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Senate | January 14, 2015 | Chamber | Senate Opening Session

Full MP3 Audio File

This being the time and place established by a General Statute 120-11.1 for the convening of the 2015 session of the general assembly of North Carolina, the Senate will be in order. The sergeant at arms of the 2013 session will clear the aisles and close the doors. Senators-Elect and guests, please take your seats. The chair takes great pleasure in extending courtesies of the floor to the families and guests of our Senators and Senators-Elect and at this time I would like to ask everybody to please silence all electronic devices. Mr. Ben King is serving as the Senate's interpreter today, we extend courtesies of the floor to Mr. King and thank him for being with us. Courtesies of the gallery are extended to all visitors present today and we invite you to return at every opportunity. A very special courtesy is extended to my wife, my wife Alice, who's with us today up in the gallery, my daughter Hayley, my son Max, thank you for being with us as well. [APPLAUSE] Sergeant at arms is recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President, the honorable Mark Martin, Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court is at the door and awaits your direction. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The sergeant at arms will open the doors and admit Chief Justice Mark Martin of the Supreme Court of North Carolina and all members and guests will please stand. [APPLAUSE] Chief Justice Martin, the Senate welcomes you into its chamber, we greatly appreciate your participation in our opening ceremony today and we're happy to extend courtesies of the floor to you. The sergeant at arms is recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President, Beth Stovall, Miss North Carolina 2014 is at the door and awaits your direction. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The sergeant at arms will open the doors and escort Miss North Carolina, Beth Stovall, to the well of the chamber. [APPLAUSE] We welcome you to the Senate Chamber, Ms. Stovall, and appreciate your participation in the opening ceremony. Leading us in prayer today as we begin this 2015 session of the North Carolina General Assembly is the Reverend Peter Milner, our Senate Chaplain. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Please bow your heads with me in prayer. Heavenly Father, who art in heaven, come quickly to help us make haste to save us, oh Lord, we come before you today as individual citizens, members of families, clubs, universities, political parties, but first, Lord, as your children. Today we come to you, Lord, especially heavy on our hearts as we consider the life of Tammy Shiver and we ask you to protect her and the family. We pray for her that you might heal her. We lift her up into your arms, Jesus. For this reason and so many reasons, Lord, we come before you today and we pray that you might move in this place. We bow our needs before you, Father, from whom every family in Heaven and on Earth is named, that according tot he riches of your glory you might grant us to be strengthened with power through your spirit in our inner being so that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith. May this new session be pleasing in your sight, a rock and redeemer, Amen. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Sergeant at arms is recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President, the color guard of the

Don Motley Moorehead, high school army ROTC of Eden, North Carolina is at the door to present the colors and awaits your invitation. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Sergeant at arms will now open the doors for the presentation of the colors by the Junior Army ROTC Color Guard from John Motley Moorehead High School of Eden, North Carolina. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President, Moorehead High School JROTC Color Guard requests permission to enter your chamber. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Permission is granted. I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic, for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Oh say can you see, by the dawn's early light. What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming. Who's broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight, o'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming. And the rockets red glare, the bomb's bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. Oh say, does that start-spangled banner yet wave, o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave. [APPLAUSE] Thank you, Ms. ??, that was wonderful. Color guard may be dismissed. Everyone may now be seated. It's now time for roll call. The clerk will read the certification of elections received from the secretary of state. The honorable Elaine Marshall can call the roll of the Senators-Elect by district. Senators, when your name is called please stand and answer present and remain standing. The clerk will call the roll. [SPEAKER CHANGES] In the 2015 North Carolina Senate, I, Elaine F. Marshall, Secretary of State, State of North Carolina, do hereby certify that the state board of elections met Tuesday, the 25th day of November A.D., 2014 in accordance with chapter 163 of the general statutes of North Carolina, at which time the board did open canvas and judicially determine returns of votes cast in election held on Tuesday, November 4th, 2014 and certified to me the person duly elected as members of the Senate from the very Senate districts comprising of more than one county and all others have been certified to me in abstracts by the state board of elections as having the highest number of votes cast in the election for the Senate from District composed of one county only for the General

Assembly of 2015 to wit District first, Bill Cook, District Second, Norman Dex Sanderson, I'm sorry, we need the. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senators, as your name is called, if you'll just announce present so that we can record that please. Let's start over, with District 1, [??] [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Second, Norman W. Sanderson. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Third, Erica Smith-Ingram. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Fourth, Angela R. Bryant. Angela R. Bryant. Fifth, Don Davis. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Sixth, Harry Brown. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Seventh, Louis M. Pate Jr. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Eighth, Bill Rabin. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Ninth, Michael Lee. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Tenth, Brent Jackson. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 11th, Buck Newton. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 12th, Ronald Rabin. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 13th, Jane W. Smith. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 14th, Dan Blue. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 15th, John Alexander. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 16th, Josh Stein. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 17th, Tamara Barringer. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 18th, Chad Barefoot. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 19th, Wesley Meredith. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 20th, Floyd B. McKissick, Jr. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 21st, Ben Clarke. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 22nd, Mike Woodard. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 23rd, Valerie P. Foushee. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 24th, Rick Gunn. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 25th, Tom McInnis. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 26th, Phillip E., Phil Berger. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 27th, Judy, Trudy Wade. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 28th, Gladys A. Robinson. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 29th, Jerry W. Tillman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 30th, Shirley Brighborne Randleman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 31st, Joyce Krawiec. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 32nd, Elanie W. Parmon. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 33rd, Stan Bingham. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 34th, Andrew C. Brock. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 35th, Tommy Tucker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 36th, Fletcher L. Hartsell Jr. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 37th, Jeff Jackson. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 38th, Joe Ford. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 39th, Robert, Bob, Rucho. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 40th, Joyce Woodell. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 41st, Jeff Tarte. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 42nd, Andy Wells. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 43rd, Kathy Harrington. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 44th, David L. Curtis. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 45th, Dan Soucek. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 46th, Warren Daniels. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 47th, Ralph Hise. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 48th, Tom Apodaca. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 49th, Terry Van Duyn. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And 50th, Jim Davis. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] In witness of I have [??] my hand and affixed my official seal in the office this fourth day of December 2014, Elaine Marshall, Secretary of State. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senators, it is now time for the oath of office. Members elect, you will find your holy book on your desk. Some of you may have your personal book as well. At this time the chair will invite your spouse or your guest to stand with you as you take your oath of office. The oath of office will be administered to the Senators elect by the honorable Mark Martin, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina.

Please place your left hand on the Bible. Raise your right hand. Do you solemnly swear or affirm that you will support the Constitution and laws of the United States, and do you solemnly and sincerely swear of affirm that you will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the state of North Carolina and to the Constitutional Powers and authorities which are or may be established for the government thereof, and that you will endeavor to support, maintain and defend the Constitution and laws of said state, not inconsistent with the Constitution of the United States, to the best of your knowledge and ability, and do you solemnly and sincerely swear or affirm that you will faithfully discharge the duties of your office as a member of the Senate of the 2015 General Assembly of the state of North Carolina to the best of your knowledge and ability, so help you God? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I do. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Congratulations. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Congratulations to each and every one of you, Senators. You and your guests may now be seated. 39 Senators being present and having taken the Oath of Office, I declare a quorum present and qualified. The Senate will now proceed with the election of a President Pro Tempore, established by the Constitution of North Carolina, and who shall serve until the expiration of the term of office as Senator. The Chair declares nominations are in order for the office of President Pro Tempore of the 2015 Senate. Senator Apodaca, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Make a nomination. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Apodaca, you have the floor for your nomination. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. President. Members, I’d like to take this time to nominate Phil Berger for President Pro Tempore of the North Carolina Senate. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Senator. Senator Brown, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President, to second a nomination and make a motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You have the floor, Senator. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. President. Mr. President, members, it’s with great honor for me for the third time to rise and second a nomination of Senator Phil Berger to the President Pro Tempore of the 2015 North Carolina Senate. I further move that the nominations be closed and Senator Berger’s nomination be accepted by acclamation. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The motion is that the nominations be closed and that the nomination of Senator Philip E. Berger as President Pro Tempore of the 2015 Senate be accepted for acclamation. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Apodaca, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Speak on the motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Apodaca, you have the floor to speak on the motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. President, members. Today is a day many of us that have been here sometime all think back to our first time here, and I look around and I see so many new faces, and I see a few old faces like Rucho, Hartsell, and they keep getting older as time goes on, but it is always assuring to look over to my right and when he’s here see Senator Berger. Senator Berger has been with us since, goodness, what was it? 2001, Bob, he came in? He’s been a fixture here, and it’s a pleasure for me to nominate him for our President Pro Tempore for the third time, and somebody was talking to me about “Well what are you going to say when you nominate Phil?” and I said “Well after the third time, I’m running out of things to say, but one thing…” and they said “Well how is Phil Berger to work with?” I have never worked with someone as steady as Phil Berger. What you see is what you get, and he never changes, and you know where you stand, and he’ll listen to what anybody has to say, and many times he’ll keep listening and listening and listening, and then he’ll speak and he’ll speak, speak and speak, but that’s another story… but the most fascinating thing I thought of over the last two years are the Monday night events we have seen occasionally held here at the building, and it was one particular Monday night we had a group of school teachers, and they really weren’t happy. I’m used to that though. I’m married to a teacher; I know how that goes. But we sat down… and we were going to dinner that night, as a matter of fact… but we sat down with those teachers for

Well over an hour and Senator Berger sat right there and listened to every word they had to say, as a gentleman, calmly, much more so than I, he spoke with them and he continued to talk with them and they left that meeting, maybe they didn't agree with what was said, but they left that meeting feeling like they had been heard, and I don't think we can give a complement more than that to the leader of North Carolina Senate. I think every member in this room either have or will have the opportunity to sit down with Senator Berger and you'll have his undivided attention and he'll have a conversation with you, but as you look at Phil Berger the man, he represents family and his family means more to him than anything else in the world and I can attest to that, and these beautiful grandchildren. I don't know how many they have now, they seem to have one every couple of years, so I think they're up to a dozen, but anyway, and he's looking forward to more children. But I have formed a special bond with Senator Berger's wife, Pat. Pat's a lovely person, but Pat and I have this in common, we do all the work, he gets all the glory, so we do have that special bond, but all that being said, there's no greater man in this building and no better person for this job than Phil Berger, Sr. and it's with pleasure and honor I nominate him today to be our President Pro Tempore. Thank you, Mr. President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Senator Apodaca. Is there any further discussion or debate? If not, those in favor will say aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Opposed, no. The ayes have it and the chair declares Senator Phillip E. Berger of Rockingham County unanimously elected to the office of President Pro Tempore of the 2015 Senate. Senator Apodaca, Senator Brown, Senator Harrington, Senator Rucho, Senator Blue and Senator McKissick are appointed as a committee to escort President Pro Tempore elect Phillip E. Berger to the well of the Senate to receive the oath of office. [Blank audio - 02:21-02:50] [Applause] Senator Apodaca, you have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. President. Mr. President, members of the Senate, it is my pleasure to present to you the President Pro Tempore elect of the 2015 Senate, Phillip E. Berger. [Applause] [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Senator Apodaca. The escort committee may return to your seats. The sergeant at arms may escort Senator Berger's son Kevin and his granddaughter Emily and grandson Jackson to the well of the Senate to stand with the President Pro Tempore elect. The Chief Justice Mark Martin will administer the oath. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Do you, Phil Berger, solemnly swear that you will support the Constitution and laws of the United States so help you God? Do you solemnly and sincerely swear that you will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the state of North Carolina and to the constitutional powers and authorities that are and may be established to the government thereof, and that you will endeavor to support, maintain and defend the Constitution and laws of said state, not inconsistent with the Constitution of the United States to the best of your ability? Do you solemnly and sincerely swear that you will faithfully discharge your duties as President Pro Tempore of the 2015 General Assembly to the best of your skill and ability so help you God. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I do, so help me God. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Congratulations. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. [Applause]

[Applause] Senators and guests you may be seated. Congratulations, Senator Berger, the chair has the great honor of recognizing you to address the Senate and our guests. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Mr. President. Thank you ladies and gentlemen for the warm welcome. Thank you to my colleagues for once again entrusting me to serve as the President Pro Tempore of the North Carolina Senate. I look forward to working with each and every one of you as we go forward today, committed to do great things for the people of this state. To the families of our members, I think you for sharing your loved ones with us. It is a great sacrifice for family members, for you to have someone serving the state of North Carolina in this chamber, and we appreciate it more than you know. I'd also like to thank a few other folks. First I'd like to thank my family, Pat, my wife, Kevin, my son, Jackson and Emily, my grandchildren, for being here today. Like many of you they have had to sacrifice a great deal for the time away from home, the time away from family, so I thank them for that and they know how much I appreciate it. Chief Justice Martin, thank you for participating in our ceremony today. This is one of the really nice things about serving in public office and it's a good thing to have the Chief Justice of our state Supreme Court help participate in the ceremony. Lieutenant Governer Forrest, thank you for presiding over the Senate and thank you for your actions over the past two years and what you'll do with us over the next couple of year. I would also like to thank some folks that were in here but are not here now. Beth Stovall, Miss North Carolina, I would like to thank her for that wonderful rendition of that national anthem. I don't know that there are that many folks in the state or in the country that can hit those notes, but she did it magnificently. I'd like to thank Junior Army ROTC Color Guard from John Modley Morehead High School for participating in the ceremony. It is gratifying I think for many of us, I know for me, to see young people that are dedicated to improving their skills in many things, but to see the precision that those young people were able to march in and handle the flags the way they did is something that's great, and they happen to be from my hometown in Eden, so a good thing. Today marks the third occasion that I've had the honor and the privilege to stand before you to offer a vision for the work of this body at the start of the legislative session, and today North Carolina's future sounds brighter than it did when I stood before you two years ago and brighter still than when I stood before you four years ago. Back then when republicans assumed leadership of the General Assembly for the first time in more than a century, North Carolina's unemployment rate stood at over 10%, the fifth highest in the nation. We faced stagnant job growth, record multi-billion dollar budget deficits and the region's highest tax rates, but in the four years since I first addressed you, thanks in large part to the hard work of so many people in this room, we're seeing positive results. The unemployment rate has dropped nearly in half, North Carolina businesses have created more than 263,000 new jobs and the number of people working in North Carolina has climbed to historic highs and reductions in state income and sales taxes have put more money in the pockets of hardworking families across the state. We're proud of these results from policies driven by what voters elected us to do. They elected us to balance the state budget, control the growth of government spending, they elected us to reform our tax code, reduce the tax burden on families and small businesses. They elected us to reform public education to improve student outcomes. These decisions, made in partnership with our House colleagues over the past four years and with Governor McCrory over the past two years have helped turn North Carolina around. The changes we have implemented over the past four years are making our state a better place to build a business and a better place to live and raise a family. But make no mistake, there is more to be done.

Be done. Voters have seen the positive direction our state is headed and have again returned us to continue along the new path we've forged. It's a great responsibility as we enter our third full session of implementing a new direction for North Carolina and as we do that we remain just as dedicated to affecting positive change and every bit as committed to fulfilling our promises as we were four years ago. In the coming session, we'll continue to develop policies that create a stronger education system, a stronger business climate, with the goal of sustaining North Carolina's strong job growth. We'll continue working to improve our public schools because we recognize that a great education not only opens the door to a great future for our children, it also builds a capable workforce and will attract business to our state, and we'll fulfill our important promise to raise starting teacher pay to $35,000 so that we can attract and retain the best talent in our classrooms. We'll explore even more ways to improve the business tax climate so more jobs can be created and ways to make taxes less burdensome for our families so regular folks can keep more of their own money. We'll renew our efforts to reduce regulatory burdens that misdirect time and energy toward red tape and bureaucracy and away from growing businesses and getting people back to work. We'll continue to examine ways to make state government smarter and more efficient and we'll explore other conservative, common sense policy changes that will keep North Carolina on the path to prosperity. To my colleagues, our experience has shown that we can accomplish a great deal when we work together. Certainly we won't always agree on every issue and we'll have many spirited debates in this chamber in the weeks and the months ahead, but the most important thing to remember is why each of us is here. We're here to increase opportunity for those who are working hard and doing the best they can to provide for their families. We're here to support the entrepreneurs, innovators, small business owners and job creators who are fueling our economic recovery. We're here to provide responsible solutions that improve state government for our citizens and we're here to come together to do what's bets for North Carolina. If we bear these goals in mind, there's no doubt that the change we bring about for our constituents and our state will be real, will be positive and will be lasting. To the people of North Carolina, thank you for your support and for the opportunity to serve. My God bless this body and the people of our state. Thank you. [Applause] [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Senator Berger. We thank you and your family for the sacrifice that you make for the people of North Carolina. We thank you for your leadership here in the Senate. Senators, each day when we're in session here in the Senate we have a nurse of the day and today is no exception. Our nurse of the day is Mary Graff or Raleigh, North Carolina. Nurse Graff, please stand and be recognized. Thank you for your service to the Senate today. [Applause] The next order of business to come before the Senate is the adoption of the rules of procedure by which this body shall govern itself. Senator Apodaca, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President, to present a resolution. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator, you have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President, I've given a draft of the 2015 Permanent Senate Rules to the clerk for filing. The resolution will be Senate Resolution 1. I move that Senate Resolution 1 be brought before the Senate for first reading and immediate consideration by the Senate. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Without objection, so ordered. First reading of the Senate Resolution, let's see, do we have a copy up, Senator? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] We have a copy up front? First reading of Senate Resolution 1, the clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senate Resolution 1, a Senate Resolution adopting the permanent rules of the Senate for the regular session of the 2015 General Assembly, sponsor Senator Apodaca. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Second reading of Senate Resolution 1, the clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 2015 Senate Resolution, Senate Permanent Rules. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Apodaca

Is recognized to explain the resolution. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. President. Members, new members, this is the first order of business we always do when we meet on the first day of a session. This year the rules are pretty much identical to what they have been last year and the term before. There have been a few minor changes I'd like to go over, rule two, the change allows the principal clerk to convene the session in order to recess the session, so what this means is that we all do not have to be here for the session to go in and we go into recess, just a simple move to hopefully save us time and be a little more efficient. Second change, rule 24.1, allows the standard stipulations when we adjourn or recess so we do not have to repeat each time the famous saying pursuant to the introduction of bills, the referral, re-referral of bills, the reading of senatorial statements and messages from the governor. This will make it, anytime we adjourn that will be part of the adjournment resolution. You will not get to hear it each time we adjourn. Item 3, rule 38 is defining what the word bill means. It applies to resolutions and other filings, as in petitions and memorials, so it's just clarifying what bill means. Item 4, it's rule 40, this says that we're not allowed to file bills today on the first day of session to give us time to get ready. Fifth change, well, it's not a change, it's what's important to many of us, local bills will have to be in to staff for drafting before March 3, 2015, they must be filed for introduction by March 11th. Public bills must go to staff for drafting by March 15, 2015 and they must be filed for introduction by March 25, 2015. The all important crossover date for this year will be May 7, 2015. There was another one, Rule 44, item 6, provides that unless a member of the Senate really wants to object, a bill may be referred to and presented to the Senate by the bill number and the short title. If you want to hear it read out in a three page title, feel free to do that, we'll stay after session or you can stay after session and hear it, but that is rule 44, another efficiency measure, and rule 63 addresses the employment of Senate staff, changes that conform to the law and practice as they are now employed, and we had good debate on that, long debate yesterday and I think everybody's in good shape with this. Those are the changes to the rules from last term, and I'll be happy to try to answer any questions. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Blue, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Gentleman yield for a question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Apodaca, do you yield? [SPEAKER CHANGES] If he calls me gentleman, absolutely. [SPEAKER CHANGES] We pull for the same basketball teams. [SPEAKER CHANGES] It's not going too well. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Apodaca, on rule 32 it is, we're adding a committee, the workforce and economic development committee. Will members be able to man the committee requests, those who have an interest in serving on this new committee, before the finalized committee assignments? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, sir. We'll be happy to hear any requests. Yes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And let me mention along those lines on committee requests, we'll get those out late this afternoon to everybody by email, the current committee structure, and any questions of anything thereof feel free to call myself or Elaine. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Do we have any further discussion or debate? Hearing none, the question before the Senate is the adoption of Senate Resolution number 1. We will have one electronic vote, green button means aye, red button means no. All those in favor of adoption of Senate Resolution number 1 will vote aye, opposed will vote no. Ten seconds will be allowed for the voting and the clerk will record the vote.

49 having voted in the affirmative and zero in the negative, Senate Resolution number 1, the rules of the 2015 Senate are adopted. We'll now move on to further election of other officers. Senate Rule 65 establishes the Office of the Deputy President Pro Tempore, nominations are now in order for the Deputy President Pro Tempore for the 2015 Senate. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Tucker, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President, I rise to place in nomination for Senate President Pro Tem, Senator Louis Pate's name. Senator Pate is a man that I consider a friend, a man that is about duty and about service to others, duty to the Lord, duty to his wife and family, duty as a father and a grandfather, and also duty to his country, having flown multiple combat missions over Vietnam during his tenure in the military. Louis Pate is a humble man, as we all know, a kind man, and an individual that quietly speaks his mind, and again, I'm glad to call him friend. He served his country and he served his state many years over in the House until he saw the light to come to the Senate and I'm glad he did because he and I have shared many discussions over the last four years and I've grown to respect this man greatly. So with that, sir, Deputy Senate Pro Tem nomination, I formally nominate Senator Pate to serve as the Deputy President Pro Tem in the Senate. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much, Senator Tucker. Senator Wade, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To second the nomination and make a motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You have the floor, Senator. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President, members, I rise to second the nomination of Senator Louis Pate to serve as our Deputy President Pro Tem. I further move that the nominations be closed and that Senator Pate's nomination be accepted by acclimation. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Senator. The motion is that the nominations be closed and that the nomination of Senator Louis Pate for Deputy President Pro Tempore for the 2015 Senate be accepted by acclimation. Is there any discussion or debate? If not, those in favor will say aye, opposed no. The aye's have it and the chair declares Senator Pate unanimously elected to the office of Deputy President Pro Tempore of the 2015 Senate. Senator Bingham, Senator Cooke, Senator Rabin, and Senator Tucker are appointed to escort the Deputy President Pro Tempore elect, Louis Pate, to the well of the Senate to receive the oath of office. [APPLAUSE] Senator Bingham, you have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. President and members of the Senate. It is my pleasure to present to you the Deputy President Pro Tem elect of the 2015 session, Louis Pate. [APPLAUSE] Thank you, Senator Bingham. The escort committee may be seated, the sergeant at arms is directed to escort Mrs. Joyce Pate, the wife of the Deputy President Pro Tempore elect to the well of the Senate. The Chief Justice Mark Martin will administer the oath. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Do you, Louis Pate, solemnly swear you will support the constitution and laws of the United States, so help you God? Do you solemnly and sincerely swear that you will be faithful and bear

Agents to the state of North Carolina and to the constitutional powers and authorities, which are or may be established with the government thereof and that you will endeavor to support, maintain, and defend the constitution laws of said state, not inconsistent with the Constitution of the United States to the best of your knowledge and ability. Do you solemnly and sincerely swear that you will faithfully discharge your duties as Deputy President Pro Tempore of the 2015 General Assembly to the best of your skill and ability, so help you God? [SPEAKER CHANGES] So help me God, I will. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Congratulations. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Congratulations Senator Pate. You have the floor to address the Senate. Senators and guests may be seated. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. President and thank you members of the Senate for your supporting me as I have sought this job and I’ve served for the past 2 years and I gladly will serve you again this time. I’d like to thank Senator Berger for his support and for all of you for your support for my endeavors. The swearing in is taking place today. The swearing at probably begins tomorrow. But, in some cases it has already started. But, we will do the work of the people in this General Assembly and I pledge to you that I will work with you in any manner that you see fit for me to help you with. Senator Berger I pledge you my allegiance as well to do the assignment and the task that you have laid before me. Thank you very much for the opportunity to serve you as the Deputy President Pro Tem. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Senator Pate. Congratulations. We thank you for your sacrifice for the people of North Carolina and your service to the Senate. Constitution of North Carolina directs the Senate to elect its other officers. The general statutes define them to be a Principal Clerk, a Reading Clerk, and a Sergeant-at-Arms. The Chair now declares nominations are in order for the office of principal clerk for the 2015 Senate. Senator Apodaca ??. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Make a nomination Mr. President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Apodaca you have the floor for your nomination. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. President. Members, it is my pleasure today to renominate the clerk we’ve had for the last 2 terms. The clerk who has done a phenomenal job. I don’t think anyone can question her abilities. Her staff is just wonderful. The smoothness that runs in spite of ourselves. In spite of the members and what we try to cause the grief to the clerk’s office. So, with that being said, it’s my pleasure today to nominate Sarah Lang to the position of Clerk of the North Carolina Senate for the next term. Thank you Mr. President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Senator. Senator Blue ??. [SPEAKER CHANGES] To second the nomination and make a motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator you have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. President. Ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, it’s my pleasure to second the nomination of Sarah Lang to be Principal Clerk. Senator Apodaca, the gentlemen pointed out that she operates an efficient shop and has been quite helpful as we’ve dragged ourselves into the Twenty-first Century technologically. She also strives very hard to be transparent, which she is, and to be fair and loyal to the institution. And so, it is with great pleasure that I second her nomination as a fellow Wake countian, but more importantly I would move, Mr. President, that the nominations be closed on the ?? should be elected by acclimation. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Senator Blue. The motion's that the nominations be closed and that the nomination of Sarah Lang for the principal clerk of the Senate for the 2015 session be accepted by acclimation, is there any discussion or debate? If not, those in favor will say aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Oppose, no. The ayes have it. The Chair declares Sarah Lang unanimously elected to the office of Principal Clerk of the Senate for the 2015 session. The Sergeant-at-Arms will escort the Principal Clerk elect to the well of the Senate, where Chief Justice Mark Martin will administer the oath of office. The Sergeant-at-Arms.

now escort Mr. Ralph Lang to the well of the Senate to stand with his daughter. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Do you, Sarah Lang, solemnly swear that you will support the constitution and laws of the United States, so help you God? Do you solemnly and sincerely swear that you will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the state of North Carolina and to the constitutional powers and authorities which are, or may be established for the government thereof and will you endeavor to support, maintain, and defend the constitution and laws of said state, not inconsistent with the constitution of the United States to the best of your knowledge and ability? Do you solemnly and sincerely swear that you will faithfully discharge your duties as principal clerk of the Senate of the 2015 General Assembly to the best of your skill and ability so help you God? Congratulations. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Congratulations Madam clerk, you may assume your seat, which she's already done, so she's already a step ahead of us. Thank you for your service to the Senate and for making my job easy and for serving the people of North Carolina. The chair declares the floor open to receive nominations for the office of reading clerk of the 2015 Senate. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Tillman, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To pledge the nomination of the name of Lee Settle for reading clerk. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You have the floor, Senator. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President and members, it is a great pleasure that, number one, the rules have been changed to make it easier for Lee Settle, he don't have to read the long titles. Sometimes I know we've seen some four pages long so we might be able to reduce his pay but it's going to be easy for him. But it is with great pleasure that I nominate Lee Settle. He's a constituent of mine from Moore County, by the way, to again serve as our reading clerk. I'm honored that he has again agreed to be a part of our Senate family and with that I formally nominate Lee Settle to serve as reading clerk for the 2015 North Carolina Senate. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Senator Tillman. Senator Brock, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To second the nomination and to make a motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You have the floor, Senator. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. President, members of the Senate. As the responsible party for the three page bill I want to hereby apologize for that but I am honored to second the nomination of Lee Settle to serve as the reading clerk of the 2015 North Carolina Senate, and I further move that the nomination to be closed and that Lee Settle's nomination to be accepted by acclimation. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Senator Brock. The motion's that the nominations be closed and that the nomination of Lee Settle for the reading clerk of the 2015 Senate be accepted by acclimation. Is there any discussion or debate? If not, those in favor will say aye, opposed no, the aye's have it and the chair declares Lee Settle unanimously elected to the office of reading clerk of the 2015 session. The sergeant at arms will escort the reading clerk-elect to the well of the Senate, where Chief Justice Mark Martin will administer the oath of office. The sergeant of arms may also now escort Mrs. Alberta Settle to the well of the Senate to stand with her husband. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Do you, Lee Settle, solemnly swear you will support the constitution and laws of the United States, so help you God? Do you solemnly and sincerely swear that you will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the State of North Carolina and to the constitutional powers and authorities which are, or may be established for the government thereof and will you endeavor to support, maintain, and defend the constitution and laws of said state, not inconsistent with the Constitution of the United States to the best of your knowledge and ability? Do you solemnly and sincerely swear that you will faithfully discharge your duties as reading clerk of the Senate of the 2015 General Assembly to the best of your knowledge and ability so help you God? Congratulations. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I will. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Congratulations.

[APPLAUSE] Congratulations, Mr. Settle. You may now assume your seat. Senators, nominations are now in order for the sergeant at arms of the 2015 Senate. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Rabin, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To make a nomination, Mr. President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator, you have the floor for your nomination. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. President, members of the Senate. I rise to nominate our own Phil King serve as sergeant at arms of the Senate. As you know, Mr. King has served us well for the past four years, prior to coming to this great position he served our country well as a Navy Seal and as a member of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. With that, Mr. President, I formally nominate Phil King serve as sergeant at arms of the 2015 North Carolina Senate. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Senator Rabin. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Soucek, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To second the nomination and to make a motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator, you have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. President, members of the Senate. I am honored to second the nomination of Phil King to serve again as our sergeant at arms and I also move the nominations be closed and that Phil King's nomination be accepted by acclimation. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Senator Soucek. The motion is that the nominations be closed and the nomination of Phil King for sergeant at arms of the 2015 Senate be accepted by acclimation. Is there any discussion or debate? If not, those in favor will say aye, opposed no. The aye's have it and the chair declares Phillip King unanimously elected to the office of sergeant at arms of the senate for the 2015 session. The sergeant at arms-elect will go to the well of the Senate where Chief Justice Mark Martin will administer the oath of office and assistant sergeant at arms will escort Carol King to the well of the senate to stand with her husband. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Do you, Phillip King, solemnly swear that you will support the constitution and laws of the United States, so help you God? Do you solemnly and sincerely swear that you will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the state of North Carolina and to the constitutional powers and authorities which are, or may be established for the government thereof and will you endeavor to support, maintain, and defend the constitution and laws of said state, not inconsistent with the Constitution of the United States to the best of your knowledge and ability? Do you solemnly and sincerely swear that you will faithfully discharge your duties as sergeant at arms of the Senate of the 2015 General Assembly to the best of your skill and ability so help you God? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I do swear, so help me God. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Congratulations. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. [APPLAUSE] The chair congratulates you, Mr. King, and directs you to assume the seat of the sergeant at arms of the 2015 Senate. Letter from the majority caucus, the clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Dear Reverend Forest, this is to advise you that the Senate Republican Caucus met on December 11th, 2014 with the 13 members present and nominated the following offices for the 2015 session of the General Assembly: President Pro Tem, Senator Phillip Berger, President Deputy Pro Tem, Senator Louis Pate, Senate Majority Leader, Senator Harry Brown, Senate Majority Whip, Senator Jerry Tillman, Caucus Secretary, Senator Fletcher Hartsell, Principal Clerk, Ms. Sarah Lane, Sergeant at Arms, Mr. Phillip King, Reading Clerk, Mr. Lee Settle. Sincerely, Senator Fletcher L. Hartsell, Jr, Secretary of Republican Caucus. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senators, as I call your name, please stand and remain standing

Senator Harry Brown, majority leader. Senator Jerry Tillman, majority whip. Senator Fletcher Hartsell, majority caucus secretary. Thank you for your service to the Senate. [APPLAUSE] Letter from the minority caucus, the clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Your Senate lieutenant Governor Forest. The Senate Democratic Caucus met on December 17th, 2014 and on January 8, 2015 to elect officers for the 2015-16 legislative session. The following officers were elected: Senator Daniel T. Blue, Jr. from Wake, minority leader, Senator Terry Van Duyn, Buncombe, minority whip, Senator Robert B. Clark III, Hoke, caucus secretary, respectfully Senator Robert B. Clark III, secretary Democratic Caucus. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senators, as I call your name please st6and and remain standing. Senator Dan Blue, minority leader, Senator Terry Van Duyn, minority whip, Senator Ben Clarke, minority caucus secretary. [APPLAUSE] Senator Apodaca, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President, quick moment of personal privilege and a motion, if I might. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator, you have the floor for your personal privilege and for your motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Thank you, Mr. President. As I was looking over at Senator Bingham's grandchild, it reminded me many times Senator Bingham looks that way after we're into the session for an hour, asleep. Mr. President, can I have a motion please? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator, you have the floor for your motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Having vote with the prevailing side in the election of Senator Phil Berger as President Pro Tempore of, I move to reconsider the vote electing Senator Berger and further move that my motion to reconsider be laid upon the table. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Tucker, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To second the motion to lay on the table. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Senator Tucker. This motion to lay upon the table is a non-debatable motion, Senators, and we'll go straight to a vote. The question for the body is the motion to table the motion to reconsider the vote for President Pro Tempore. All in favor will vote aye, all opposed will vote no. Ten seconds will be allowed for the voting, the clerk will record the vote. Waddell, Senator Waddell, yes or no? Just a thumbs up or a thumbs down will be fine. Change the vote to yes, 48 having voted in the affirmative and one in the negative, the motion has been tabled. Messages from the House. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Tillman, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President, I rise for a moment of personal privilege. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Tillman, you have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yesterday we had a revenue laws meeting, committee, good meeting. In a great act of bipartisanship and love, one of our minority friends, Senator Ford, where does he sit now? I know he's moved up in the pecking, ??. Senator Ford had on a very good looking tie. I wondered where he got his class but I met his wife, who is, by the way, from the southern part of the state, down east really, around Wilson somewhere. But he always dresses nice. I used to think Senator Daniel, he was the best dressed but Senator Ford, you're actually probably a little bit ahead of Daniel. He had on a great looking tie, not this one, and I told him that my tie did not look too well with that wonderful pin-striped Joseph Bank suit that I had on and how good it looked on him, and he had a similar pin-striped suit yesterday. He took it off right there. I took that little K-Mart tie off and I laid it down and he put it on, and I tried to read the label last night, folks, I couldn't even tell if it was British or French or German. I don't know, it was some uptown place. It certainly wasn't Joseph Bank, it wasn't down in that level and I thought that was a pretty good level but it wasn't. Anyway, I want to thank him for this great bipartisan move yesterday and later on though, Senator, I heard you talking. I overheard you saying, "Kevin don't know this but he owes me," and

That was about $140 tie. It's the best looking tie I've got, matter of fact, and I'm gonna keep that and you will get repaid. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Messages from the House, clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] House Joint Resolution 2, A joint resolution adjourning the 2015 regular session of the General Assembly to a date certain as provided by law. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Apodaca, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Apodaca has the floor for a motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President, members, I move the rules be suspended to the end that House Joint Resolution 2 be brought before the Senate for its first reading and immediate consideration. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Without objection. So ordered. House Joint Resolution 2 on its second reading, the clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Adjoin organizational sessions. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Apodaca, would you like to explain the resolution? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'd love to, but I don't have a copy, Madame Clerk. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Apodaca, you have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. President, members, basically what this does, it will adjourn us and bring us back at 12 o'clock noon on Wednesday, January 28th. That's the essence of this resolution. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Senator. Is there any discussion or debate? Hearing none, the question before the Senate is the passage of House Joint Resolution number 2 on its second reading. All in favor will vote aye, opposed will vote no. Ten seconds will be allowed for the voting. The clerk will record the vote. 36 having voted in the, hold on one second, we have a couple that have not showed up here on the screen. Smith-Ingram, up or down, yes or no? Yes? Aye? Davis, Don Davis, green, aye. Parmon, Senator Parmon, what do you say, no? Senator Parmon here, I'm sorry. All new seating to me, Senator Parmon is, aye. Aye, Senator Parmon, thank you. 49 having voted in the affirmative and 0 in the negative, House Joint Resolution 2 has passed its second reading and without objection will be read a third time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The North Carolina General Assembly enacts. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Is there any further discussion or debate? All in favor of the passage of House Joint Resolution 2 on its third reading will say aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] All opposed, no. The ayes have it. House Joint Resolution 2 passes its third reading and it will be enrolled. Visitors and guests, it was an honor to be with you today. It is an honor to be able to stand before you as Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina and as the President of the Senate and it's an honor to serve you on a daily basis in this great state. Two years ago as we celebrated the 50th anniversary of this legislative building, I shared my passion with you as an architect for great design and that this building we stand in today is a modern architectural masterpiece designed by world-renowned architect Edward Burrel Stone. To understand the importance that our forefathers placed in the design of this building, the building's architect also designed the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, Radio City Music Hall and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Many of you, especially the new members here, today will find yourselves engaged in the frustrating verbal battles with this building as you sit in tiny block wall offices and as you try to differentiate one corridor from the next. As an architect, my appreciation lies in the contextual framework within which it was designed. To appreciate any building or work of art, we must place ourselves within the context of its creation. Sometimes within that context we can understand the story and discover the beauty. This large, modern was placed amongst a sea of Victorian homes in a small southern town 50 years ago. The aerial view of it today looks like a spaceship invaded the capital city, but it was bold and it was courageous and it was innovative for its time. Other bold and courageous moves of the day included a scientific and political race to place a man on the moon that captured America's imagination and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s I have a dream speech that captured America's heart. We all dream big

Dreams. We all conjure up both courageous and innovative ideas, but those dreams and ideas must rest upon a solid foundation, just like this building, if they are to stand the test of time. What does that foundation look like in North Carolina? Two years ago I mentioned that there was much work to be done to relieve our citizens of the burden of taxation in our great state. You made the bold moves and did the hard work to improve our tax foundation. You placed more money in the pockets of every tax paying citizen in North Carolina and you moved our state from 44th in the nation in the business tax climate to 17th in the nation... Letting the world know that North Carolina is open for business. Two years ago I shared the unemployment rate was 9.1% on that day. You did the hard work that needed to be done to reduce that unemployment rate to 6.3% today. Because of your bold leadership over the past 2 years, oil and natural gas exploration and production are much closer to reality in North Carolina than they have ever been before. Two years ago I mentioned that for the first time in modern history, we have the opportunity to take advantage of technology to transform the world of education. Through your leadership, we are right on the verge of making North Carolina a leader in education innovation. You followed through with your prompt promise to increase teacher pay for the first time in a number of years. You created the North Carolina education endowment so that we could invest in excellent teaching. So that we could strive towards an inspirational goal of having our highest performing teachers be amongst the highest paid in the nation. You focused on the importance of reading for third graders because if our children can't read by the third grade, the hill before them is just too high to climb to succeed in life. You realized the importance of the highest standards of education for America so that our students could compete for jobs anywhere in the world. You began the process of investing in digital technology, transformation in our schools. Because of your innovative leadership and the work with many passionate education professionals, teachers, parents, businesses, and non-profits, I believe North Carolina will be the first state in the country to have every classroom connected to high-speed broadband internet, connected devices in the hands of every child, and teachers who know how to leverage this technology to our kids for new frontiers. When you place that connected device in the hands of that child you have placed all the knowledge in the world at their fingertips. You have placed every book in the world in their hands. You have opened up the world of opportunity and possibility to a child, who perhaps, had no hope. You have effectively begun to bridge the socio-economic education divide for the first time in the history of our nation. The North Carolina, digital learning plan will enable us to move from a one size fits all approach to education to customized education for every child. To make the transition away from extensive high-stakes testing to mastering base learning. To move from static teaching tools to dynamic digital tools. To move from class time learning to anywhere, anytime learning. To reach children in each and every school in North Carolina with content and curriculum they have never had access to before. My friends, Senators, this plan is not a dream, it is a reality because of you. In fact, your bold leadership created the love that established this transformation and the digital learning plan is a work in progress. I have a copy of the digital learning plan with me today and when you leave here today you will all have a copy of that on your desk. I hope you will take it and read it. In order for this plan to be successful, it will take continued courage, leadership, and investment for the building of a strong foundation. An architect knows that a great building starts with a solid foundation. And a solid foundation starts with a well thought out plan. And that plan starts with a vision. I thank you for being visionaries. The design of this building envisions the future where the leader of our state would come together, despite their differences, to work for the common good. They designed a building open to the people, slowly diverted to the legislative branch in government. So Senators and Representatives can work along side each other in close proximity to solve these challenges of our state. We have new challenges that face us in North Carolina in 2015. But as designers of North Carolina's future, we will tackle these challenges with boldness and courage. We will build a strong foundation for our future in design in North Carolina that our children and grandchildren will be proud of for many years. A great trust has been placed in you by the people of our state and I know each of you are up to the task of ensuring that that trust is not breached. I look forward to working with you and getting to know the new Senators over the next 2 years. And as always, you have my word that I will preside over this body with all...

..fairness and transparency. May God bless each of you with wisdom, knowledge, and courage as you lead our great state. God bless. [SPEAKER CHANGES] ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President? [SPEAKER CHANGES] ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes. Senator. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes. I stand to state that I wish to change my vote. I am in support of our President ??. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Senator. Senator Smith of ?? changes her vote from no to aye. Senator ??. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. President. Motion please. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator ?? has called for a motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. President. After hearing your wonderful marks, I believe that the word spoken today by elected officials be spread across the journal. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Objection so ordered. Senator Clark, your microphone's on. Did you-- Thank you, Senator. And Senator Smith-Ingram, your microphone is on as-- Thank you. Now, Senators, having received your oath of office, adopted rules of procedure, and elected your officers, the chair directs the principal clerk to send a message to the House of Representatives informing that honorable body that the Senate of the 2015 General Assembly is organized and ready to proceed with public business. Do you have any notices or announcements? Senator Berger. For what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To make an announcement. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Berger, you have the floor for your announcement. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. President. Members of the Senate, in just a few minutes we're going to adjourn. Earlier today, I submitted to the principal clerk a list of standing committee appointments for the 2015 session. I appreciate every member's willingness to serve and I am looking forward to working with you during this legislative session if. I know that Senator Blue mentioned the new committee. If there are questions or concerns about your assignments on committees, please get word back to our office. I can't promise we can accommodate every request, but we will certainly take every request and see what we can do. Let us know if there's something we can do as we move forward. Thank you, Mr. President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Senator. Do we have any other notices or announcements? Any further business to come before the Senate? If not, the chair will entertain a motion for adjournment. Senator Berger is recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I move that the Senate do now adjourn in accordance with House joint resolution number two subject to the ratification of bills and resolutions that receive messages from the House and messages from the governor in the reading of committee appointments to reconvene on Wednesday, January 28, 2015 at 12:00PM. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Senator Berger. The motion by Senator Berger is seconded by Senator ?? is that the Senate do now adjourn in accordance with the House joint resolution number two subject to the ratification of bills, the receipt of messages from the House, and from the governor, and the reading of committee appointments to reconvene on January 28, 2015 at 12:00PM. All in favor say aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Oppose no. The ayes have it. The Senate stands adjourned.