Sunday, August 31 2014 3:28 PM EDT2014-08-31 19:28:29 GMT
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Disturbing pictures of an injured kindergartner from Pascagoula have made a mother's call for action go viral online. Friends and family of a Pascagoula kindergarten student have created a Facebook page and GoFundMe.com account claiming the girl was attacked on the playground this week by another student.More >>
Each week North Carolina House Representative Harry Warren, a Republican representing Rowan County and District 77, provides WBTV an update on the goings on in Raleigh with the General Assembly.
The update is published here, without any editing:
This week in Raleigh, the House began work on finalizing our budget proposal. Already this month, we, the citizens of North Carolina, have had the pleasure of seeing a budget proposal from the Governor and one from the Senate. It is important to note that the budget proposals are just that – proposals. Each budget proposal identifies the priorities of the particular entity and, as such, contributes to making the writing of the final budget (the Conference Report) a better process. Each Chamber is aware of the priorities of the other and those of the Governor as they work jointly to agree on which direction to take when finalizing appropriations for the remainder of the biennium. I expect the House budget to be completed this week and released by next Tuesday, if not sooner.
In other news, most House standing committees did not meet this week because members who serve on the Appropriations Committee have been tied up in budget meetings. The Education Committee did meet on Tuesday just long enough to pass several bills that will make their way to the House Floor. One of the bills, SB 370 – Respect for Student Prayer/Religious Activity passed with bipartisan support. Amendments offered by Representative Rick Glazier (D), Cumberland County, and Representative Paul Luebke (D), Durham, actually generated more debate than the bill itself did. A second bill, HB 1061 - Replace Common Core School Standards w/NC's Higher Academic Standards Act generated its own fair share of debate, as proponents and opponents struggled with an amendment offered by Representative Paul Tine (D) Dare County, that sought to remove Section 3 of the bill, which arguably would have neutered the bill. HB 1061 is on the House calendar today, where it is expected to pass along party lines.
Here is a recap of the General Assembly actions for the past several days.
(Certain items of this report provided by and reprinted with the permission of MVA Public Affairs.)
ON THE FLOOR
This week, the House and Senate voted on final passage of SB 786, the Energy Modernization Act. The final bill was modified in the House and will allow the state to issue drilling permits 60 days after the rules development by the Mining and Energy Commission are approved. The bill has been sent to the Governor for his signature.
The House and Senate also passed an omnibus tax bill. The Governor signed this bill into law on Thursday.
Additionally, the Senate passed SB 734, the Regulatory Reform Act of 2014. This bill seeks to remove outdated or burdensome regulations. This bill passed the Senate on May 29 and has been sent to the House for consideration.
Senate Finance Committee
The Committee met on Tuesday, May 27, and Thursday, May 29.
On Tuesday, the Committee gave approval to HB 1050, Omnibus Tax Law Changes. The bill is a recommendation of the Revenue Laws Study Committee and passed the House last week. The largest difference between the version approved by the Committee and the one that passed the House dealt with local privilege taxes. The bill continued its rapid movement through the General Assembly. It has now passed the full Senate, been agreed to by the House, and signed by the Governor on May 29.
Senate Education/Higher Education Committee
The Committee met on Wednesday, May 28 to hear HB 230, Clarify Read to Achieve/School Performance Grades. HB 230 gives school districts more flexibility in implementing the state's Read to Achieve program. HB 230 received a favorable report in Committee and was approved 44-1 on the Senate Floor. This bill is on the House calendar today for consideration.
Senate Appropriations/Base Budget Committee
The Committee met Thursday, May 29, to take up SB 744, the Appropriations Act of 2014. The Senate Appropriations Committee Co-Chairs and Sub-Committee Chairs reviewed the provisions included in the Senate budget for other members of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the public. The Committee passed the bill and it was sent to the Senate Finance Committee, where it passed and was sent on to the House Appropriations Committee, where modifications will undoubtedly be made before this bill makes its way to the full House for a vote.
House Public Utilities Committee
The Committee met on Tuesday, May 27. The committee took up SB 786, the Energy Modernization Act. During the committee meeting, Representative Stone offered an amendment that was adopted which removed the July 1, 2015, start date to allow permits to be issued. The amendment authorizes the issuance of permits 60 days after the state finalizes rules for onshore natural gas development. This bill passed the House and the Senate on May 29 and was presented to the Governor on May 30. The Governor signed the bill this morning.
House Education Committee
The Committee met on Tuesday, May 27, to address three bills:
- HB 1060, Military Student Identifier, requires the State Board of Education to identify military-connected students using the Uniform Education Reporting System. HB 1060 received a favorable report in Committee and was approved 118-0 on the House Floor. It is now in the Senate Education Committee.
- HB 1146, Set Date for Community College Election, sets June 17, 2014, as the date for the House of Representatives to elect a member to fill an unexpired term on the State Board of Community Colleges. HB 1146 received a favorable report in Committee and was approved unanimously on the House floor.
- HB 1040, Improve Admin Program Monitoring at DPI, was brought up for discussion purposes only. HB 1040 seeks to improve the Department of Public Instructions monitoring of certain administrative programs.
House Judiciary Subcommittee B
The Subcommittee met on Tuesday, May 27, to address two bills:
- HB 1032, Patent Abuse Bill, aims to prevent patent abuse in North Carolina by establishing civil penalties for unfair assertions of patent infringement. HB 1032 received a favorable report in Committee and was placed on the House calendar for June 3, where it received unanimous approval.
- HB 1027, DWI Interlock Violation/DMV Hearing Site, allows hearings on a license revocation as a result of ignition interlock violation to be held in the licensee's county of residence. HB 1027 received a favorable report in Committee and was approved 115-1 on the House floor.
House Regulatory Committee
The Committee met Wednesday, May 28, to take up more than a dozen bills for consideration.
- HB 1081, Reform Agency Review of Engineering Work. This bill passed out of committee and passed in the House on June 3.
- HB 1105, Local Erosion Prgrms/Takeover Existing Plans was re-referred to the Committee on Environment.
- HB 1106, Erosion Control Designer Certification was re-referred to the Committee on Environment.
- HB 1109, Clarify Existing Rule Readoption Process. This bill passed out of committee and passed in the House on June 3.
- HB 1140, Amend Hotel Carbon Monoxide Alarm Requirement. This bill passed out of committee and passed in the House on June 3.
- HB 1143, Burden of Proof in Certain Contested Cases.
- HB 1152, Eliminate Obsolete Boards and Commissions. This bill passed out of committee and passed in the House on June 3.
- HB 1153, OAH Electronic Filing. This bill passed out of committee and passed in the House on May 29. It is now in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
- HB 1163, Streamline Rule-making Process. This bill passed out of committee and was sent to the House Rules Committee.
- HB 1165, Amend OLB Reporting Requirements. This bill passed out of committee and passed in the House on June 3.
- HB 1170, Disapprove Funeral Board Rule. This bill passed out of committee and passed in the House on May 29 and has been assigned to the Senate Commerce Committee.
- HB 1173, Licensing Boards Rules for Prof. Corps. This bill passed out of committee and passed in the House on June 3.
House Finance Committee
The House Finance Committee met on Wednesday, May 28. The Committee took up SB 786, the Energy Modernization Act of 2014, and reviewed the finance related provisions of the bill. The Committee passed the bill and it was sent to the House floor for consideration, where it passed on May 29. The bill was sent to the Senate by special messenger, where it passed later that same day. The bill now sits on the Governor's desk, awaiting his signature.
House Environment Committee
The House Environment Committee met on Thursday, May 29 to address two bills:
- HB 1081, Reform Agency Review of Engineering Work, seeks to reform the process by which regulatory authorities review submittals of applications for permits, licenses, and approvals, as recommended by the Environmental Review Commission. This bill passed out of committee and passed in the House on June 3.
- HB 1166, Clarify Gravel Under Stormwater Laws, clarifies the regulation of gravel under the state stormwater laws. This bill passed out of committee and passed in the House on June 3.
As usual, I have included links to other stories that you might find of interest. As the "short session" proceeds, there will continue to be standing committee meetings, which are also open to the public, so if you would like to attend one that is focusing on a subject of interest to you, feel welcome to attend. Meeting schedules are subject to change (sometimes at the last minute), so be sure to confirm the schedule on the General Assembly website or by contacting the office of the Committee Chair, before you make the two-hour drive to Raleigh.
If you would like to attend a meeting, but can't make it to Raleigh, you can still "attend" many of the meetings by listening online, just as you may have for the Interim Committee meetings. You must first determine in what room the committee is meeting. If the committee meets in either room 544 or 643, you can listen online. To access the audio version of a meeting, go to: www.ncleg.net, click on "audio" on the bar near the top, then select either "Finance Committee Room (Rm 544)" or "Appropriations Committee Room (Rm 643)" to listen