorganization that we need more flexibility than that. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Any further discussion or debate? Senator Bryant what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGE] I’d like to ask Senator Brown a question. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Senator Brown do you yield? [SPEAKER CHANGE] I do. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Senator Brown is there some sense of what range would give the appointing authorities enough flexibility but yet some protection for people with families who were needing to maintain their employment, particularly in this tough economic environment we’re in? [SPEAKER CHANGE] Senator Brown I’ve been assured that they’re going to try to keep it as close as possible. It’s just there’s some positions that they need more flexibility on. I think we’re talking about very very few issues where we’re probably going to be outside the thirty-five mile range to be quite honest, it’s just they needed some flexibility just in case, and there should be very few positions. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Thank you Senators, is there any further discussion or debate? Hearing none the question before the Senate is the passage of amendment eight. All in favor will vote aye, opposed with vote no. Five seconds will be allowed for the voting. The clerk will record the vote. Barringer, no. Sixteen having voted in the affirmative and thirty-one in the negative, amendment eight fails. The bill as amended is back before the body. Senator Stein what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGE] To debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Senator Stein you have the floor to debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Thank you Mr. President. Members of the Senate, last year you all made a fundamental choice that dramatically affects this budget. You chose to create a half a billion dollar hole in this budget through tax giveaways to benefit large, out of state corporations and wealthy folks who do not need that extra money, and you filled that hole by cutting public education to the tune of again half a billion dollars over the biennium. Two thirds of your giveaways goes to people whose average annual earnings are one million dollars or more so I’m talking about people in a year who earn a million dollars, not a millionaire, but a person who in a year earns a million dollars. Ninety percent goes to the wealthiest five percent..
Senator Stein: …these are people on average who earn half a million dollars or more, people who did well, unlike the middle class, even during the recession. Instead of trickle down, we should be building our economy from the middle out – that is when we are strongest as a state, that is when we are strongest as a nation. And having a strong educational system is as essential as having a strong economy, yet, to finance this tax plan, you all froze teacher pay, dropping NC to 46th in the nation in teacher compensation, you eliminated thousands of teacher’s positions, and fired thousands more teacher assistants, you eliminated compensation for teachers who earn masters degrees, and this bill today does nothing to fix that on a going forward basis. You slashed the amount going to textbooks and other school resources. Not surprisingly, teacher morale is at the lowest point any of us can ever remember. They are fleeing the classrooms at unprecedented rates. You spent months trying to argue that you did not actually cut public education, that teachers are actually adequately paid, but people of NC were not buying what you are selling. So, today, you offer this shell game of a budget. When we look at your shiny proposal for teacher’s pay, we realize it is fool’s gold, not the real thing. Speaker 2: Mr. President? Speaker 3: Go ahead Senator Stein. Speaker 2: Mr. President, we are talking about Senate Bill 744 and our current budget. If Senator Stein would confine his comments to this year’s, and not last year’s budget, I believe would we be better served. Speaker 3: Senator Stein please keep your comments to this year’s budget please. Senator Stein: Point of inquiry to the chair. Speaker 3: Go ahead Senator. Senator Stein: Is this year’s budget not affected by last year’s budget? Speaker 3: It is Senator, but please keep your comments directly related to this budget and the content within this budget, and not last year’s please. Senator Stein: Well the timing is perfect because, how are you paying for this teacher pay proposal in your budget? Unbelievably, by cutting public education to the tune of $380 million, and by taking 15,000 blind, disabled, and elderly people off their health insurance. This budget is not about paying teachers a salary that reflects the importance of their work. This budget is about trying to cloak your public vulnerability at the expense of our school kids. If you don’t believe me, maybe you will listen to the people whose jobs it is to run and administer our public schools. The state association of school administrators wrote to us last night, “the budge released by the NC Senate includes devastating cuts that will harm the learning experience for public school students across the state: it could lead to a loss of 10,000 or more school jobs, and negatively impact county budgets and tax payers.” Proposed cuts to teachers and teacher assistants in grades 2 and 3 hinder progress on the important goal of insuring all 3rd graders are reading sufficient as called for under recent law changes. Students will also have fewer nurses, longer bus routes, and inadequate funding for textbooks. You all fired thousands of TA’s last year, and of those you didn’t fire, you are firing half of the remaining ones this year: 7400 TA’s are going to be out of there jobs, kids suffering as a result. At the same time you are taking thousands of adults out of our K1 classrooms, you are adding more kids. You all remember, I assume, the promise in last year’s budget that you were going to reduce class size for the lower grades. That promise and the nearly 3800, excuse me, 800 kindergarten and 1st grade teachers are evaporated at the stroke of a pen with this budget. So now we have young students in classes with more kids and fewer adults, making harder for teachers to teach, and kids to learn. We just passed, yesterday, legislation for the read to achieve law. Are we serious about helping young kids to read? Because this budget is not. North Carolina has many dedicated professionals trying their utmost to make our schools the best they possibly can. One of those is Dr. Mark Edwards, a superintendent of the Morrisville School System, President Elect of the Superintendent School Association, and last year’s national Superintendent of the Year – whole country. Dr. Edwards pleads that you sit down with him and other superintendents…
Senator Stein: .. superintendents and come up with a right approach that does not cut the personnel and other resources that our students across the state need in order to learn. I mean, my gosh, even the teachers, who you are trying to induce to stay in the classroom, criticized this budget for what it is: “a political game,” and “the biggest bait and switch scheme in state history.” I mentioned earlier that your proposal will end in 15,000 blind, disabled and elderly recipients of Medicaid. Your response is that these folks can apply to the health and insurance exchange of the affordable care act, which is as ironic as it is unrealistic. These folks do not have sufficient income to benefit from the subsidies – you all know that just as well as we do. We can only conclude that you are indifferent to the blind, disabled and elderly you are turning your back on. One of those 15,000 is a gentleman named Rick Kenworth, an elderly man with dementia living in an assisted facility here in Raleigh. All three of his daughters work more than full time, but even with that, they simply could not afford to put their dad in the facility he currently resides in if they did not have Medicaid, nor could Mr. Kenworth afford the medications he purchases with Medicaid. His daughter, Ann, is quoted in today’s paper, “this budget just sends a bad message that the legislators don’t care about the elderly and their access to healthcare.” I have more faith in NC than that. Members let’s justify that faith. Let us draft a budget that has public input. Let us have a real process where subcommittees actually meet to discuss the budget. Where the budget is delivered and we have time to review that budget. Where the public has opportunity has to provide input to that budget. Where the process takes more than 48 hours to stream itself through this Chamber. Let’s eliminate the breath taking changes and substances of law that you have put in the special provisions of this budget: items like moving the SBI and crime lab, like creating a new court system in the judiciary that violates separation of powers, like ending community of care in NC – a nationally recognized program for saving Medicaid dollars and for providing important improvements in quality of care, that Senator Richard Burr recently came down hear and praised. Let’s craft a budget that respects our teacher, that creates a strong public school, a budget that positions our kids in NC to succeed, and a budget that does not throw our fellow citizens, who are blind, disabled, and elderly, to the curb. Dr. Edwards, the superintendent, and Mr. Kenworth’s daughter, they deserve better, and they are right: we can do better. Speaker 2: Senator, for what purpose do you rise? Speaker 3 : Mr. President, to speak on the bill. Speaker 2: Senator has the floor, speak to the bill. Speaker 3: Before we get carried away with the talking points, Senator Stein you are a good orator, and I suppose you are a pretty good lawyer, let’s get back to the basics of where we came from just for a moment, for a recollection, and for some truth. You had a chance, and your party has had a chance for many years to raise teacher’s salaries and give lip service to it. And you know since I have been here you have cut well over $1 billion out of, first, teacher’s salaries forever and ever. The only raise they got was two years ago and we gave them above 1.2%, and now we are putting more money in education than has been put into education in all your time. Record number of dollars spent: we are not reducing any classroom size – we are just leaving it the way it was last year, rather than reducing it, and nobody’s gone: no teacher loss, not a single one, and ADM is funded just like it was last year. It is so ironic that all the times that you had to do these grandiose things, and we give a historic teacher raise – more dollars than ever put into teachers salaries, and I am getting hundreds of emails of thank you’s from teachers I am hearing from stating we are respecting and recognizing them, that we are giving them 11% , $5800 a year. Nobody has ever done that before – not even close. I think we just need to let reality sit in, see what you all do with budgets, and see how much you cut, and look at what we are doing. We got a chance to do something, and I don’t expect a lot of you to praise it, but I certainly do expect you all to realize and recognize that we have set historic records.
That’s all you need to do. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Goolsby, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Will Senator Tillman yield for a question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Tillman, do you yield? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, Sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Tillman, I’m looking at a publication put out at the department of public instruction that is the department run by Democrat June Atkinson and it looks to me like, the last time the Democrats were in control and they set a budget, was in 2009-10. Did they not, Sir, cut education spending, 840 million dollars? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, Sir. You have [made] my point. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Second question, if the Senator will yield? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I yield. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Sir, can you explain how Senator Stein talks about reductions of teachers and you made a mention of ADM like we should all know what that is. Explain the misconception that he is putting out when you talk about ADM and the number of students we have in the system and how that affects the number of teachers that are in the system. [SPEAKER CHANGES] We project ADM, Average Data Membership every year for the coming year. At the end of every year and we update it four times a year and we put the teachers in there according to the student hit count like ADM and we’re gonna find every single one based on the class size that’s on the books. We didn’t reduce it like hope to, this year but not reducing it don’t mean we’re losing anybody. We’re having the same as it was last year. You can say we’re cutting teachers Senator Stein, but that’s not the truth. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Ford, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Ford has the floor to debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much, Mr. President. Ladies and Gentlemen of the Senate, my family and I, we’re currently living the reality of public education. I am of the opinion that a quality public education is the single most effective tool for creating opportunities across gender, racial and social economic lines which leads to good jobs. Good public schools ensure that regular working people, younger children get the same opportunity for success as anyone else in this state. One of the proudest titles that I have is that of a husband and a father of a 9 year old girl who attends public school in the 3rd grade. So when you all debate and talk about testing and what’s good for public education, my wife and I and daughter, we go through it on a daily basis without complaint. Now I understand that the ultimate responsibility for my child’s education rests with me and my wife. We give to the PTA and we both volunteer on a regular basis in our local school. Ladies and Gentlemen of the Senate, the 380 million dollar cut to public education is a dramatic shift and one that I cannot support. You see, when I go to schools and I walk the halls, people don’t know me as Senator Ford, they know me as Trinity’s Dad. And so, I see how hard the teachers work, and I see how difficult it is for first year teachers to teach and then try to pay back student loans and happen to work part time jobs when they get out of school. That affects the classroom. So, I applaud you for your efforts to try to raise teacher pay, but at the expense of teacher tenure and security for a job that is just not fair. You add further stress on to the public school systems when you cut the teacher’s assistance. And you cut teacher’s supplies. We need to create a comprehensive environment for teachers to be able to be effective in the classroom. And Ladies and Gentlemen of the Senate, I just ask you to pause for a minute and think about the dramatic impact that you’re gonna have on our public schools with the most precious resources I think we have in our state which are teacher. It’s ironic that all of us have these ?? ideas about public education and no one in this chamber has asked me what my public school experience has been. Ladies and Gentlemen of the Senate, I apologize to you but I cannot support this budget. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator ?? for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Soucek, yield a question please? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Soucek, do you yield? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I do. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Soucek, I’m not like Senator Hise, I didn’t major in Math and Statistic..
But, could you tell me if the K12 budget we’re proposing is more or less than the year we’re in now? [SPEAKER CHANGES] 2.4% more. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank You. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Daniel, for what purpose you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To send forth an amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Daniel, you can send forward your amendment. Clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Daniel moves to amend the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Daniel is recognized to explain the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank You, Mr. President. In 2013 budget, director DPI and UNC systems to conduct a feasibility study of establishing a school of Science and Math in Western North Carolina. The study found that each year, because of capacity limitations, only about 50% of qualified applicants were able to attend the school of Science and Math. This means that each year, on an average more than 300 qualified students are not afforded this opportunity. Our own senator Hise, in order to attend the school of Science and Math had to ride a bus 210 miles to Durham, North Carolina because there was no alternative location in Western North Carolina. While there are currently not available capital funds to break ground on this project, this amendment, which is consistent with the governor’s budget language expresses the state’s commitment to affording students in Western North Carolina the same opportunity as the students in East of ?? I hope that this school will become a reality by the time Senator Hise’s boys have aged to attend and I ask your support for the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Senator. Any further discussions or debate. Hearing none, the question before the senate is the passage of amendment 9. All in favor, vote Aye. All oppose, vote No. 5 seconds will be allowed for voting. The clerk will record the vote. Senator Jackson? (Aye). 46 having voted in the affirmative and 1 in the negative, amendment 9 passes. The bill as amended, is back before the body. Senator Robinson, for what purpose you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To speak to the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Robinson has the floor to speak to the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank You, Mr. Chair. Ladies and Gentlemen, one of those populations that Senator Stein talked about is one that I’m very familiar with. I’m not a lawyer. I’m a human services person. And so, I have worked with elderly, blind; still work with disabled and work with children. And so, I also know that a lot of those individuals who are most vulnerable in this state would not be able to receive medically needy and other kinds of services if it were not for the provisions we provide in North Carolina. So, I too am very concerned that you will be denying services to 15000 elderly, blind and disabled people. A United Services for adults which is a single resource in Guilford County. If you haven’t visited, you’d be surprised how many people are being served daily, who otherwise wouldn’t have resources. And as you go around to nursing homes and go to other facilities, these folks wouldn’t be able to get services, based on the cuts in this budget which puts them out of the eligibility range. They are ?? issues. Some statistics and I wanna share those with you. This budget cuts 969,549 dollars from home and community care block grant funds and these funds support key services that help older people to stay in their homes and it supports caregivers. Otherwise, these folks will be in nursing homes and it would cost us more. This is a 3% reduction, our funding which already has 16000 people on the waiting list. Allow these folks also awaiting for home delivery meals in in-home services. As Senator Stein says, there’s 15000 of them in total. In addition, the budget, as proposed eliminates Medicaid eligibility for 11886 older and disabled adults who receive State County special assistance as of January 1. Of course, this saves our state 28 million dollars. But what does it do to these vulnerable
A lot of them will end up in nursing homes, at emergency rooms, and probably deceased. Effective January 1, 2015 the budget eliminates Medicaid coverage for those who qualify for Medicaid as medically needy except those categories that are prohibited by the federal requirements. In addition I am concerned about the children. Senator Stein talked about children in daycare and childcare. You and I know that as Senator Berger has proposed his ready to achieve program, your children, certainly my grandchildren, would not be able to even be ready to go to kindergarten if they don’t receive some child care where they can get prepared with developmental skills and other kinds of skills so they’ll be ready to get ready to learn so this budget cuts 9100 children out of those services. In addition it requires all the parents to pay 10% subsidy and that subsidy for some parents is $150-$180 a month. Now if you can barely afford to pay the rent, and these aren’t people on public assistance so don’t try that with me, but with your job that pays what our state has as minimum wage. If you can barely pay the rent, feed your family, pay the utilities, etc., it’s very difficult for you to pay $150-$180 a month, that’s a lot of money for me and I work. So what we’re doing in this budget is attacking, certainly I applaud you for the teacher salary, I’ve told all of you. First I’m an educator, I believe in education because it is access to a better quality of life, but as we’re increasing teachers we should not be taking that money away from our children, our elderly, our disabled, our blind. They cannot provide for themselves, you can, we can, but those folks cannot do it and some day some of you will be at that point too and I hope you have sufficient income to take care of yourselves or some good children or else you’ll end up in the same situation, but this is something we should not be doing in our state, it’s unconscionable that we would not take care of the least of these. This is an obligation that we have as public servants and I cannot support a budget that does that. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Mr. President. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Senator Goolsby what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGE] See if Senator Hise would yield to a question? [SPEAKER CHANGE] Senator Hise do you yield? [SPEAKER CHANGE] I yield. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Thank you Senator Hise. Having listened to Senator Robinson talk about Medicaid, can you tell us sir how the Medicaid benefits compare now and how they will compare under this budget with what President Obama and the federal government deem as necessary benefits? Can you explain that to us? [SPEAKER CHANGE] Well I’ll say first of all when you’re comparing to all other states, we exceed and in several areas continue to exceed what the federal government requires us to provide in Medicaid services. All of these cuts still keep us above those standards. There’s some miscalculations on the medically needy. For those who understand that those are individuals who are above the 100% poverty level this policy allowed them to spend down due to medical costs to a point that they qualified for Medicaid. The changes that now under the exchange, everyone over 100% of federal poverty is eligible for a subsidy on the exchange and is now mandated by federal law to have insurance coverage so therefore the ability o build those costs up for the individuals over 100% of federal poverty no longer exist, that’s why we’re able to take this cut and move it down. The second is for special assistance which was a special qualification we gave to individuals who generally were in adult care facilities and received county and state money for room and board in those. We said that that would automatically qualify them for Medicaid. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Senator Hise do you yield? [SPEAKER CHANGE] I do. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Can you tell this chamber how much additional money in Medicaid cost overruns that we have come up with in this Republican controlled senate to pay the freight in these tough budget times over the last several years? [SPEAKER CHANGE] Thank you and I will. Over the time we’ve been here, this fourth budget that we’re going in both overruns and growth..
Senator Hise: in rebase, in the Medcaid budget, we have now added an additional $2 billion in state money, to the Medicaid budget. Speaker 2: Last question. Senator Hise, do you yield? Senator Hise: Senator you are probably the most knowledgeable man in that area but can you tell somebody who went to law school, instead of the kind of degree you have, is that an increase in spending in medical costs over the last many years, a substantial one? Senator Hise: Most substantial and significant. I think you would be hard pressed to find any provider under the Medicaid system who is not receiving more funds under Medicaid than they currently receive because that $2 billion in state money is generally matched by a 2 to 1 on federal money. Senator Robinson: Mr. Chair? Speaker 2: Senator Robinson, for what purpose do you rise? Senator Robinson: To ask Senator Hise a question. Speaker 2: Senator Hise do you yield? Senator Robinson: Senator Hise, I want to make clear that people understand what you are saying. Those people, even though they qualify for the federal eligibility, NC’s subsidy was beyond that which included other people, and these people who only qualify for the federal subsidy, therefore, will you explain that again so they understand whether 15,000 people are? In addition to that, I want to know, can I do both questions? Speaker 2: Let’s just do one question now, and then Senator I will give you time to do another one. Senator Hise: The subsidies that exist are solely federal subsidies that are paid for individuals on the exchange. Any one between 100 and 400% of federal poverty can receive a subsidy to purchase insurance. I have talked to several individuals who now get private insurance somewhere in the range of $8-10 a month, for a full coverage plan, on the exchange. Everyone that is over 100% is the population we are talking about, in line 55, which is the medically needy process. We had previously allowed them to use medical expenses to spend down and say their income is lower, but now their medical expenses should be covered by the insurance policy. Senator Robinson: Second question? Speaker 2: Senator Hise, do you yield? Senator Hise: I yield Senator Robinson: Would you also share with the Chamber what that income range, you are talking about – the 400%, and also, if any of this information was vented at a public hearing with any of the entities that represent these individuals? Senator Hise: I am pulling this off the website from the 2014 federal poverty guidelines, for a family of two, the 100% of federal poverty is $15,730 – that would go up to 400% of poverty, for a family of 2, would be $62,920, for a family of two. For a family of one, it is $11,670-$46,678. Speaker 2: Senator Robinson, for what purpose do you rise? Robinson: Follow up Mr. Chair. Speaker 2 : Senator Hise do you yield? Robinson: My other question was did you vent this with any of the entities that represent the populations who are being affected. You kind of skipped between the 100% and 400%, which kind of leaves the 20/30,000 – that’s alright, did you vent it with any of the AARP or social services people either, in terms of coming up with these recommendations: were they invited to these public hearings? Senator Hise: As you are aware, there were not public hearings about the specific proposal coming up. We have been prohibited by the federal government, since the passage of the Affordable Act, for changing any eligibility standards to the Medicaid, even though we exceeded the federal minimums for multiple years, and this has been the first year since that, that we have been able to do so. Senator McKissick: Mr. President? Speaker 2: Senator McKissick, for what purpose do you rise? McKissick: To speak on the Bill. Speaker 2: Senator McKissick has the floor to speak on the bill. McKissick: Heard a lot of discussion over the last 15-20 minutes about Medicaid. It is appropriate that we have that kind of conversation, that kind of discussion: it is a major, important issue. In this state, a lot of people depend on it, they rely on it: it is their safety net. It is unfortunate that we did not have our subcommittee meetings where we could have hear from SHS, the agency itself, to hear its perspective. To hear from many of the stakeholders that could have come forward, to hear their thoughts, because what we are moving to now, in terms of Medicaid NC, under this…
Senator McKissick: …this budget is an entirely new model - we are battering even everything the Secretary wants, and that her team has spent the last year working upon. I think many of those involved in HHS know his consultant was higher. Sole source contract would competitively bid, worth $300,000 with Bob Atlas – what did he do? He came in and went out to meet with the Medicaid providers all across this state. He met with many of the stakeholders. He crafted a plan that included accountable care organizations: a new innovative type of model that had the possibility to implement contained costs and risks. The Medicaid providers in this state got behind that plan, they bought into that plan. Then we went out and spent another $3 million over HHS for another sole source contract, actually, I think it was $3,250,000. We brought in Alvarez, and Marshall, to do additional work on how to reform, reshape, Medicaid with cost containment policies, details, and analysis that could help reshape, reform this agency. And we have just thrown the baby out with the bath water. I guess they must have been twins because we threw Bob Atma’s, and all his work, and we threw out everything of Alvarez and Marshall, and all their work. And we spent an awful lot of money on that: $3,250,000 – my gosh, $473 an hour for the principles on that job, $354 an hour for the consultants, $254 for the analysts, and $84 an hour for interns – wish our insurers made that kind of money around here. A lot of money, a lot of time, a lot of resources, over a year of work, and the Senate, based upon fiat, without even listening to HHS, any of the stakeholders, providers, hospitals, any of those individuals, for whom an outcome has been decided. We don’t like it. We don’t want it. We don’t ??? better than the consultants, experts – all of those collective people who have given this some time, thought, assistance. And we have actually created a directive within our special provisions to say – well, here in NC, we have gone above and beyond Medicaid in terms of providing services to people, we have gone above and beyond what the federal law requires us to do. But, in many instances, NC has served as a sterling model and example of what you can do for people. And we have given them directions to go back and rethink, reshape, to come up with the minimum that we can provide to the truly needy. We are putting gaping holes in that safety net, and in the process 15,000 people stand to lose these services: the blind, the needy, those that are disadvantaged that need the help that Medicaid can provide. We do not need gaping holes in that safety net. We need to short it up. This is not a time to cast away those we chose to cover in the past, and do the minimum that we can do – we are better than that: we should have empathy, we should have compassion, we should extend a helping hand to those who do not… Speaker 2: Senator I ask you to keep your comments directed to the Bill please. Senator McKissick: This is related to the Bill, Mr. President. We are dealing specifically with Medicaid. It is a significant discussion on Medicaid, and this relates directly to what is proposed in this Bill, dealing with Medicaid, Mr. President. Speaker 2: Senator McKissick, I will ask you again to keep your comments directly related to the Bill please. Senator McKissick: With that in mind, and with the Medicaid coverage that is being proposed here, the 15,000 folks that are going to lose their benefits: with the patients G8 in the budget, about 9,100 there, with the patients G9 in the budget, about another 3,200 people specifically related to the budget. Any way we go beyond Medicaid, we look at childcare, these childcare subsidies, there may be a few extra people added to the wait list, but there are 47,000 people that will have to pay more based upon this budget. I think it is time that we give some deep thought and reflection to the direction that we are taking. And of course we are doing it, in many respects, to try to find money to pay for teachers’ salaries. And that is something we need to do in terms of increasing our teachers’ pay, but we don’t need it to…
in a two tier system for doing it. That's wrong. Yeah we need to help our teachers out, yeah we need to get them to the median in this country, but cutting HHS, Heath and Human Services, opportunities for the truly needy, that's the wrong way of doing it. So yeah, we need to rethink what we can do. Now one of the things we can do many of the things we can do which has been done in many states is that they've expanded medicaid. They've expanded medicaid to increase that safety net. What do we know here in North Carolina? Here in North Carolina between ages eighteen and roughly sixty four, we've got about one point six million people that don't have coverage. One point six million. We expand Medicaid in this state it will increase that capacity to serve that population by about five hundred thousand. That's something we can do, and if we chose to do that, it could have a significant positive impact upon our upon our economy and upon that population that we serve. And with that in mind I send forth an amendment. [speaker changes] Clerk will read. ?? [speaker changes] Senator McKissick moves to amend the bill. [speaker changes]This particular provision will allow us to pick up that fifty thousand, excuse me, that fifteen thousand people we're ready to cast away. That we've been traditionally providing service to in this state. Those that are blind, those that are disabled, those that are medically needed. We can't cast them away. I can't do that in good conscious. So what this amendment does, it doesn't allow that gaping hole in our safety net to be created, it provides them with coverage, but also goes further and expands Medicaid in this state. Say, what will that do, well it will reduce our dependency in our budget by about eight point one million dollars when it comes that those that require assistance in a variety of areas in terms of mental health. In terms of AIDS and drug assistance about another fourteen million dollars. And even for those in our department of corrections in our prisons, as I recall there, the numbers are also quite impressive because they will qualify for about eight and a half million dollars. It's a significant population that we can cover in this state that do not have services today, and its time that we as a state took that courageous effort that's needed to move forward and expand Medicaid to cover that population. We need to do so. Are there things we can do to improve management efficiency? Absolutely. I think we are all committed to doing that. Are we committed to getting the highest utilization rate for our resources, our biggest bang for the buck? Undoubtedly. But we also know that we can capture two billion dollars a year coming into this state and into this economy if Medicaid is expanded. We know that that population that needs to be served that's unserved today doesn't have to show up in emergency rooms at hospitals seeking care. We know that likewise the hospitals that are in small and rural areas that are suffering, that may pay more money underneath these hospital assessments that are being proposed in this budget. We know won't be closing their doors because disproportional impacts payments that might be distributed to them might be tailored, cutback in years to come. So yes, we can make a positive courageous effort. We can do what is the morally right thing to do. We can cover a population that needs to be served. And medicaid in North Carolina can symbolically and more importantly in a real significant way improve the quality of life of those that are unserved with healthcare today. We need to provide that safety net. We don't need to create new holes and we don't need to provide a new directive to go forth and come up with a new plan that provides the minimum level of service that the law allows. So I appreciate your support. [speaker changes] Senator Brown what purpose do you arise? [change speakers] speak to the amendment. [change speakers] you have the floor. Thank you Mr. President. Senator Mickissick I don't think there is anyone in this chamber who does not feel for people that are in need. I'm sure, I know I do, I don't think anyone else is any different than I. It gets to a point that when you talk about Medicaid expansion for what since two thousand and eleven, this state has spent two billion dollars more in Medicaid
Two billion, not million, billion, and it gets to a point where you say let’s expand Medicaid more and your argument is that there’s no cost associated with that, and maybe short term that is the case because the federal government promises for what, three years that they’ll pay it off, and then all of a sudden it becomes a 9010 proposition and then I would argue probably it would roll eventually into what we have today as far as Medicaid goes with the state paying a third of that cost eventually. When you look at that cost you’re talking about that 9010 proposition which will come in a short period of time you’re probably talking about a billion dollar hit to the state, another billion. Since 2011 we’ve spent two billion more and you’re proposing for us to spend in three years another billion on top of the 5.6% growth that we’re experiencing now in Medicaid which I would argue would probably be an additional two billion dollars in about three years. I don’t know where you think we can pay for it as a state but I’m not sure that I can figure that out as appropriations chair. It gets to a point in this state that you do have to look at priorities and I would argue for the last five or six years, Medicaid has been the priority. There’s where we have spent all the extra dollars in this state is on Medicaid. We’ve had to cut every program in this state except for K-12 education to pay for Medicaid expansion. When is enough enough? When do you finally say let’s put some priorities in another area in this sate? And I think that’s where we’re finally at in this state because you can’t afford it anymore. We’ve finally gotten to that point I would argue. Again, two billion dollars since 2011 and you’re asking us to spend what I think would equate to about two billion more in the next three years on top of that. That makes no sense, budget wise. Now we can argue what we do with education and other things, I think what we’re doing in education is great. We’re spending 8.1 billion dollars in K-12 education in this budget compared to four years ago of 7.1 billion, a billion more dollars in K-12 education in four years and that’s on top of having to deal with this two billion dollar problem we’ve had in Medicaid. I just think there’ s priorities that you have to make and those are tough decisions in this state. We all want to take care of people in need, all of us do, but sooner or later you have to look at dollars and what makes sense as a state in what you fund, and so far in the past several years Medicaid has been that priority. I think it’s time we start taking care of teachers and start taking care of other areas in this budget moving forward and let’s just take a break from Medicaid a little bit, and when I say a little bit this budget spends two hundred million more in Medicaid, it’s not much of a break, but sooner or later you’ve just got to say no. You can’t spend anymore, you’ve got to slow it down. I think 5.6% increase every single year which is a track record is a pretty dang good investment in Medicaid spending. I think it’s time we slow that thing down. I don’t know how you think we can pay for this expansion, I just don’t understand those numbers so I’ve got to ask that we vote against this amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Senator Van Duyn for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGE] To speak to the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGE] You have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Mr. President, hospitals today right now in our mountains and in rural hospitals throughout North Carolina deal with very challenging pair mixes and what I mean by that, for example in my hospital 70% of our patients are Medicaid, Medicare, or uninsured. What that means is the ability for those hospitals to pay for the care that they give to indigent, to the uninsured. The ability for them to spread their cost is very very limited, in fact not existent. Without the Medicaid expansion their very existence is threatened and that will affect the health outcomes, not just of the poor, not just of the uninsured, not just for Medicaid and Medicare recipients, but for all of us and for that reason this is a priority that we cannot ignore and we must deal with and that’s why I urge you to support this amendment.
Further discussion or debate on amendment 10. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator McKissick, for what purpose do you arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To ask Senator Brown a question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Brown, do you yield? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I do. [SPEAKER CHANGES] He yields. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Brown, I know you’re a good man with a good heart. We’ve known each other for many years, and I respect you enormously. But, at the same time, within this budget we’re, we’re curtailing those services to 15,000 people. And we’re sending a directive asking that we reduce services to the minimum level required under federal law. Do you believe that that’s really the direction we should be taking in dealing with Medicaid and providing for those that truly need these types of services in our state who have nowhere else to go. No other safety net to capture them. No funds to go out there and buy plans on the Affordable Care Act. If you could help me with that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I will. I will try to help you with that. Senator McKissick, for many years this state has been very, very generous. There’s no question. I’d say, one of the most generous states in this nation. And what that has done over the past few years is created a situation for us budget-wise where we’ve had to spend those 2 billion dollars since 2011 to pay for that. And where I would love to continue on that path, when you look at the amount of growth that we’re having to spend in Medicaid moving forward, I see no way that this state can pay for it, unless you want to do some things that are pretty harsh to other areas of this budget. I honestly don’t think you would want to do those things, moving forward, to be quite honest. And I think it’s a time, even though they’re tough decisions, and decisions none of us want to make, it gets to a point that you have to make some of those tough decisions. Do you continue spending 4, 5, 6 billion dollars a year to pay for Medicaid, or do you try to fund other areas in state government? And we all love education. I know I do as much as anybody. But, to do those things we’d like to do in education, you, you’ve got to finally say let’s slow down somewhere else, and that somewhere else just happens to be Medicaid, because it’s been the absolute driver of this budget. And, as you know, when we had that two and a half billion shortfall several years ago, part of that problem was Medicaid. It put us in a severe hole that it took a while to dig out of. And we’re continuously trying to figure that piece out. Another 2 billion again this year over budget. Think about it. We budgeted last year, and the best numbers we can come up with. Here we come again, 200 more million dollars to balance in Medicaid because of that growth. You’ve somehow got to figure out a way to slow that growth down to take care of other things in state government. And it’s just time that somebody makes some hard decisions. Do I want to make them? I don’t. But it’s time we have to do some of those things to pay for other things in, in our budget, including education, which is key to all of us. [SPEAKER CHANGES] ?? Could I ask one question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator McKissick, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Just ask one final question to Senator Brown. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Brown, do you yield? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I do. [SPEAKER CHANGES] He yields. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I know this budget anticipates throwing out all the work that AK ?? has done over the last year. By my calculations, they’ve spent probably close to $4 million in a year’s time trying to come up with a way to do cost containment, come up with affordable care organizations. I want to know if you received a copy of this letter I got from the North Carolina Medical Society. It’s dated today’s date which states that prohibiting any work to be done regarding accountable care organizations and Medicare reform that is very clear. In simple terms, the Senate states the Department of Health and Human Services cease any activities related to implementing Medicaid reform based on its proposed accountable care organization model that the budget rejects the positive quality-centered solutions proposed for Medicaid reform wasting over a year’s worth of work and state resources dedicated to that goal. Did you receive a copy of this? And what would your response be? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator McKissick. [SPEAKER CHANGES] ?? Work hard on that effort over the last year and [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator McKissick, is there a question there? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I did not receive that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mm-mm. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Further discussion or debate on amendment 10. Senator Hise, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Speak to the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. President. We’ve talked a lot about opening up a Medicaid hole. I would propose to you that there is nothing you can do to open a bigger hole in the Medicaid budget than to pass this amendment.
Speaker 1: …as we move forward, we will even take this year, one of the things I always talk about – it is 100% fully funded, sort of – that’s kind of true. It is 100% fully funded for services, unless the patient was previously eligible, at which point we drop back to 65%, and the administration for those services is only funded at a 50/50 match. So it is not - the federal definition of “100% fully funded” is a little odd to me, i.e. what they mean by that. But if we go out to 2021, for example, this amendment alone, in its expansion will cost the Dept. of Health and Human Services $352 million. Now there will be some offset savings in public safety and others for inmate healthcare, so the net impact to the state budget will be $253 million annually – that is when we are at a 90% match. That is as far as the federal legislation goes. They could add another year, drop it back down to 65%, and watch those numbers triple, which coming in. We serve, right now, nearly a fifth of the state’s population is on Medicaid. Are you ready to see that exceed a quarter of the state’s population when we add 6/700,000 addition people to Medicaid as a result of this operation? So we can become the largest insurer in the state - the state will be its largest insurer: this is where we are going in this direction. This is a mistake. It was a mistake on the federal level and I hope, once again, as we debated this many times, we are not going to jump head long into this pool. Speaker 2: Further discussion or debate on Amendment 10? Hearing none. Question before the Senate is the passage of amendment 10 to Senate Bill 744, all those in favor vote aye, all opposed will vote no. Five seconds will be allowed for the voting, the clerk will record the vote. Jackson, no. Thirty, I’m sorry, sixteen in the affirmative, thirty in the negative, amendment 10 fails and the bill is back before you. Speaker 3: Mr. President? Speaker 2: Senator Graham, for what purpose do you rise? Senator Graham: To speak on the bill. Speaker 2: You have the floor. Senator Graham: Thank you Mr. President. Ladies and gentleman, last week I had the opportunity to visit a ??? school, and one of the student’s asked me the difference between being a member of the Charlotte City Council and its State Senator, and I paused and thought for a while, and told him that the major difference to me was transparency and openness. That as a member of the City council, we did everything in public – you can even have five council members sit together or meet in a private home without involving the press that you are doing that. There were public meetings and hearings in which the public was always encouraged to participate and provide feedback. Today, we are getting ready to pass a $21 billion budget that many of us and the public got 48 hours ago. No public input at all. The representatives, the people here that represent the public, that serve on subcommittees, would not even afford the opportunity to hear what is on the budget in their particular subcommittees. That is why we are having this two hour debate today on the floor because we did not have any openness in subcommittee meetings where the public is could have been there, members of both parties could have debated some of these issues there, instead of here. Forty-eight hour window to study the budget, comprehend the budget, interpret the budget, and explain the budget to people who are calling, writing, emailing about what they are reading in their local newspaper, or local political blogs. And it is not just that we are approving a budget in a short period of time, with no public input, or subcommittee meetings, we are making substantial changes to how state government operates, particularly with Medicaid. You may be absolutely right that Medicaid needs to stand alone. But this has some other voices involved in that discussion.
One of the things that I told the young men at that ?? school is the worst thing that I absorbed in ten years of being up here, on both sides, the majority side and the minority side, is the caucus. Because you get this equichamber where you go in there, ?? on both sides, and you talk among yourselves, and you pat yourselves on the back for doing a good job, presenting a good budget. But you’re talking to yourself! You’re not talking to the public. You’re not talking to constituents. You’re not talking to people who will be impacted by the decisions that you are making. You’re talking to the equichamber. So it is a good budget to you. It does solve problems, to you. And it may be a good budget for me too, and for the public. If they were involved in the discussion. If they had an opportunity to say I think you’re right but you might want to do it this way, to make a good budget a great budget. If there was some kind of public input. Even if there was public input from the representatives of the people who sit among you today. So the process again is flawed. The presentation is questioned. And so I stand before you today, voicing my displeasure with this budget, based on the number of emails I have received and we’ve been here long enough you don’t want to hear me go on about what it does to healthcare. Or how it impacts law enforcement and the FBI. My mailbox for teachers and the teacher pay scheme runs over. ?? increase that we all agree that our teachers, and I even go beyond teachers, is how we fund our educational system in North Carolina. That’s the issue for me. How do we fund the system? And how does teachers play a role in that process? They deliver the service for us and they deserve and require an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work. But no teacher in North Carolina should have to choose between giving up tenure, something they have earned, and legally obligated to have, versus getting a pay increase. No teacher in North Carolina should have to decide between getting a pay increase and losing their teacher assistant. Because ?? service that helps, enables and embodies the educational system. The school nurses, the teacher assistants, the guidance counselors. All of that plays a role. And so while this budget, and specifically the portion related to teachers, on the surface sounds good, smells good, it is all style and no substance because it undercuts the educational system as a whole. And therefore I cannot support this budget. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Further question or debate. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Goolsby, to what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I’d like to ask a question to Senator Apodaca. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Apodaca, do you yield? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I do. [SPEAKER CHANGES] He yields. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator, you’ve been here a lot longer than me. In fact, you’ve been here back when the Democrats were in the majority. And I’ve heard Senator Stein to begin with, I’ve just heard from Senator ?? and I think that I heard Senator McKissick also talk about the speedy budget process and how quickly we’ve run this through. Can you enlighten the members like me and the new folks as to how it worked and how warm the Senate budget was from the printers before it was voted on. Could you let us know? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Absolutely. Thank you Senator Goolsby. When you’d walk in the chamber and the budget would be laying on your desk, you couldn’t touch it for a good 20 minutes, so it would cool. It was just off the printer. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I have the floor. I do not yield. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Blue, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Point of order. [SPEAKER CHANGES] State your point. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Earlier on, we got some straying away from the matter before us. And I think rightfully so, the president confined the discussion to the bill in front of us. What happened 5, 10, 15 years ago seems to be relevant to the bill that’s before us now. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Blue, I think you’re right.
Speaker1: ...it is irrelevant to the bill, but it is relevant to the previous discussion, so I will allow it. Speaker 2: Thank you Mr. President. If you walked in the Chamber, the Bill would be so hot you could not read it til it cooled. I will share another experience with you: we never had 48 hours once - the most we ever had was 24. I wandered in, by invitation, to a budget committee meeting in room 612, was removed from the room, because I was not part of that team, so, it is just a fallacy to hear the transparency. You meet with your constituents, I met with my constituents last week, with all my superintendents to discuss the budget with them. also, last week, I met with 8 school teachers and discussed it with them. So, I just cannot buy that argument. Speaker 1: Thank you. Anymore discussion or debate? Senator Jackson for what purpose do you rise? Senator Jackson: To speak to the bill. Speaker 1: You have the floor. Senator Jackson: Our State Bureau of Investigation performs several functions: one is investigating state corruption. In the last 10 years, our SBI has investigated two governors, several cabinet secretaries, the Dept. of Public Correction, the Division of Motor Vehicles, the State Hwy. Patrol, and several members of this esteemed body. In fact, over the last 10 years, the SBI has conducted over 500 investigations into public officials. This Bill moves the SBI from the Dept. of Justice, where it is a truly independent investigator of authority, and moves it to the Dept. of Safety, where it reports to a cabinet secretary, who reports to the governor. The concern is that this will compromise the independence of the SBI and make it more susceptible to political influence. The concern is also the public appearance that will be caused when our elected officials are being investigated by the same cops that they employ. Here is a hypothetical example: let’s say there is a mayor, and let’s say that people become suspicious that he may be taking bribes. Who do you send to investigate? Do you send the local police, who work for the mayor? No, because that creates a potential conflict of interest, and it undermines faith in the underlying investigatory process at the precise moment when you want to show people that the system works. To show people that there is a firewall between the people, and corrupt politicians. Way back, in the early part of this moth, about three weeks ago, I was the Assistant District Attorney. And the best part about that job is that you never have to make an argument about which you do not personally believe: if you think he is guilty, you bring the case; if you think he is not guilty, you dismiss the case. You let your conscience be your guide in the pursuit of justice. If you put this agency in a position where it has to report to a director, who is appointed by the governor, and approved by the General Assembly, you are putting that type of independence at risk. Now I already mentioned that in the last decade that the SBI has investigated governors and some of us, but what I didn’t mention is that now, and at any given time, the SBI has a dozen investigations going on into the Dept. of Public Safety. There are people that this bill puts them underneath. That is why, Mr. President, I am sending forth this Amendment. Speaker 1: Set forth your Amendment, the clerk will read. Speaker 3: Senator Jackson moves to amend the bill. Speaker 1: Senator Jackson has the floor to explain the amendment. Senator Jackson: It is a very simple amendment: no transfer of the SBI. I urge your support. Speaker 1: Any further discussion or debate on Amendment 20? Senator Goolsby: Mr. President? Speaker 1: Senator Goolsby for what purpose do you rise? Senator Goolsby: I would like to discuss the amendment. Speaker 1: You have the floor. Senator Goolsby: Thank you Mr. President. I appreciate Senator Jackson’s views. I do oppose them. What we are trying to do, in transferring the SBI, and actually have Senator Newton, when he made his remarks, actually I have a list I will be happy to share with anyone, and it shows you how many states have a department or SBI type of agency...
The attorney general under the governor. That is only eight states including us that has it under the attorney general, who I would point out to the good Senator, is an elected official. He appoints the SBI director with no oversight by the elected representatives in these chambers in the general assembly. What we have proposed is this, Mr. President, is that the SBI be transferred with all the rest of state law enforcement, under the department of public safety, and that the SBI director be nominated by our governor and approved by both houses. He will then have the authority not to be removed by the governor, as the attorney general can now remove the SBI director, but he will actually serve for a term of eight years. As Senator Newton said earlier, spanning various administrations. He will answer to no one, unless he steps out of line and would be impeached. But when he’s making decisions about political corruption, or any other difficult decision, he makes those based upon the top law enforcement officer that he is. And I have no doubt that our governor will appoint someone who is worthy of that position and high honor. That these chambers will approve someone, and that non-political person will then take over the agency and will see to it that our state bureau of investigation is run properly and appropriately, and makes the right decisions. The way it’s done at the federal level. I would also point out that at the local level, our district attorney’s offices, the sheriff’s department and deputies, the police departments don’t work under our local prosecutors. And there is no reason at least 42 other states believe, that the attorney general should be in charge of the state’s top law enforcement investigative branch. This is a most reasonable plan. This is a plan that will see to it that we take any taint out of the state bureau of investigation. We have a lot of fine agents over there. If you’re like me, you’ve received lots of calls from agents, welcoming this type of change and this ability. That fine agency has had many black eyes in the past. I was reading the news and observer articles as I was sitting here. Those agents deserve better. They deserve a non-political director. They deserve to be removed from politics. They deserve to be able to carry out their functions without any impediment and that is exactly what we’re doing here. And I would ask you to oppose this amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Stein, to what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. President. To debate the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thanks so much. I very much appreciate Senator Goolsby recalling to us the importance of our local sheriffs, and I have here a position paper from the North Carolina Sheriff’s Association. And let me just read a couple sentences from that. North Carolina Sheriffs Association has a long-standing position against the establishment of a state police with state-wide policing powers. So you all are trying to create a state police force. Big government. And you’re doing it with an executive who once is confirmed, is not removable. I think the FBI went through that with J. Edgar Hoover and it didn’t turn out great for our civil liberties. The Sheriff’s Association concludes there is no good public policy for this transfer. Moving the SBI to DEPS will hinder, not help, local law enforcement. North Carolina does not need a state police agency. I’m all about public safety. And if the sheriffs think this is a bad idea, and you all think it’s a good idea, why don’t we actually have a hearing and a judiciary committee meeting where somebody other than you people in your closed caucus get to debate it? I have never seen this bill. I have never had a chance to debate this bill. I’ve never had a chance to hear a sheriff come and talk to you and try to convince you of the errors of your ways. Have confidence in yourselves and the quality of your ideas. And if you have confidence, you’ll let the people weigh in, then we can debate it. This is a good amendment and you all should vote for it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Further discussion or debate. Senator Apodaca, to what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To speak on the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. President. I’ve enjoyed the debate on this amendment. Also, while we’re quoting out statistics or who’s for what and who’s not for what, I have not spoken with one
...active SBI agent, or retired SBI agent, that did not want to be transferred to Justice and Public Safety. Not one. I've had groups come by my office in the District to talk about that, so they could be treated fairly. They feel like red-headed step children. Senator Stein brought up some very good points about the ultimate authority of who can discipline the Director of the SBI. So, with that being said, I'd like to send forth a substitute amendment. SPEAKER CHANGES Send forward your amendment. Clerk will read (?) SPEAKER CHANGES Senator Apodaca moves to amend the Bill. SPEAKER CHANGES Senator Apodaca has the floor to explain the substitute amendment. SPEAKER CHANGES Thank you Mr President. Members, if you'll look on the dashboard, I believe, is it up now? Okay, we're inserting language in paragraph b, 'the Director may be removed from office by the Governor for any of the grounds set forth in GS143b-13b or c'. This just lays out the reasons, if the Director violates the law, how he can be relieved of his duties by the Governor. SPEAKER CHANGES Mr President. SPEAKER CHANGES I think this is a great amendment. SPEAKER CHANGES Senator Newton for what purpose do you rise? SPEAKER CHANGES To speak to the amendment. SPEAKER CHANGES The substitute amendment? SPEAKER CHANGES The substitute amendment. SPEAKER CHANGES You have the floor. SPEAKER CHANGES Thank you Mr President. Thank you Senator Apodaca for bringing forth this substitute amendment. I think this is a very wise thing to do. It would be appropriate to remove the SBI Director if he was convicted of a felony, or if he moved out of State, which are some of the provisions in the statute. I think that was a very strong and important addition to this provision. It strikes me very, very deeply to hear some of the debate on this point. Senator Jackson hasn't had the benefit of having been here for a while, so he wouldn't remember that this provision has come up before and has been debated before. I believe it was in our budget last time. I believe it was debated before I got here and I'm certain Senator Stein and others in this Chamber that have been here a while have had this debate, and have heard from the SBI agents that want to get moved. Because, I mean, I've probably spent a couple of hours talking to several dozen of them, who have been chomping at the bit for years because of the poor leadership that they're under at the AG's office. It's time that we recognised that our law enforcement community, you know, if we wanted to have a state police department we would call it the North Carolina State Police. We wouldn't have a separate ALE. We wouldn't have a separate Highway Patrol. We have uniquely set up a situation where the SBI is independent, and under an independent Director that can only be removed under this amendment, and for obvious reasons that everybody in this Chamber would agree to. But to stay in there and posit as if this is some sort of secret conspiracy to slip the SBI out from underneath the grasp of our current AG is ludicrous. It's been going on for a long time that this effort has been under way. This move is going to bring great efficiencies to our State. We're going to save money on IT. Right now we have IT in law enforcement in different silos, we're going to save money with different training schools that we're going to be able to consolidate. We'll be able to send SBI agents and ALE agents and highway patrolmen and the other law enforcement agencies to one school instead of having different schools for all the different agencies. It'll also be great for the career path of our law enforcement personnel. When they get tired of riding in a patrol car on the long nights on the interstate, when it's really time for them to do something else, they don't have to get promoted to a desk job in Raleigh in order to have a career path in the Highway Patrol. They're going to be more easily able to move into something else like, maybe qualify to be an SBI agent, maybe become a top notch investigator. This is going to create great efficiencies in our State. There has been a lot of thought put into this and a lot of debate put into this and a lot of conversation, mostly with SBI agents. I commend the amendment to you. SPEAKER CHANGES Further discussion or debate on amendment 12. Senator Blue for what purpose do you rise? SPEAKER CHANGES To debate the substitute amendment. SPEAKER CHANGES You have the floor. SPEAKER CHANGES Ladies and gentlemen...
...and there's a simple choice here. Either you believe that the SBI should be transferred, or you believe that it ought not be. But you ought to be able to exercise the choice. You know that if you vote for this amendment, you don't get the chance to exercise that choice. You can show your sheriff whether you support him or whether you don't support him or her. But this is not the the way that we ought to debate, whether the SBI should be transferred. Or it will be a straight-up discussion and a straight-up vote. So I hope you'll vote against this substitute amendment so we can vote on whether or not the SBI should stay where it is or whether it ought to go into the governor's office. [SPEAKER CHANGES] [??] discussion or debate. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Goolsby, what purpose [??] [SPEAKER CHANGES] Debate the substitute amendment briefly, Senator-- [SPEAKER CHANGES] You have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you sir. Senator Blue now and Senator Stein both talked about there being no debate on this issue. I would concur with Senator Newton who has been with me on the Justice and Public Safety; he's now moved up of course last time to a full chair. We have debated this issue over the last three years that I've been here! And it was actually in the budget, as Senator Newton said last time. And as far as our good sheriffs go, I know that to a man or woman if you ask them, whether or not they would like to give up their independence and work directly for the district attorney, of their county, they would tell you no. Now, when we talk about where SBI should be, it should be under an independent director, not under a council of state elected politician, to whom the director serves at his or her will. I ask you to vote for this substitute amendment. Let's make this happen. It is past time. It will only be, after we get this done, seven states in the Union that still put theirs under the attorney general and we'll be with the large majority of other states because we've done the right thing here, thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator McKissick, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Speak on the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] As Senator Blue said, we [??] you guys up-and-down vote. Separation of powers is a really good idea. To avoid manipulation, to avoid undue influence, to avoid control in an inappropriate way. We've had an independent SBI functioning and operating, investigating Republicans, Democrats, anybody who was involved in corruption in this state. It might have been public officials. The record is clear. SBI has functioned well. We might be only one of eight states that does it this way, but maybe that's the model we want to stand by, and stick by. I really have to ask rhetorically, but I think I know the answer to it already. Are we doing this because Ray Cooper happens to be a Democrat attorney general? Is that why we're doing it? Because that would appear to be the case. Same as [??] mother cuts in this bucket, with the auditor's office? [??] Insurance. No other places where there are Democrats are there particular agencies. So I ask that we look at this amendment for what it is. It kills the original amendment that was put forth by Senator Jackson, which deserves an up-and-down vote, and yes, this does deserve a public debate, public scrutiny. I'm not aware that this year [??] in public safety ever meeting, in a scheduled meeting to debate this issue or discuss this issue at all. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Further discussion or debate? Hearing none. Question for the Senate, is the passage of Amendment 12 to Senate bill 744. All in favor will vote aye, all opposed will vote no. Five seconds will be allowed for the voting. Clerk will record the vote. 31 having voted in the affirmative and 16 in the negative. Amendment 12 passes, and by rule Amendment 11 is defeated. The bill is back to for [??] [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Blue, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. President. My colleagues, three thoughts come to mind as I review this bill and as I reflect over the arguments that you've heard so far this afternoon and now evening. First one is an old lesson that I was taught long time ago that he who does not learn the lessons of history is bound to repeat its mistakes. This bill offers us a good opportunity to observe that rule. You know the term we're cleaning up the process so the budget bill really became the budget bill...
Speaker: What we just got to be debating is not nearly to the budget relates subsistence law where agents are to be the many other provision in this bill that relates all of the subsistence that you read it of the ?? creating three judge course accord what we doing like rolling some judges what we doing as constitution i many places the issues that we do worth in this budgets should be dealt with the substance of committee so we don't continue this doing on the floor no so we bound to beat the mistakes because we follow this process before and it is taken the better part of 25 years to ?? up those practices this budget leads us further down the road putting substance of material in budget bills because we don't wanna go through this process that has proven to be the past legislation ,the second point that i wanna raise it reminded me of the passage and loop for team says when we ?? the lane and the ?? and you will be blessed ?? think about what this budget does and we think about and it all the last couple f years we have a feast and ?? to come ,the plan the lane the poor and everybody but rather than ?? and passage tend basically we gonna tell them out are gonna cut them shear in the bounty of the feast what we are talking about those we are cutting about disabled ?? and other who come to rely on what we do as a state ?? the third thing that cursed me about the budget is i have been wrestling and trying to figure out that some of your first or secondly teachers must have done to you because what we have done to the teachers of the state was this budget or with the earliest of budgets is gotta take some and probably add on them who know how they angered you or ?? you but it must should be every young age because is is deeply embarrasses in the way that we are training teachers,you all know that even the governor said that the approach to the senator have taken ?? it's not the point that he get ?? because it is the point that is not comprehensive enough and it doesn't deal with the whole of the idea that we are ?? and how we are should be teaching ,the people that we see among the most important in this free democratic society of hours or teachers the governors quite got it right ,you need to look at the whole experience you need text book you need technology,you need to know that these kids are getting an opportunity to develop all they are capable of developing them to and we need to know what kind of comprehensive plan we gonna have to teach all teachers fairly and bring them to national level all of it and all of it again on the floor to my colleagues in the majority party and to the governor to work closely with all of you to comprehensive bring our teachers salaries to national average not play this sure game this played in the budget bill ,i got an email that i looked at it very closely because it tells a lot of what our teacher beginning to experience ,from the young man teacher i think in ?? county,he had written that to of this morning i m very upset and offended by current senator proposal for teacher pay for this budget cycle and several reasons for it but one of the thing he prompts of is you are going to cut ten thousand more teachers assistant possession OK our k3 cant even take a bathroom break right now because on teaching assistant has assigned a five rooms in this busy running for moving to room.Have you ever tried to teach 20 students aged5-7 with only one teacher.These students are not allowed to leave the students on ?? for any reasons.
I cannot slip out to the restroom, meanwhile the poor teaching assistant is running room to room when they called him just so that they could take a bathroom break. Then he goes on to say that hes going through all kinds of trouble with his home mortgage trying to get it modified, and sort of leaves the impression that hes very disappointed in what were trying to. This is one of the people that you say your aiming this raise at. Abe Lincoln I think is the one that said you can fool some of the people some of the time, fool all of the people some of the time, but you cant fool all of the people all of the time. and if we think that we are fooling these teachers, who are demoralized already by these tricks and these shenanigans and this budget then the only ones we are fooling are ourselves. I hope that at some point you will take up the offer, now that we constantly extend it to you and that is let us sit together and reason and figure how were gonna deal with this crisis that threatens to undermine what we were busy building this state into because if we dont deal with this teacher crisis systems all over the state and especially on the borders are going to continue to lose good teachers. we are loosing nine hundred teachers from the wake county public school system this year experienced teachers maybe you can we cant afford to keep that up and so these teachers will be even more dissuaded to stay in the classrooms when they start figuring out these games that we are playing and if you truly do believe that we are to give them an eleven percent increase this year if you truly do believe that lets set eleven percent as the baseline and lets guarantee that this raise is going to continue beyond this year and lets take some of this language out of this budget bill that makes reasonable people know that its just a game you're playing youre not raising a salary in a way that it will be sustained as the governor said it has to be something that can be sustained and something thats comprehensive this bill doesnt do it the one highlight of it was aimed at trying to fool teachers it has failed to do it and I hope you will vote against it [SPEAKER CHANGES]Mr. President [SPEAKER CHANGES]Mr. President Thank you Mr. President [SPEAKER CHANGES]what purpose do you rise[SPEAKER CHANGES] lets see lets do a couple of amendments first the ?? leader kind of threw us off here getting up because a hugely to sign up ending debate so I would like to send forth an amendment [SPEAKER CHANGES]and forward with your amendment Clark Laree [SPEAKER CHANGES]Senator Apodaca move to ??? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Apodaca you have the floor [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President members thank you all this does is correct language instructing ?? to use a two to use two hundred fifty thousand dollars to hire a consultant to study state culture sights instead it deposits those funds appropriated into a savings reserve fund it also instructs department culture resources to report to the oversight committee on general gov as to any conclusions or recommendations from this task force I ask for your support [SPEAKER CHANGES] further discussion or debate on amendment thirteen hearing none question for the senate is a passage of amendment thirteen the senate ville seven forty four on ?? ?? as those who both know five seconds will be allowed for voting clerk will record the vote for this Aye for this Aye forty seven having voted in the affirmative none in the negative amendment thirteen passes and the bill is back before you further discussion or debate [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Brown for what purpose do you rise [SPEAKER CHANGES]send forth an amendment [SPEAKER CHANGES]send forward your amendment Clark Laree [SPEAKER CHANGES] senator Brown moves to amend the bill [SPEAKER CHANGES]you have the floor [SPEAKER CHANGES]Hey mr. president I have been told that most of this not all of this I think is technical Ill be glad to try to answer any questions if it fixes some things that we just needed to fix basically [SPEAKER CHANGES] Is there further debate or discussion on amendment fourteen Senator Stein for what purpose do you rise [SPEAKER CHANGES] this is a five page amendment is there any way we can take one minute and skim through it and see whats in it [SPEAKER CHANGES]senator will stand at ease for five minutes [SPEAKER CHANGES] thank you sir [SPEAKER CHANGES]senator Brown you may want to take your microphone off.
Speaker 1: Senate will come to order. Senator Brown: Mr. President? Speaker 1: Senator Brown, for what purpose do you rise? Senator Brown: Looking over this amendment, there is a problem with the second provision - we will have to probably rewrite. I make a motion that we withdraw this amendment. Speaker 1: Amendment 14, without objection, is withdrawn. Senator Brock, for what purpose do you rise? Senator Brock: Set forth an amendment. Speaker 1: Set forth your amendment, the clerk will read. Senator Brock: Senator Brock moves to amend the bill. Speaker 1: Senator Brock is recognized to explain the amendment. Senator Brock: Thank you Mr. President. Members of the Senate what this will do, when it comes to the Shell Gas expiration with Deener, to make sure we have people that have the education and experience to lead us through this process, this will allow a consultant to be hired through this process, to make sure we do this in the safest and responsible way. I urge your support of the amendment. Speaker 1: Further discussion or debate? Senator Bryant, you are hearing not? Question for the Senate is passage of Amendment 15 of Bill 744, all in favor will vote aye, all opposed vote no. Five seconds will be allowed for the voting, the clerk will record the vote. Raven, aye. Blue, aye. Davis, aye. McClaurin, aye. Forty-four having voted in the affirmative, and three in the negative, Amendment 15 passes, and the bill is back before you for further discussion and debate. Senator Brock, for what purpose do you rise? Senator Brock: To set forth another amendment. Speaker 1: Set forth your amendment, the clerk will read. Senator Brock: Thank you. Senator Brock moves to amend the bill. Speaker 1: Senator Brock is recognized. Senator Brock: Thank you Mr. President. Members of the Senate, this will actually make a, or clarify a change we have made. Actually we have already have, but now, in this National Heritage Truism Board will just make sure we have consolidated everything already together. We already have the guidebook, we just want to make sure we have all our ducks in a row. We urge your support. Speaker 1: Further discussion or debate on Amendment 16? None. Question before the Senate is the passage of Amendment 16, all in favor vote aye, all opposed will vote no. Five seconds will be allowed for the voting, the clerk will record the vote. Forty-seven having voted in the affirmative, none in the negative, Amendment 16 passes, and the Bill is back before you. Senator Brown, for what purpose do you rise? Senator Brown: To set forth an amendment. Speaker 1: Set forth your amendment, the clerk will read. Senator Brown: My page is a little slow tonight [laughter]. Speaker 1: Clerk will read. Senator Brown: Senator Brown moves to amend the bill. Speaker 1: Senator Brown has the floor. Senator Brown: This is basically the same amendment that I was running a while ago and it just fixes that second provision in the amendment. Speaker 1: Further discussion or debate on Amendment 17? Senator Stein, for what purpose do you rise? Senator Stein: To debate the amendment. Speaker 1: You have the floor. Senator Stein: Thank you Mr. President, and thank you for giving us time to review it. By my count there were 7 or 8 changes to the provision dealing with the three judge panel which, frankly, just proves the point: we should have had this go through a committee, let a committee review it, and actually have the Bill fixed – who knows what else is wrong with this language. I am going to be voting against this amendment. Thank you. Speaker 1: Further discussion or debate on Amendment 17? Senator McKissick, for what purpose do you rise? Senator McKissick: To speak on the amendment. Speaker 1: You have the floor. Senator McKissick: Like Senator Stein, I have some grave concerns about the language here dealing with the three judge panel. I see no reason for these cases that may involve constitutional issues of policies not to be continued to be considered by traditional superior court judges, single judge, whether they may be…
?? County, whether it's in Gilford County to establish a new process to have these three judge panels, where the Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court appoints them. Only the Chief Justice, three judges doing it, it seems purposefully established to circumvent a process that has been tried and true for years, proven to be successful simply because some of the decisions that have been made relating to policies that have been adopted by this body were challenged on Constitutional grounds. And when they were challenged, they were determined to be unconstitutional. Most recent being the ?? Provisions. So to really structurally reestablish our court system, our Judicial system, to escape the type of scrutiny that these cases would have. Cases are only decided, goes to the Court of Appeals. We don't need a new process. So I'm voting against this. [President] Further discussion or debate, Senator Newton, what purpose do you rise? [Senator Newton] Speak to the amendment. [President] You have the floor. [Senator Newton] Thank you Mr. President. I just find it interesting to hear the comments from the minority on this provision about the panel and this amendment that would improve it. There's a history here, I'm sure Senator McKissick and Senator Stein and some of the others are familiar with some of the past history of the three judge panels in the state. Redistricting back in 2003, I believe you might remember Senator Ran[?] talked about it and he said it would improve the quality of justice. I believe I'm quoting from November 25, 2003 the redistricting committee “I think that by doing that we materially improve the quality of the justice. And we do a better job. And we say to our people that this is a process that can be done without fear of favoritism and without fear of political influence.” And as to three judge panels, as far as protecting the Judicial Branch in regards to federal three judge panels for constitutional challenges Nathaniel Jones, who at the time in 1974 was NAACP General Counsel explained that a single judge confronted by such controversial issues or statutes is less likely than a two or three judge to find the facts and make the judgments which would make him subject to hostile public opinion. It's a simple fact of human nature that in numbers there is strength and judges, despite the protection of the judicial robe, are no less human than rest of us. This provision is actually going to do a lot to protect our judicial branch. It's certainly going to do a lot to protect our democratic process. As you gentlemen know the law is pretty clear that the acts of the general assembly are presumed to be constitutional, unless it's pretty clear that they're not. The people elect us from all over the state and what we want to do here is make sure that were not having the will of the people thwarted by venue shopping. So with this three judge panel being selected from three different regions of the state and being independent, we believe we can avoid that. I urge our members to support the amendment. [President] Is there further discussion or debate on Amendment 17? Hearing none, the question for the Senate is the passage of Amendment 17. All in favor will vote aye, all opposed will vote no. Five seconds will be allowed for the voting and the clerk will record the vote. Van Duyn; no. 31 one having voted in the affirmative and 16 in the negative, Amendment 17 passes and Senate Bill 744 is back before the Senate. [Senator Brock] Mr. President. [President] Senator Brock, for what purpose do you rise? [Senator Brock] Send forth an amendment. [President] Send forward your amendment, clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES][Clerk?] Senator Brock moves to amend the bill [President] Senator Brock, you have the floor. [Senator Brock] Thank you Mr President. This is pretty straight forward. This was brought to me by a local school board member, that when looking at where to spend money locally in schools, found out that they were spending over $20,000 in their school system on mandatory training. He's a numbers guy and he said
State. That’s almost an extra million dollars in training school board members I thought it was a waste of resources and thought it would be better for use that in the classroom. So I urge your support to put more money in the classroom. Thank you [SPEAKER CHANGES] Further discussion or debate on amendment 18. Hearing none, the question before the Senate is the passage of amendment 18. All in favor, vote Aye. All oppose, vote No. 5 seconds will be allowed for the voting. The clerk will record the vote. 45 having voted in the affirmative and 2 in the negative, amendment 18 passes and the bill is before you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Meredith, what purpose you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President, to send forward an amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Send forward your amendment. The clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Meredith amend the bill [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Meredith has the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. President Members of the senate in the present park pavement preservation that is in the current bill covers paving and concrete these are three applications for concrete I would just ask you to support this amendment so as we do pavement preservation across the state not only on asphalt but concrete that these will be included. Thank you [SPEAKER CHANGES] Further discussion or debate on amendment 19. Hearing none, the question before the Senate is the passage of amendment 19. All in favor, vote Aye. All oppose, vote No. 5 seconds will be allowed for the voting. The clerk will record the vote. 47 having voted in the affirmative and none in the negative, amendment 19 passes and the bill is back before you for further discussion and debate. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Bryant, for what purpose you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I just committed to my constituents to make three brief points on this bill [SPEAKER CHANGES] Debate the bill, you have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. one is that medicate is not considered just a program it’s all about human beings basic needs and more importantly jobs in our area all of these cuts not only will affect the human beings but it would affect the mini jobs in eastern north Carolina and particularly my district where healthcare is a major employment sector. Adding to that by eliminating optional services for example when a person with a stroke can’t have physical speech therapy or person with an amputation not a prosthesis is basically dooming them to permanent disability and lack of economic viability. the second point is that our hospitals are taking a big hit in Halifax county for example my hospital was taking a couple of 100 thousand dollars hit in the budget on top of a struggle that they’re already having with the 700 thousand dollar loss due to the lack of expansion of Medicaid and mediocre changes and this is happening throughout my district and these hospitals are major economic drivers taking 50000 dollars as sort of accumulative hit are more on this budget and thirdly founding correctional centers for women is closing in our area 150 jobs almost which is sort of a kick in the gut to us where we are having some of the highest job losses in the state and we just feel like this budget in terms of a job respected for our region is not helping us and as my constituents want you all to know that as a body and for that reason I’ll be voting no on the budget. Thank you [SPEAKER CHANGES] Further discussion or debate senator Apodaca, for what purpose you rise [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President I think I have got the last amendment [SPEAKER CHANGES] Send forward your amendment. The clerk will read [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Apodaca moves to amend the bill [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. president members, senator Blue, your comments about teacher assistants you know we gonna loose some and I think it’s appropriate that we set up a scholarship fund for some of those displaced teacher assistant so this amendment sets up a 5 million dollar scholarship fund for teacher assistants who are displaced from their jobs in the classroom and I ask your support. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Further discussion or debate on amendment 20 [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator McKissick, for what purpose you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Ask Senator Apodaca A question [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Apodaca, do you yield? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I do [SPEAKER CHANGES] He yield [SPEAKER CHANGES] How would this ?? program operate, senator Apodaca? Is it eligible for any and all teaching assistants that are about to be laid off, I guess that’s 7500 or so or how will it function, how will it operate, who will be eligible? [SPEAKER CHANGES] If the applicant was formally employed as teacher assistant
Speaker1: …the public school in North Carolina, but lost his or her assistant position in the state public school system as a result of reduction in force that will be eligible for this scholarship fund. Speaker 2: Follow up Mr. President? Follow up? What would the purpose of the scholarship be sir? What would they do with the funds once they received them, and is there any parameters established as to the amount or anything in terms of what one does, if one is eligible? I’m sure there are going to be an awful lot of them, if this moves forward, interested in applying. Speaker 1: Thank you Senator Mckezick. It will come out of the North Carolina deep face scholarship program for them to further their higher education. Speaker 2: Thank you. Speaker 3: Is there further discussion or debate on Amendment 20? Then on the passage of Amendment 20, all in favor will vote aye, all opposed vote no. Five seconds will be allowed for the voting, and the clerk will record the vote. Forty-Six having voted in the affirmative and one in the negative, Amendment 20 passes, and Senate Bill 744 is back before you. Is there any discussion or debate? Speaker 2: Any further discussion or debate on Senate Bill 744? Senator Berger is recognized: for what purpose do you rise? Senator Berger: Speak to the bill. Speaker 2: Senator has the floor Senator Berger: Thank you Mr. President. Members of the Senate, we have heard a lot of discussion and we have seen a lot of amendments. We started a little after four and it is now a little after seven, and a lot has been said about this budget, and a lot will be said as we go forward. As you know, this is just one step in the process: this has to go over to the House; the House will do whatever they are going to do: and then we will end up with, more than likely, will a conference committee who will work things out. But there are several things I would like to say about this. The key thing is: what are the priorities in this budget? I think first and foremost, the priority in this budget is the priority that every member of this body has said the priority for them is to raise teacher pay. You know NC, for a number of years, has dealt with something that has become a continuing embarrassment around the country. You all have the cited the statistics; we have cited the statistics. We are picking a number: are we 44th, 45th, 46th? It really does not matter if we are that far down on average teacher pay: it is not good for our state, for our ability to recruit and maintain our teaching profession, for our ability to recruit jobs to this state, and it is not good for our teachers, or for our kids. And so, the priority in this budget is to address this problem. And it is a problem that has festered for years. I was first elected to the NC Senate in 2000. I do not remember what the number was in 2000, 20001, but I will dare to say that we were in the 40’s then, and in 2002, 2203,2004,2005,2006, and Democratic and Republican administrations. And so, what this budget does is it looks at that as the number one priority, as far as adopting a budget. And how does this budget address that? Well, it addresses it in a way that moves us from you pick your number in the 40’s – 46th, 47th, whatever, into you can pick your number in the 20’s – 27th in the nation, maybe a little better than that, maybe a little worse – that’s not accounting for all the things people like to use as excuses for where we are, i.e. such as cost of living, other benefits – that sort of thing. It moves us to 27th, and it does that by giving teachers, on average, a raise of 11%, on average, a raise of more than $5,800. Make no mistake about it, you vote against this budget, you vote against giving a raise to teachers. There is no question about it. You can dodge the issue, you can talk about other things…
but the centerpiece of this budget is that raise. And it's funded, it is fully funded with recurring dollars. And it is something that will transform the state of North Carolina in terms of the image of the state of North Carolina in connection with how we pay teachers. And it will do something else, the single most important thing we can do to improve student achievement in our schools is to have a high quality, highly qualified teacher at the head of the classroom. And what this will do is it will not only enable the teachers we have to stay there. Those teachers that are worried about paying the mortgage. Those teachers that are worried whether not they can pay to buy a new car. Those teachers that are worried about whether or not they can put aside some money for the kids to go to college. It'll attract more qualified teachers to the classroom. We've had people read letters. Well i'll give you an example: We got a call from a teacher who used to teach in North Carolina in the public schools. She went to one of the private schools in Charlotte, and she went there for a couple of reasons. One of them was the pay another had to do with the students she'd be working with, but it was primarily the pay. I got a call from her. She said "If this goes through", this is a teacher with a masters degree, "if this goes through I'm coming back to the public system. I'm gonna apply for a job in the public system." That's the kind of thing that this sort of raise will do. Now, question is, why can't we do everything? Why can't we not reduce the teacher assistance and give this raise? Why can't we not make some reductions in medicade? Which are really not reductions, it's only reductions in government talk, because to me if you're spending more this year than you spent last year, I don't see how you can make that out as a reduction but I've heard that over and over again over the last 15 years but that's the arguments that we have here. Well, you have to make choices and those choices are within the parameters of what you have. So Here are the choices that we have: We can either leave teacher pay like it is, do nothing, continue to get pounded by folks all over the nation that we're 47th or maybe 48th or maybe we'll move up to 45th. It really doesn't matter cause none of those are good enough. Or we can raise taxes to fund some of these things. Well, the interesting thing is, hardly ever us News Observer as a source and every once in a while I have to get my glasses out, but News Observer wrote an article actually The Reporter wrote an article May 13,2014, Democrats Try to Up the Ante on Teacher Pay. And this was a press conference that Senator Blue and Representative Hall had, I don't know if any other members of the democratic caukis were there but it indicates that Hall and Blue took a stance against, talking about the tax increases against rolling them back or increasing taxes to pay for teacher salary hikes. So, folks you can't have it both ways. You're either for raising pay for teachers and you're going to find a way to do it, and that's what we've done in this budget or you're not for it. You're just talking about it. And so here you have a budget that raises the pay significantly. Vote against it you're voting against teacher pay raises. Vote for it, you're voting to put North Carolina on the map in terms of recruiting and retaining high quality teachers in our public schools. I urge you to vote for the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any further discussion or debate? Hearing none, the question before the senate is the passage of senate bill 744 on its second reading. All in favor will vote aye all opposed will vote no. Five seconds will be allowed for the voting and the clerk will record the vote. 32 having voted in the favorable, 15 in the negative. Senate bill 744 remains on the calender.
Notices and announcements. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Robinson, for what purpose do you rise. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Point of personal privilege. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank You, Mr. Chair. Ladies and gentlemen all of us are aware that 2 days ago we lost a very famous and dedicated person in the state of North Carolina and the world, Dr. Maya Angelou. And I take this opportunity this evening to remember her, I personally met her several times, talk with her. She came to ?? college, she was an emeritus board trusties member there and she was very special to all of us and she did North Carolina proud. She was really a product of who we really are as a state. So I wanna read just a few pieces on her. Dr. Maya Angelou was one of the most renowned and influential voices of our time. He hold us a global renaissance woman, Dr. Angelou. Is a celebrated poet, memoirist, novelist, educator, dramatist producer, actress, historian film maker and silver rise activist. Born on April 4th 1928 in Saint Louis, Missouri. Dr. Angelou was raised in Saint Louis in ?? Arkansas. Dr. Angelou experienced the brutality of racism and discrimination. But she also absorbed the unshakable faith and values of traditional African-American families, communities and culture. As a teenage Dr. Angelou's love for the arts won her scholarship to study dance and drama at St. Francisco’s labor school. At 14 however she dropped out to become St. Francisco's first African-American female cable car conductor. She later finished high school, given birth to her son - guy a few weeks after graduation. As a young single mother, she supported her son by working as a waitress and cook. However her passion for music, dance, and performance in poetry would soon take center stage. In 1954 and 55, Dr. Angelou toured Europe with the production of the opera Porgy and Bess. She later studied modern dance with Martha Graham, dance with [Alben alley] and many others. We all remember her first album – Calypso Lady and we also note her performances in many other dramas. In 1960 she moved to Cairo, Egypt where she served as an editor of the English language we read weekly, The Arab Observer. During her years abroad she read and studied veraciously, mastering French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic and the West African language [Funty]. While in Ghana, she met Malcolm X. With a guy that support friend the novelist James Baldwin, she began work on the book that would become - I know why the cage bird sings. Published in 1970, that book that book was published to international claim and enormous popular success. The list of her public works, nonfiction and fiction now includes more than 30 bestselling titles. A trailblazer of film and television, Dr. Angelou wrote the screenplay and composed a score for Georgia. And I will stop right there because hopefully you all know and have read and have had the experiences that Dr. Angelou brought to our state, our nation and our world. Because having grown up herself from poverty, a single mother like many of those we talk about today and then an educator as well and a famous poet.
...we cared a lot about people. And she was one of those people, who with grace, talked about the trials and the difficulties one faces in life, and what it takes to overcome that. And so I stand today and hopefully you will too, as we remember the legacy she leaves to us in North Carolina and to the world. Thank you, Mr. President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any further notices or announcements? Hearing none... [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President, I do have an announcement. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Gentleman has the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I know that you're the chair of the Ox Meter Committee, but this thing is sitting on my desk and I want to get it moved. My understanding is the Ox Meter Committee met earlier today and decided that someone decides a special recognition for their presentation during the budget discussions tonight. And that senator is, I believe he's a repeat winner of the Ox Meter, and so Senator Andrew Broch is the Ox Meter Award winner. [applause] And the vote was unanimous. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Is there any further business to come before the senate? If not, Chair recognizes Senator Berger for a motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. President. I move that the Senate do now adjourn in memory of Dr. Maya Angelou, subject to the receipt and re-referral of messages from the House to reconvene on Saturday, May 31st, 2014, at 12:15 a.m. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Let's all stand. The motion is that the Senate do now adjourn subject to the stipulations stated by Senator Berger, to reconvene Saturday, May 31st at 12:15 a.m. Seconded by Senator Goolsby. All in favor say aye, opposed no. The ayes have it, the Senate stands adjourned.