2009 LEGISLATIVE SHORT SESSION MEMO #1

The 2009 Short Session of the North Carolina General Assembly reconvened at Noon on Wednesday, May 12, 2010.  The Wake Delegation has added a new member, Representative Chris Heagarty, since the long session. The General Assembly has returned with more budget woes. The economy has not performed or turned around as expected. Unemployment is still high, and though the Department of Revenue has not reported the 2009 collections, there may not be the usual good news (April Surprise) from them this year. There appears to still be an $800 million plus hole in the budget. Members are going to have some hard decisions this year and when the Federal ARRA funds are gone next year there will be more tough decisions. Any serious tax reform seems dead for short session as members try to keep their House and Senate seats (those that are running again).  Talk around the building is it is going to be a tough year for the Democrats and we could see the Senate and possibly the House lose their majority. The primaries are over and 6 incumbents, Democrats and Republicans, are gone and the November general elections are not far off.

Speaker Hackney held a press conference Wednesday to outline the House Democratic Caucus focus for short session: 1) Jobs: Supporting small businesses and getting North Carolinians back in the workforce, 2) Education: Protecting our future by ensuring students receive a quality education, 3) Fiscal Responsibility: Balance the state budget and still meet the needs of the citizens, 4) Accountability: Transparency in state government and ethics legislation.

The Senate Appropriations Chairs are still planning to release their budget soon through the various subcommittees, and as of this memo they are planning to meet Friday, May 14 in the morning. Once the Senate release their budget I will distribute an excel spreadsheet with that information compared to the 201-2011 budget as well as the Governor’s budget proposal. Next week, Senate Appropriations is expected to meet and approve the budget (adjustments) on Tuesday and then to the Senate Floor for a vote Wednesday and Thursday. The word is they will not put any of the finance package in the budget bill, but will introduce it as a separate bill, as they did last year. Several issues continue to be discussed about the education/public schools budget including: line item cuts versus a larger discretionary cut, bus tort claims, handheld clickers for elementary and middle school teachers, furlough flexibility for public schools, university funding versus public school funding, lottery funds to support operations in public schools, etc. The Governor made her pitch on the handheld technology devices to the Senate Appropriations Chairs on Wednesday afternoon and rumor has it she has sold the Senate leadership on an allotment to put at least some of these in schools across the State. The lottery discussion is drawing some talk, but some leaders in the House are not interested in using these funds to plug the public schools funding hole and the word is the Senate is not headed in that direction either. Things are hectic right now, but the hope is they will finish the budget by early July and shut down the short session by the end of July.

The House and Senate held their first Session Wednesday. The Senate moved HB 1292 Employment of Noncertified School Personnel from the Senate Floor back to Education, where we believe it will remain without further discussion in 2010.  They held Session Thursday at 9:00AM and 11:00AM in the Senate and House respectively, and adjourned until Monday. The House Democrats will caucus on Monday at 6:00PM. The House announced their weekly schedule as Monday at 7:00PM and Tuesday and Wednesday at 3:00PM and Thursday at 1:00PM .  The Senate does not typically keep a set schedule for their meetings.

Bills Introduced:

House

HB 1292 Employment of Non Certified School Personnel: Re-referred to Education

HB 1666 Davie School Board

HB 1668 Sales Tax Exemption: 100% Recycled Material

HB 1669 Require Use of EVAAS in Schools

HB 1676 Substitute Teacher Unemployment

HB 1682 Ban Corporal Punishment for Children w/ Disabilities

HB 1683 Amend Sunset/Children/Disabilities

HB 1699 Education Cabinet Establish STEM Priority

HB 1700 Career Academy as Coop. Innovative High School

HB 1701 NC Sustainable Community Task Force

HB 1707 SHP/Age-out Dependents; Tobacco Use Testing

HB 1718 JOBS Commission Pilot Schools

HB 1719 Additional Flex/Coop Innovative High Schools

Senate

SB 1115 Carteret Schools May Administer Oath

SB 1116 Study/Early Childhood Education and Care

SB 1118 Consolidate Payments/Early Care and Ed Provider

SB 1119 Consolidate Regulation/ Early Care and Ed Provider

SB 1138 Ban Corporal Punishment for Children with Disabilities

SB 1139 Require Use of EVAAS in schools

SB 1140 Amend Sunset/Children with Disabilities

SB 1141 Task Force on Sports Injuries in Schools

SB 1142 School Support/Division Changes

SB 1143 Substitute Teacher Unemployment

SB 1150 Funds for Special Olympics NC

SB 1151 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

SB 1152 Study Child Nutrition Program

SB 1153 Legislative Task Force on Childhood Obesity

SB 1155 Reduce Corporate Income Tax

2010 Deadlines

Drafts To Bill Drafting Filed

House & Senate Study Commission Bills            Wednesday, May 12                        Wednesday, May 19

House and Senate Budget Bills                              Friday, May 14                                  Tuesday, May 25

House & Senate Local Bills                                     Wednesday, May 19                        Wednesday, May 26

House & Senate Bills State Pension                     Wednesday, May 19                        Wednesday, May 26


Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: