2009 LEGISLATIVE SESSION MEMO #16


On Monday the education groups, cities and counties met with the Trial Lawyers and Senator Rand’s counsel to hear the latest version of the Government Immunity legislation being proposed (SB 1026). Everyone was at the meeting except the Counties. The meeting was very short as NCSBA wanted us to stay quiet about the latest version, which was very different from the one we had received. The education groups met after the meeting to discuss strategy for defeating the bill scheduled to be heard in Senate Judiciary I Tuesday. Assignments were made and work began.

The House members returned to Raleigh early Monday afternoon to continue Committee meetings and pass as many bills, subject to Crossover (May 14th), as possible. The Senate didn’t come in until 6:00PM. Bills without fiscal implications have to pass one house or the other before the Crossover Deadline, to remain eligible. Last week HB 593 Change School Starting Date did not get a Favorable Report so NCAE, NCSBA and NCASA and others worked with members on Commerce to secure enough votes to try one more time to get the bill out of Commerce and to the floor. On Monday at 2:00PM Commerce met and this time the motion for a Favorable report passed by a vote of 14-10. HB 636 Staff Development OK on Teacher Workday (PCS changed the name of bill to School Calendar Changes for Inclement Weather/Emergency Conditions) also received a Favorable Report and was headed to the House floor for a vote. Bills were heard for several hours on Monday night before the House and Senate finally adjourned.

Tuesday began early with Committee meetings and a flurry of activity on the Government Immunity bill (SB 1026) and the calendar bill (HB 593). The day was filled with one Committee after another sometimes meeting twice during the day to try and get the bills heard and reported out favorably. The House Education Committee met three times on Tuesday to hear a number of bills, listed below. While all this is was going on the Senate J1 Committee was being worked to get enough votes to defeat the Government Immunity bill. The House and Senate finally finished their list of bills on the calendar around 5:30PM, adjourned and began several more committee meetings. Senate J1 still had a list of more than 20 bills to be heard. The wait began to hear the Government Immunity bill, meanwhile the Homeschoolers bill was put on the Education Committee agenda for their 6:00PM meeting. Discussions after the last Education meeting resulted in an agreement to have Rep. Bordsen be recognized by the Chair to make a motion for an unfavorable report, but Rep. Lucas did not do that and Rep. Samuelson made a motion for a Favorable Report. Interested parties made their case, members talked and the vote count was very close. More members arrived from other committees and the vote was finally taken on the motion and was defeated by 17-16. The bill would have allowed homeschoolers to participate in athletic teams at public schools. We sat and waited in Senate J1 for the Government Immunity bill to be heard, several members had to leave for other commitments, but the votes were still there to defeat the bill. Finally, at 8:30PM Senator Rand stood at the podium to discuss the PCS, which had changed several times since we first saw it on Monday. The questions began and it became apparent Senator Rand did not have the votes to get the bill passed so he walked away from the podium and sat down. The Committee heard one more bill and adjourned for the evening at 9:00PM. The members who had stayed to vote on the bill, were thanked and everyone left.

Senate Appropriations met early on Wednesday to pass HB 917 Implement Executive Order Number 11/Protect Employee (Governor’s Paycut/Furlough bill). Next, Senate Education met to roll out another five bills. Some of the bills passing right now are really problematic, but that is what happens during crossover week. Several other bills were modified to get the necessary support for passage. Hectic and difficult would be the best way to describe the events this week. The Senate also convened their Session at 10:00AM on Wednesday, heard a dozen bills, recessed went back into committee meetings and then came back to begin to finish their calendar at 2:30PM. The House did not convene until 3:00PM to work on their list of bills. The no smoking bill (HB 2) passed first and then after numerous bills, HB 593 the school calendar bill came up. The Speaker had agreed to have five pro members and five con members speak. The vote was 76-41 after it was amended to set the ending date 42 weeks after the start and, after an objection to third reading was recalled, division being called, they voted on the bill and it finally passed 77-39. The next controversial bill to be heard was the contributory negligence bill (HB 813) versus comparative fault. NC is one of four States who maintain some form of Contributory negligence law. This law has been on the books for more than 100 years. The last attempt to change the law in the early 1980’s failed to pass. The Trial attorneys had determined it was time to change NC Contributory Negligence law to Comparative Fault. Businesses, hospitals, chambers, and many more began lobbying to defeat the bill. The vote was close, but it passed second reading and an objection was raised for third reading, but after several more amendments the bill was brought back on third reading and passed and send to the Senate. The impact of this legislation, if it passes, will be on everyone’s insurance costs, since their will likely be an increase in claims and claim payouts as a result a change in the law.

Thursday both chambers convened at 8:30AM and 9:00AM. The House had more than 85 bills on the calendar and at 3:00PM added another 12 bills on a supplemental calendar. The Senate had fewer bills and finished their day around Noon. The House finally adjourned for the week around 5:45PM. The House and Senate will return Monday afternoon. The House Appropriations Chairs will resume their work as will the subcommittees on trying to work on the House budget. The funding targets continue to fluctuate. The House Appropriations Education subcommittee is scheduled to meet on Tuesday at 8:30AM to discuss Base Budget Reductions for Education (public schools, community colleges, universities, and private colleges). The House has adjusted their budget schedule and now hopes to complete their budget by June 18th. This leaves very little time for the House and Senate to concur and get agreement on a final State Budget for 2009-2010. The tricky part of this schedule now comes into play if they can’t complete their work by July 1. The usual Continuing Resolution cannot be done. A Continuing Resolution keeps funding at last year’s levels and at this point we know the funding for 2009-2010 will be below 2008-2009. Stay Tuned for Budget updates next week.

 

House Committees:

Education:

HB 213 VSL Nonfamily Sick Leave Donations Favorable Report to Proposed Committee Substitute and sent to House Floor.

HB 311 Continue School Construction Funding Favorable Report and re-referred to Finance.

HB 482 Reinstatement of Sick Leave/School Employees Favorable Report to PCS and re-referred to Appropriations.

HB 971 Legislative Study of Alternative Schools Favorable Report to PCS and re-referred to Rules.

HB 1306 Restore Flexibility to School Calendar Favorable Report to PCS and re-referred to Commerce.

HB 1466 Coordinate Teacher Ed Reporting Requirements Favorable Report and re-referred to Appropriations.

HB 348 Modify Education Requirement/School Board Members Favorable Report to PCS as amended and re-referred to Judiciary III. Requires 12 hours of training for each board member annually. The PCS includes a fine of $100 (amended to $50) for each hour of training not completed.

HB 661 City Managers on School Boards Favorable Report and re-referred to Judiciary III.

HB 1024 Lottery Advertising Compliance Act Favorable Report to PCS and sent to the JII.

HB 1116 Home Schoolers Participate in Sports Lengthy discussion. Favorable Report motion vote 16-17. The bill failed to pass.

HB 1176 Reorganize Schools with High Dropout Rates Favorable Report and sent to the House Floor.

HB 1260 Voter Preregistration and Education Favorable Report and sent to the House Floor.

HB 1474 Credit Education Required/High School Seniors Favorable Report to PCS and sent to House Floor.

HB 1322 Probationary Teacher Appeals Favorable Report to PCS and re-referred to Judiciary III.

HB 1446 Amend Law Re: School Improvement Plans Favorable Report to Proposed Committee Substitute and re-referred to Appropriations.

Appropriations:

HB 817 Establish NC Financial Literacy Council Favorable Report and sent to the House Floor.

HB 917 Implement Executive Order Number 11/Protect Employees Favorable Report and sent to the House Floor.

HB 1446 Amend Law Re: School Improvement Plans Favorable Report and sent to the House Floor.

Commerce:

HB 593 Change School Starting Date  Favorable Report to Proposed Committee Substitute, vote was 14-10. The bill now goes to the House floor.   

HB 636 Staff Development OK on Protected Teacher Workday Favorable Report to Proposed Committee Substitute and sent to the Floor. Title changed to School Calendar Changes for Inclement Weather/Emergency Conditions.

Energy and  Energy Efficiency:

HB 902 Up B-20 Biodiesel Purchases for School Buses Pulled

Health:

HB 1274 Childhood Obesity/Common Metric Measure Favorable Report and re-referred to Appropriations. New Bill and name changed to State Health Plan Blue Ribbon Task Force. Sent to the House Floor.

Insurance:

HB 535 Health Insurance Coverage/Lymphedema Favorable Report and sent to the House Floor.

HB 1247 State Health Plan/Employee-Only Premium Meeting Cancelled

HB 1391 NC Risk Pool Clarifications Favorable Report and Name Changed to NC Risk Pool Premiums/Notice Requirements and sent to the House Floor.

HB 1022 Workers, Comp./Duration of Total Disability Favorable Report and re-referred to Judiciary II.

HB 1485 Insurance/Health Care Provider Relationship Favorable Report and re-referred to Judiciary II.

Judiciary I:

HB 813 Uniform Apportionment of Tort Responsibility Favorable Report to Proposed Committee Substitute (PCS) and sent to the House Floor.

HB 1292 Employment of Non-Certified Personnel Favorable Report and sent to the House Floor.

Judiciary II:

HB 385 Public School Activity Bus Use/Stecoah Valley Ctr. Favorable Report to Proposed Committee Substitute and sent to the House Floor.

HB 1317 Sex Offender Registry Changes Favorable Report and sent to the House Floor.

HB 1117 Sex Offender Can’t Drive Bus with Children Favorable Report to PCS and sent to the House Floor.

HB 1485 Insurance/Health Care Provider Relationship Favorable Report to PCS and sent to the House Floor.

HB 1327 Schools Notified of Gang Membership Favorable Report to PCS and sent to the House Floor. Name Changed to Schools Notified of Criminal Intelligence Information.

Judiciary III:

HB 209 Sex Offender Registry/Liberties with Students Favorable Report and sent to the House Floor.

HB 1078 Report School Violence to LEA Office Favorable Report and sent to the House Floor.

HB 1261 Protect Our Kids/Cyber Bullying Misdemeanor Favorable Report and sent to the House Floor.

HB 1255 Sex Offenders/Permanent No Contact Order Favorable Report and sent to the House Floor.

HB 661 City Managers on School Board Favorable Report as amended and sent to the House Floor.

HB 1322 Probationary Teacher Appeals Favorable Report to PCS and sent to the House Floor.

HB 348 Modify Education Requirement/School Board Members Favorable Report to PCS and amended and sent to the House Floor.

Local Government II:

HB 352 Lottery School Capital Fund Formula Favorable Report and re-referred to Finance.

Rules, Calendar and Operations:

HB 188 Study Raising Compulsory Attendance Age Favorable Report and sent to the House Floor.

HB 223 No High School Graduation Project Required Favorable Report and sent to the House Floor.

State Government/State Personnel:

HB 1031 Building Standards/Pre-K Classes in Public Schools Favorable Report to PCS.

HB 1046 Child Care Facilities Rules Favorable Report to PCS.

Transportation:

HB 1117 Sex Offender Can’t Drive Bus with Children Favorable Report and re-referred to Judiciary II.

 

Senate Committees:

Education /Higher Education

SB 583 Tuition Reciprocity/Community Colleges Favorable Report to Proposed Committee Substitute.

SB 824 Bus Transportation/After-School Programs Favorable Report to PCS.

SB 1012 Home Schoolers in Public School Program/Study Favorable Report to Proposed Committee Substitute and re-referred to Senate Rules.

SB 1028 Encourage Volunteerism in Schools Favorable Report to PCS. Title changed to “Volunteer to Support Academic Success in Schools.”

SB 962 Probationary Teacher Appeals Favorable Report to PCS.

Commerce:

SB 534 Healthy Families and Healthy Workplaces Act Pulled

SB 894 UI/School Teacher Related Amendments Favorable Report to PCS.

Health Care:

SB 877 Health Benefit Plan Provider Contracts Favorable Report to Proposed Committee Substitute. Name Changed to Health Plan Provider Contracts/Transparency

Judiciary I:

SB 491 Expunge Nonviolent Crimes Favorable Report to PCS and re-referred to Finance.

SB 859 Tort Claims Act Local Gov. Opt-In Favorable Report and sent to the Senate Floor.

Mental Health & Youth Services:

HB 88 Healthy Youth Act Meeting Cancelled. Bill remains alive for passage in the Senate.

Pensions & Retirement & Aging

SB 468 Authorize Insurance for Former Employees Favorable Report and sent to the Senate Floor.

SB 740 Reinstatement of Sick Leave/School Employees Favorable Report and sent to the Senate Floor.

 

House Floor:

HB 2 Prohibit Smoking in Certain Public Places Concurred and Ratified.

HB 188 Study Raising Compulsory Attendance Age Passed second and third reading and sent to the Senate.

HB 209 Sex Offender Registry/Liberties with Students Passed second and third reading and sent to the Senate.

HB 213 VSL Nonfamily Sick Leave Donations Passed second and third reading and sent to the Senate.

HB 223 No High School Graduation Project Required Passed second and third reading and sent to the Senate. The bill requires a study to determine fiscal impact and delays Graduation Project requirement until 2011-2012.

HB 229 Retired Teachers Return to Work-Re-Referred from Education to Appropriations by Rules Chairman.

HB 311 Continue School Construction Funding Passed second and third reading and sent to the Senate.

HB 348 Modify Education Requirement/School Board Members Passed second and third reading and sent to the Senate.

HJR 364 State Board of Education Confirmations Withdrawn

HJR 365 Joint Session for State Board of Education Confirmations Passed second and third reading and sent to the Senate. Reginald Kenan-Duplin County, Christine Greene-High Point, Tricia Willoughby-At-Large, Wayne McDevitt-Asheville.

HB 385 Public School Activity Bus Use/Stecoah Valley Ctr. Passed second and third reading and sent to the Senate

HB 482 Reinstatement of Sick Leave/School Employees Passed second and third reading and sent to the Senate.

HB 535 Health Insurance Coverage/Lymphedema Passed second and third reading and sent to the Senate.

HB 593 Change School Starting Date Passed second and third reading as amended sent to the Senate.

HB 636 School Calendar Changes for Inclement Weather/Emergency Conditions Passed second and third reading and sent to the Senate.

HB 642 Retirement Technical Corrections Passed second and third reading and sent to the Senate.

HB 661 City Managers on School Boards Passed second and third reading and sent to the Senate.

HB 813 Uniform Apportionment of Tort Responsibility Passed second and third reading and sent to the Senate.

HB 817 Establish North Carolina Financial Literacy Council Passed second and third reading and sent to the Senate.

HB 827 Unattended Children in Vehicles Passed second and third reading and sent to the Senate.

HB 856 Modify Charter School Law Passed second and third reading and sent to the Senate.

HB 917 Implement Executive Order #11/Protect Employees Passed second and third reading and sent to the Senate. Passed Senate with an amendment. House Concurred and Ratified.

HB 1031 Building Standards/Pre-Kindergarten Classes in Public Schools Passed second and third reading and sent to the Senate.

HB 1046 Child Care Facilities Rules Passed second and third reading and sent to the Senate.

HB 1078 Report School Violence to Local Education Agency Office Passed second and third reading and sent to the Senate.

HB 1117 Sex Offenders Can’t Drive Bus with Children Re-referred to Appropriations.

HB 1176 Reorganize Schools with High Dropout Rate Passed second and third reading as amended and sent to the Senate.

HB 1255 Sex Offenders/Permanent No Contact Order Passed second and third reading as amended and sent to the Senate.

HB 1260 Voter Preregistration and Education Passed second and third reading as amended and sent to the Senate.

HB 1261 Protect Our Kids/Cyber Bullying Misdemeanor Passed second and third reading and sent to the Senate.  (Vote 112-4)

HB 1274 State Health Plan Blue Ribbon Task Force Passed second and third reading as amended and sent to the Senate.

HB 1287 Recycle Products Containing Mercury Passed second and third reading and sent to the Senate.

HB 1292 Employment of Noncertified School Personnel Passed second and third reading as amended and sent to the Senate.

HB 1294 North Carolina Risk Pool Premiums/Notice Requirements Passed second and third reading as amended and sent to the Senate.

HB 1317 Sex Offender Registry Change Passed second and third reading and sent to the Senate.

HB 1322 Probationary Teacher Appeals Passed second and third reading as amended and sent to the Senate. (Vote 84-32)

HB 1327 Schools Notified of Criminal Intelligence Information Passed second and third reading and sent to the Senate.

HB 1329 Consolidate Expunction Statutes Passed second and third reading and sent to the Senate.

HB 1433 Clarify Volunteer Immunity/Automated External Defibrillators Passed second and third reading and sent to the Senate.

HB 1446 Amend Law Re: School Improvement Plans Passed second and third reading and sent to the Senate.

HB 1474 Credit Education Required/High School Students Passed second and third reading and sent to the Senate.

HB 1504 Transfer NCCAT to State Board of Education Passed second and third reading and sent to the Senate.

 

Senate Floor:

SB 68 No ABC Establishments w/1,000 Ft. of School Passed second and third reading and sent to the House.

SB 220 General Statutes Comm. Technical Corrections Passed second and third reading and sent to the House.

SB 468 Authorize Insurance for Former Employees Passed second and third reading and sent to the House.

SB 740 Reinstatement of Sick Leave/School Employees Passed second and third reading and sent to the House.

SB 824 Bus Transportation/After-School Program Passed second and third reading and sent to the House.

SB 859 Tort Claims Act/Local Gov. Opt-In Passed second and third reading and sent to the House.

SB 877 Health Plan Provider Contracts/Transparency Passed second and third reading and sent to the House.

SB 894 UI/School Teacher Related Amendments Passed second and third reading and sent to the House.

SB 962 Probationary Teacher Appeals Passed second and third reading and sent to the House.

SB 1028 Volunteers to Support Academic Success in School Passed second and third reading and sent to the House.

SB 1069 Joining Our Businesses and Schools Commission Passed second and third reading and sent to the House.

HB 2 Prohibit Smoking in Certain Public Places Passed third reading and sent to the House for concurrence.

HB 917 Implement Executive Order #11/Protect Employees Passed second and third reading with an amendment and sent to the House for Concurrence

 

Bills in Committees Next Week

HB65 Students Under 16 May Attend Community College

HB 316 Assignment of Multiples to Charter Schools

 

*Many Committees have not scheduled bills yet for next week.

*Will advise if we see anything scheduled in Committees for next week, on Monday afternoon in a    separate e-mail notice to everyone.

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