2009 LEGISLATIVE SESSION MEMO #21

On Monday, the Senate Appropriations Chairs began meeting in the afternoon to review the House budget passed last week. On Monday night the Senate rejected the House budget and appointed conferees. The Senate Education conferees include; Senators Swindell, Foriest, Stevens, Queen, Blue, Vaughan, Davis, and Hartsell. The Senate appointed all the Democrats in the Senate and several Republicans to the various subcommittees, to resolve the differences in the Senate and House budgets. The House members, having worked until Saturday last week, did not return to Raleigh until Tuesday. The House appointed their conferees on Tuesday afternoon. The House Education Subcommittee members include; Representatives Glazier, Rapp, McLawhorn, Bell, Lucas, Parmon, Tarleton and Wiley. The House included one Republican on each subcommittee. Standing committee meetings continued on Tuesday, while rumors were running rampant that the Governor wanted a total of $1.5 Billion in revenue in the final budget.

On Wednesday, the House and Senate Appropriations Chairs met and were supposed to meet with the Governor but she decided to head over to the Legislature to talk to the chairs. Then she left and held a rally at the Old Capital with NCAE and other Education leaders (except for Erskine Bowles). She challenged the members of the General Assembly to raise additional resources (though she did not say how to get these additional revenues) to restore class size and other educational personnel.  This was the first of six press conferences she plans to hold, across the State, to support public schools funding in the State budget. Senate Education Committee met on Wednesday and defeated a bill to require school board members to get their annual 10 hours of training. A fine of $50 per missed hour(s) of training created most of the problems with members and after a voice vote and hand count, the bill failed to receive a Favorable Report. Committee members were overheard, after the meeting, discussing other options for enforcing the school board training requirement, rather than a fine. House and Senate Appropriations Chairs were scheduled to meet after Session at 5:00 PM to decide on their funding targets/availability for each of the budget subcommittees. The various subcommittee conferee chairs are supposed to meet through the next few days to finalize their agreements on the budget and report to their subcommittee members and then to the Full Appropriations Chairs on Monday/Tuesday.

On Thursday, standing committee meetings continued in the morning. Ms. Gill was sworn in on Thursday to Senator Dan Blue’s seat in the House. The House has three new members, two Republicans replacing Rep. Allred, Rep. Bonner-Stiller and a Democrat replacing former Speaker Blue. The Full Appropriations Chairs met in the morning and again after the House Session to work on their areas of the budget, including capital, salaries and benefits. The various subcommittees also began meeting to discuss the differences between the House and Senate budgets, in funding and special provisions. There are major differences in the funding as well as the provisions. State revenues have continued to get worse ($4.7 Billion below projections/needs) since the Senate passed their budget in early April. The House was forced to cut very deep into spending, even with the $784 million tax package. The Senate and House conferees met Thursday afternoon and reviewed the targets, which have changed slightly from when the House finished their budget last week. The Education Subcommittee has received an additional $25 million in Year 1 and $67 million in Year 2 of the Biennium, to spend on all three Education areas. The initial plan shows them adding another $11.32 million in the first year to public schools. The House and Senate Education Subcommittee Conferee Chairs were planning to meet through the evening to try and work through their differences. The House and Senate Full Appropriations Chairs met to try and agree to the language in a Continuing Resolution, which needs to be ready in case they are unable to finish the budget by June 30th (10 days away). The Education Subcommittee Chairs were planning to meet late Thursday and into Friday and the weekend to try and reach an agreement on funding and special provisions. The subcommittee meetings will begin again on Monday. So next week should be

Select Committee Employee Hospital a& Medical Benefits

SB 287 State Health Plan $/Good Health Initiative (Smoking Section of Bill)

House Committees:

Education

HB 687 Tax Credit for Children with Disabilities Bill was not heard. Rescheduled 6/23

SB 1030 After-School Child Care Programs Favorable Report after much debate. The Child Care Commission argued about child endangerment, but in the end common sense ruled and the bill was sent to the House Floor.

SB 1019 Establish NC Literacy Council Favorable Report to PCS and re-referred to Appropriations.

Energy and Energy Efficiency

HB 282 Green School Construction/Loan Fund Favorable Report to PCS and sent to Appropriations. The bill was modified to provide encouraging language rather than requirements.

Finance

SB 453 Use of Funds Received From Parking Meters Favorable Report

SB 457 Add Definition of Biodiesel Favorable Report

SB 498 Affordable Housing for Teachers/Edgecombe Co. Favorable Report and sent to the House Floor.

Local Government I

SB 68 No ABC Establishment with/1,000 ft of School Favorable Report and re-referred to Alcoholic Beverage Control Committee.

Judiciary 1

SB 526 School Violence Prevention Act Favorable Report

Pensions and Retirement

HB 229 Retired Teachers Return to Work Pulled from Agenda

Transportation

SB 931 Commercial Drivers License Changes Favorable Report and re-referred to Finance.

House Committee on Economic Recovery

SB 963 Expedite Use of Federal Stimulus Funds Favorable Report as amended with updated numbers and sent to Senate Appropriations

ARRA-Education Programs Review

SB 963 Expedite Use of Federal Stimulus Funds Favorable Report to PCS and re-referred to Appropriations.  Deletes content of the 1st edition and replaces it with An Act to appropriate Federal Stimulus Funds Received by the State for the 2008-09 Fiscal Year. Provides for ARRA funds received were used for the 2008-09 fiscal year as follows:

State Fiscal Stabilization Fund                                     $360,000,000

Federal Medical Assistance Percentage                         $695,000,000

Highway Infrastructure Investment                                     $470,000,000

Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Loans                          $86,000,000

Education Title I Grants                                                 $128,722,477

IDEA Part B                                                                         $157,205,020

IDEA Part B (Preschool)                                                     $6,035,571

School Lunch Equipment                                                     $3,313,727

Senate Committees:

Education/Higher Education

HB 348 Modify Education Requirement of School Board Members Failed to receive a Favorable Report upon motion for a Favorable Report.

HB 1446 Amend Law: School Improvement Plans Favorable Report to PCS.

Finance

HB 206 Affordable Housing for Local Employees Favorable Report

House Floor:

HB 1032 Modify History and Geography Curricula Concurred with Senate Proposed Committee Substitute.

SB 498 Affordable Housing for Teachers/Edgecombe County Removed from the Calendar.

SB 457 Add Definition of Biodiesel Concurred

SB 509 Revenue Laws, Technical, Clarifying & Admin. Changes Re-referred to Finance.

SB 1030 After-School Child Care Programs Passed second and third reading and sent to the Senate for concurrence.

Senate Floor:

HB 88 Healthy Youth Act Placed back on the Calendar for Tuesday, June 23.

SB 202 Appropriations Act of 2009 Senate failed to Concur. Conferees Appointed.

SB 509 Revenue Laws Technical, Clarifying, and Admin. Changes Passed third reading and sent to the House.(Technical Corrections bill)

SB 754 Changes for Bonds Authorized Under ARRTA Concurred on third reading and sent to the Governor.

HB 1446 Amend Law Regarding School Improvement Plan Passed second and third reading and sent back to the House.

HB 316 Assignment of Multiples to Charter Schools Passed second and third reading.

HB 206 Affordable Housing for Local Employees Passed second reading.

Bills In Committee Next Week:

Education Conference Subcommittee – Monday, 3:30 PM

HB 687 Tax Credit for Children with Disabilities

SB 962 Probationary Teachers Appeals

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