Good morning. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Good morning. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Welcome to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Natural and Economic Resources. My name is Tom Murray, I'm the co-chair along with Representative West. Representative West, do you have any preliminary introductory remarks? [SPEAKER CHANGES] No, sir. Let's roll. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Let's roll. So let me start off by reminding the members of the long established rules on amendments for the budget process. First, amendments must be offered by formal amendments. We need to have it in writing. Amendments cannot increase total spending within the proposed subcommittee report. Amendments can only affect appropriations within this department agency, in these agencies in the NER budget and within the jurisdiction of this committee and may not cause a change in another subcommittee's appropriation. Amendments cannot adjust salary and benefit appropriations for departments, agencies and programs within the subcommittee. Amendments cannot spend reversions or include shall not revert or carry forward language. Amendments cannot use non-recurring reductions to fund recurring items. Amendments cannot change the recurring and non-recurring designation of funds. Amendments cannot change substantive policy or law. Amendments may not fund items with management flexibility reductions and amendments may not affect agency or program transfers to other subcommittees. Lastly, amendments may not include fees or other finance related matters. At this time I would like to recognize House budget staff to make their way up to prepare to go over the special provisions, the money report. We're going to start with the money report, is that correct? And I would, at the end of this presentation I would like to have a discussion on how many amendments members might be considering offering and that will determine how long of a break we take. The fewer the amendments, the shorter the break, and so if we can get this done before, in a timely and efficient manner then we can help prepare for session as well, so I just wanted to have that discussion after the staff presentation. So with that, Timothy. Thank you for being with us today. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chair. Again, Timothy Dell, Fiscal Research. We're going to start off by going through the money report on page H1 with the Department of Agriculture. The first two items that you see there are going to be throughout all our agency sections, so we're not going to spend a whole lot of detail on them, but the House provided a $1,000 salary increase to employees, which is over the $809 amount that was provided in the Governor's and Senate budget. So, on item number 3, management flexibility reduction, this allocates 0.3% a management flexibility reduction to the Department of Agriculture in the amount of $356,000 on a recurring basis. Item number 4 is similar to the Senate item, this budget's anticipated receipts from new fees charged for forestry management plans prepared by the Forestry Service is also a $1.7 million reduction. The fee levels are the same as what was proposed in the Senate budget at $250 for less than 20 acres, $500 from 20 to 50 acres and over 50 acres is $750. Item number 5, commodity receipts, this budget's anticipated receipts from sales of Research Station's products at $200,000 on a recurring basis. Turning to page H2, item number 6, this is a slightly modified version from what the Senate had done with the Cotton Warehouse Fund, the Senate had diverted that cash balance and closed that fund and directed those proceeds to the general fund. The House has closed that fund and directed those funds to be used to offset a non-recurring reduction to the Research Station's program. Item number 7, this is similar to, this is the same as the Senate proposal but budgeting biofuels TVA receipts that were returned to the state upon dissolution in the amount of $438,000, non-recurring. Item number 8 is also a Senate item the House has also adopted, FFA grant funding, a $100,000 reduction on a recurring basis. The program will continue to receive $40,000 as they currently do this year. Item number 9, Farmland Preservation Trust Fund for Military Buffers, this is a $1 million expansion to their trust fund, the same as what the Senate had done. There's a new associated special provision we'll cover when we go through the special provisions that does not appropriate these funds unless the federal matching becomes
... available. Item number 10 and 11 are similar – are also the same as the Senate items with the NC state food processing and plant science initiatives, at a total appropriation of 600 thousand dollars nonrecurring. Page H3, 206 thousand dollars is all set from the transfer from the Swine Waste Special Fund to the ?? Water Conservation Program. It’s used to offset general fund support on a nonrecurring basis in that 206 thousand dollar amount. Item number 13 reduces the recurring appropriation to the Ag. Grant Program by 373 thousand on a recurring basis. It also provides one million dollars on a nonrecurring basis. You’ll see there the total programs support for next fiscal year will be 1.1 million, but once the nonrecurring appropriation would drop off, it would be 120 thousand or so. Item number 14, Animal welfare Program. This adopts the Governor’s recommendation to transfer the Animal Welfare Program to the Department of Public Safety. Item number 15; this is National Poultry Improvement Plan fees. These were fees that were in the Senate budget, but the House also adopts those fees but does not take the offsetting general fund reduction following the implementation of those fees. Going to the Department of Labor, page H4, item number 18 allocates the two percent management flexibility to the department at 333 thousand, which is the same as what the Senate had proposed. And with that Mr. Chair, I’ll turn it over to Jennifer to go through DENR. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Tim. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chair. Jennifer Hoffmann with Fiscal Research. Starting on page H5, one thing to note about the compensation increase for state agencies, it is larger in the House budget than it was in the Senate budget. This budget had an average 809 dollar increase for all state employees; the House budget has it in at a thousand dollar average increase for all state employees. Moving down to number 21, the aquariums; this budget’s 180 thousand dollars in emission receipts. It’s the same as was in the Senate budget. Item number 22, on coastal management; this is the reduction of half a position that is being transferred to the Secretary’s Office. This is the same as it was in the Senate budget. Number 23 in the Division of Energy, Mineral and Land Resources; this abolishes one vacant environmental senior specialist position in the Wilmington regional office. It’s the same as the Senate. Number 24 is a 816 thousand dollar general fund reduction to be offset by budgeting stripper well settlement funds in a like amount. It is not a reduction to the university energy centers; it’s just a different source of funding. This is the same as what was in the Senate. Item 25 is a 176 thousand dollar expansion for the oil and gas program within the division. This is the same as the Senate. Item 26 is a House-modified item for coal ash management. In the Senate budget there was a total of 1.75 million for this initiative; in the House budget there’s a total of 1.8 million. That additional money is spread throughout the five items related to coal ash management. Same thing happened on item number 27; it’s a Senate-modified item. It has an additional ten thousand dollars for coal ash management related to dam safety. And the Division of Environmental Assistance and Consumer Services, item number 28, is a Senate item that the House accepted. It budgets, again, stripper well settlement funds to offset the Utility Savings Initiative. Item 29 is a Senate and House reduction of 1.2 positions for 113 thousand dollars. In the Division of Marine Fisheries, there are three positions being fund-shifted to federal receipts. That’s the same as the Senate. Item number 31 is also the same as the Senate. What this does is it closes the Nags Head office, it reduces a total of 2.5 positions, and shifts the two remaining positions to be home-based to continue to do the recreational water sampling up in that area. On the top of page H8 is a House-only reduction of 439 thousand dollars. This budgets to transfer from the Advanced License Sale Special Fund to offset general fund support of…
...green patrol. Item number 33 has been so modified from the Senate to almost be a House only item. It does reduce the at sea observer program on a recurring basis, but provides back $289,000 on a non-recurring basis. In addition, it also transfers an additional $500,000 from the advance license sales fund to support that effort in 14-15. So the total amount of money in the House budget towards this effort is $789,000. Item number 34, Marine Oyster Sanctuary, is $150,000 expansion. This is the same as was in the Senate. Item number 35 is a House only item. This is the remaining cash balance in the advance license fund. It's being transferred to the division to support their fisheries information network system in the amount of $2.56 million. Item 36 is a Senate reduction, the House accepted of $195,000 to the Museum of Natural Sciences. Same thing on item number 37, Senate reduction that the House has accepted at $59,000 in reduction of one position that used to support the One North Carolina Naturally Initiative. On the top of page H9, you have a House only expansion for the Clean Water Management Trust Fund. That's $1 million non-recurring. In addition to the money that you see in the NER section of the report, there is also additional funds for the Clean Water Management Trust Fund in the reserve section of the report. An additional $7 million. In Parks and Recreation, this is a House only reduction of $65,000 to the vacant state parks facility architect position. Item number 40 is a House and Senate expansion of $70,000. This is money to the division to support the property management of Camp Sertoma, which is being transferred from the university system to the parks system. Item number 41 is the same as the Senate. It's a $34,000 reduction to salary reserve in the secretary's office. Item 42 is a Senate modified item. It has an additional $10,000 in the reserve for coal ash management in the secretary's office. Item 43 is the expansion of that half a position in the Public Information Office that was being transferred from the Division of Coastal Management. In the Division of Waste Management, you have a $23,000 reduction to the solid waste section. That's the same as was in the Senate budget. Item 45 is a Senate modified coal ash management for waste management. It's an additional $10,000 over what was in the Senate budget. Item number 46 in the Division of Water Infrastructure is a $10,000 reduction to the supplies line item. It's the same as the Senate. Item 47 is the same as the Senate. It's a $1.4 million non-recurring reduction to the state match for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. That's the amount of money that was not anticipated to be needed next year for the state match, as well as money that was not needed in the current fiscal year for state match. Item number 48 is a House only expansion to the Water and Sewer Grants at $500,000 on a non-recurring basis. On the top of page H11 is a reduction to the Division of Water Infrastructure. Two positions at $155,000. This equals the Senate. Item number 50 is the Coal Ash Management Initiative related to water quality and again, there's an additional $10,000 in that item in the House budget. The last item is a House only item. It reduces zoo trams by $208,000 on a non-recurring basis. If you flip over to page H12 you have the House proposal for Wildlife Resources Commission. One new item that you see there is a management flexibility reserve at $289,000. This dollar amount equates to the three specific reductions that were taken in the Senate but the House put them in a management flexibility reserve. Item number 55 is the offset of general fund money from a Federal grant at $1 million. This is the same as the Senate. The total reduction is $1.289 million, that equals to what the Senate had.
Mr. Chair with that I'll turn it over to Aubrey and Corbitt to review commerce. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, ??. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Good morning, starting at the top of page H13, we'll start going over commerce. Item number 56 reduces funding to the department by 2% through a management flexibility reduction totalling approximately $1 million. You can see in the snappy language there, this language directs the Secretary to prioritize the reduction of positions that are redundant, newly created and vacant. Items 57 and 58 reflect the compensation increase reserve and the state retirement system contributions that Timothy and Jennifer already have gone over. Item number 59 is an offset to the general fund appropriation to the administrative division by approximately $660,000 for use of multiple funds unencumbered cash balances. This is a Senate item that the House accepted. If you flip over to page H14, you'll see the elimination of a vacant purchasing officer. This also is a Senate item that the House accepted. Item number 61 reduces funds appropriated for JMAC, the Job Maintenance and Capital Development fund due to underperformance of companies. This is a Senate item that the House Accepted. Industrial Commissions, items 62, 63 and 64 are all Senate items that the House accepted. Item 62 offsets the general fund appropriation to the industrial commission to accommodate the full capture of compromised settlement agreement fees into the general fund. Item number 63 offsets the general fund appropriation to the Industrial Commission as well by sweeping unused funds in a special fund which had been set aside for the commission's investigation management system. Item number 64 is the recurring money that had been appropriated for this investigation management system as well. The commission is working with ITS to determine a comprehensive plan for all their IT needs going forward. Item number 65 is under Labor and Economic Analysis Division which directs lead to budget $500,000 in receipts for the common followup system. The Commission on Workforce Development will direct participating agencies to contribute to the system based on proportion of data contribution and system usage. There is a special provision that corresponds to this money item. On the top of page H15, item number 66 is an item that the House modified from the Senate. It provides non-recurring funding to merge two commerce IT systems. You can see that the House provided $250,000 on an non-recurring basis whereas the Senate provided $500,000 on a non-recurring basis. We'll now move to the Rural Economic Development Division. Item number 67 is a Senate modified item. It reduces the limited resources communities grant program, leaving $1.25 million in the program, the Senate eliminated the program entirely. Item number 68 and 69 are two Senate items that have been accepted by the House. Item number 68 directs the Secretary to reduce positions in the Division of Community Assistance and the Office of Urban Development by $637,500 and item number 69 appropriates this same amount, which equates to 50% of the required match to draw down federal funds, all or a portion of which will go toward a new grants management IT system. Item number 70 expands the rural economic development grants by $2.3 million on a non-recurring basis, and is a House only item. Item number 71 is a Senate modified item which provides non-recurring operation funds for NC Broadband whose federal grant runs out the end of calendar year '14. The Senate provided $350,000 on a non-recurring basis. If you flip the page on the top of page H16, you'll see item number 72 directs workforce solutions to budget $500,000 in non-recurring receipts from the community colleges to cover wage apprenticeship fees for one fiscal year. This is also a Senate accepted item by the House. In Commerce State Aid, starting on page H17, you see the Biotechnology Center was appropriated $3.6 million on a non-recurring basis and there is a corresponding special provision directing the Biotech Center as to how to use these funds. This is a House only item. Item number 74 is a Senate accepted item which reflects the reduction to
...in the classroom of $21,000 approximately. Item number 75 is a Senate modified item which eliminates a museum from the Grass Roots Science Museums. A Health Adventure museum closed down and that funding was eliminated. The House eliminated that particular museum but also added two new museums so they actually increased the Grass Roots Science Museums by nearly $43,000. The Research Triangle Institute, item number 76 is also a Senate modified item. The House appropriated $500,000 to this entity on a non-recurring basis, whereas the Senate provided $250,000 on a non-recurring basis. The last item under State Aid is the support center which is a House only item providing the support center with $1 million on a non-recurring basis. Mr. Chair, I believe Timothy will come back up to go over special funds. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thanks, Aubrey. [SPEAKER CHANGES] So now we're going to continue on with the special fund pages, which is the remainder of the money report package. Starting on page H19 with the Department of Agriculture. The three items that you see there were also in the Senate money report. That was the reversion of those cash balances that are listed there. The $2,000, $11,000 and the one point, almost $2 million from sleet products. The biggest difference there is the sleet products. The Senate had transferred the operational budget from that special fund into the general fund. The House leaves that budget within that special fund but just sweeps the cash balance from it. If you turn the page over to page H21, the Warehouse Investment Fund. You'll see that the Senate had also swept that cash into the general fund as we covered in the money report. Those funds are swept into the division to offset the general fund support on a non-recurring basis. Turning the page to page H23, the Swine Waste Fund. Those funds are trans-, as we already went through with the money report, those funds are transferred to the Soil and Water Conservation Division to offset general fund support on a non-recurring basis. With that Mr. Chair, I'll turn it back over to Jennifer Hoffman to go through the DNR special funds. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thanks, Timothy. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Jennifer Hoffman with Fiscal Research. Starting on page H25 in DNR special fund you see the Aquarium Omissions Fund being reduced and transferred to the general fund. You also see the $3.5 million of the Advance License Sale Fund being transferred to the general fund to support the three items that were already reviewed. What's new in this particular budget code is on the top of page H26 and that's the diversion of $3 million of the Emission Inspection Fee from the INN Pollution Control Account to the general fund in fiscal year 14-15 only. There is a special provision that directs the Division of Air Quality to use their cash balance to support this program next fiscal year. You see something similar happening on page H27 with the reserve for Air Qualities Fuel Tax. This diverts $750,000 of fuel tax that would have otherwise have been allocated to the Division of Air Quality. That money will be deposited in a general fund and there's a corresponding special provision that directs Air Quality to use its cash balance to offset this diversion. Beginning on page H29, there's a series of special fund pages and what these do is divert interest earnings that these special funds would have otherwise earned to the general fund on a recurring basis, so these special funds will no longer receive their interest. Those special funds include the Marine Conservation Fund. If you flip the page it's the Dry Cleaning Solvent Tax Special Fund. The Bernard Allen Drinking Water Fund. Continuing to flip the page. The Waste Water Operating Training Fund and then a number of funds within the Commercial Lust Clean Up Budget Code. Those particular funds include the Brown Filled Super Fund, the Commercial Linking Underground Storage Tank Fund, the Emergency Response Fund, the Inactive Hazardous Sites Clean Up Fund, the Inactive Hazardous Sites Clean Up Fund that's kept separately from the first one due to Senate Bill 1429. That's the money that's used for the pre-regulatory landfills. It's kept separate and apart from the other fund. The Non-commercial Leaking Underground Petroleum Storage Tank Fund and...
The super fund cost share special fund. All those, all the interest earnings from those special funds will be diverted to the general fund. On the top of page H thirty eight, you see an expansion for the Division of Waste Management. This budgets the gasoline inspection tax proceeds to the non commercial lust fund at three point four million dollars. This is the same as was in the governor's budget. The Senate budget had this an outright appropriation for this particular item. If you flip to page H forty, this is the drinking water state revolving fund. This shows the state match being transferred back to the general fund. And then on page H forty two, this is the stripper well special fund, and this also shows the million dollars being transferred to the general fund to support two items in the division of Energy, Mineral, and Land Resources. Mr. Chair, with that I'll turn it back over to Aubrey. Thank you, Jennifer. On page H forty four, you'll see disaster relief fund. This establishes a three point two million dollar reserve in the department of public safety for the third phase of state topological mapping called LiDAR. If you flip over to page H forty six, the first four entries reflect the special fund suite that will be transferred to the general fund for the offset of Commerce's admin division, as reflected on page H thirteen, item fifty nine. The bottom two entries reflect the transfer of two point five million from the one NC fund cash balance to the one North Carolina small business program to provide early stage support for small, high growth, and high tech businesses. This is a Senate item that the House accepted. On the top of page h forty seven, this reflects the transfer of one million dollars from the industrial development fund utility account's cash balance to the main street solutions fund to revitalize downtowns in support of economic development, small business, and job creation. If we turn to page H forty nine, this is the special fund offset for the industrial commission, which is reflected on page H fourteen, item sixty three. If you turn to page H fifty one, this page reflects the special fund suite, offsetting the general fund appropriation to Commerce's admin division. That's the top entry of four hundred and eighteen thousand, seven hundred and seventy three dollars. Right below that is the capitalization of the main street solutions fund through use of utility account cash balance. The last page, H fifty three and H fifty four, reflect the transfer of all ABC special funds to the department of public safety to align with the transfer of the ABC commission to DPS, and there's a corresponding special provision that we'll be going over as well. Mr. Chair, that takes us to the end of the money report. We'd be glad to go over special provisions or take questions. Does any member have any questions about the money report before we start a conversation about these special provisions? Representative Wilkins, ?? ??. Thank you, Mr. Chair. At another time I might want to address process but I don't wanna get into that right now. Could we go to page H forty four? The small business loans program is ?? ?? being kept clean, sent off to the Department of Public Safety for use there. So for the mapping project. Could someone please explain to me the rationale behind that? Let me know how that's going to encourage struggling small businesses. So, this is a Senate modified item. The only difference between what the House did and what the Senate did was the destination of these monies. These are monies that were for disaster relief loans to small businesses that were sitting in this reserve in Commerce that should've been turned back over to OSBM. The chairs in both the House and the
Senate determined that these monies could be used for the LiDAR topological mapping which also has an emergency component so they thought it was a good match. So, small businesses will not be hurt, it will be used for data for emergencies. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Did because small businesses hadn’t applied for all these loans. These are restrictive funds, they can’t. Any small business anywhere can’t just apply for these loans. You have to be subject to a disaster. Because there were lack of applications, there’s this money sitting there and so in order to help us plan for disasters better, we’re gonna do this topological mapping and spend the money better to help the plan, issues with disasters but the money sitting there, it’s gotta to be used on disaster related items and because there are lack of applications this was a good place to spend it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] ??, you’re recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] No. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Okay. Further discussion, further debate on the money report. Representative Presnell, you’re recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] On page 815, the grant program extension and I just wanna point it out, the bill that ?? ?? for the JMAC and if they do ?? anymore uses than applied, that 2.3 million needs to be every year for 6 years. It needs to be recurring for 6 years. ?? ?? ?? ?? in September last year and I just wanna make sure and I don’t care how it gets there but what I understand is this money has no way to get it to the community legally but if you use JMAC, it does. So, I just wanna make sure everybody is onboard and understands that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank You there, Representative Presnell. There is the JMAC for the Evergreen project. It was gonna be a ?? as my understanding. We’ll have to talk about it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Long as the ?? gap ?? everybody knows how important that is ?? ?? area or actually for the whole western North Carolina. [SPEAKER CHANGES] We are extremely aware of that and thank you for your diligence and fighting for jobs for ?? corner of the state. Further discussion, further debate on the money report. Hearing none, let’s go on to these special provisions. That will be this document. ??, you’re recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] So we have a condensed version of the bill taxed in front of you that reflects only the NER section. So I’ll refer to the page numbers I use the page numbers as a reference down here, starting with page 115. With the department of agriculture and the Plant Science Research and Innovation initiative, this is reflective of the NC state initiative money that we have already covered in the money report. This is very similar to what was in the senate budget except there are couple of differences. Number 1, it requires the North Carolina State to work with the department when conducting this initiative and it also adds the NER appropriations subcommittees from both Senate and the House in the fiscal research division to those who will receive the report. The next item there, section 13.1 the Bedding Law Account Fund. This is the sling product fund that’s being swept as we discussed in the special fund pages but the department consistently collects funds in a slightly over excess of what they spend in this account and this allows the empty users’ future access funds for IT projects with the program. Section 13.1(b) Repeal Cotton Warehouse fund. This is similar to what was in the senate budget except in the senate budget it was reflected towards the front of the budget bill. That’s because the funds were going to the general funds. Since the funds are being used to offset general funds support to the department, it’s reflected in the NER section. Section 13.2 State Fair Admission. This is the same as what was in the senate budget, permanently exempts the board of agriculture from the rule making process when setting state fair admission fees. If you’ll turn that page. Page 116, Section 13.2(a) Farmland Preservation Trust Fund. As I discussed in the ?? money report, this is a house-only provision that reflects a 1 million dollar of military buffer that’s provided to the department. This states that they cannot spend this fund unless the federal funds become available to match those funds. Section 13.4 Got to be NC Marketing Campaign. This is the same as what the senate has proposed declaring ‘Got to be NC’ Marketing Campaign to be the official agricultural marketing campaign for the state.
Marketing campaign for the state. Section 13.8, agricultural research stations, this caps the special fund, the amount of fund that can be held in that special fund to no more than $1 million on an annual basis. Section 13.10 is similar to what was in the Senate budget clarifying that the structural pest board has the ability to certify pesticide applicators. There are a couple of other additions that are reflected on page 117 in the House proposal. You'll see there on lines 38-32 on page 117, also on lines 38-41 on page 117, this modifies statutes stating that pest control does not include moving furniture, cleaning, repairing property, etc, and the final change there at the bottom says that licencees may work for more than one structural pest business. Section 13.11, increase fees associated with the national poultry improvement plan, this is the same as what was in the Senate budget, increasing those national poultry improvement applying fees. Section 13.13, what we already discussed in the money report, establishing new things for the forestry management plans at the thresholds that you see there that we discussed when we were going through the money report. Section 13.14, transfer the animal welfare section and the spay and neuter program from the Department of Ag to the Department of Public Safety. We went over this in the money report and this special provision is simply making that change happen. It goes over a few pages all the way to page 123. On page 123 is the final Agriculture special provision in the House Budget. You'll see there TDA settlement funds, if you turn to page 124 the funds that were previously appropriated from TDA funds to the Ag wrap program ?? last year are instead being directed to Western North Carolina communities for lighting efficiency projects. There's also a change on lines 31 and 32. Previously there was a, in last year the General Assembly had stated that the funds can't be used to acquire land, now there's a change that also says these funds can be used to purchase land conservation easements. And with that, Mr. Chair, I'll turn it over to Jennifer. [SPEAKER CHANGES] ?? We're on page 124. [SPEAKER CHANGES] That would be correct, Mr. Chair. Page 124 begins the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Section 14.1, agencies report on federal grants is a Senate modified special provision. The House added the Wildlife Resources Commission to this reporting requirement, which requires all the NER agencies now to report on federal grants they receive including any conditions placed upon the state as a condition of receiving those federal funds, and on the bottom of that page is a Senate special provision that the House adopted. Basically this directs certain NER agencies, Ag, Commerce, DNR and the Biotechnology Center, to negotiate an indirect cost rate with the university systems to equal, not greater, than the rate paid by any other state agency. That rate would be 0%. On page 125 you have a House only special provision. It requires any NER agency that has undergone a reorganization over the past ?? to report to the NER committee on that reorganization including the rationale for it, any efficiencies achieved and any cost savings resulting from that reorganization. On the bottom of page 125 there's the aquarium fund fee transfers. That's a House only special provision and what it does is direct that any receipts that are necessary to support the operating and personnel costs of the aquariums shall be transferred to the general fund and not kept in the aquarium special fund. At the bottom of page 125 you have the title of a House only special provision called Jeannette's Pier but the bulk of that is on page 126, and that directs DOA to offer the sale of Jeannette's Pier at no less than fair market value. If it's sold, it directs that the proceeds be deposited in the water management trust fund. There's a report due back on April 1st to talk about the status of the sale. On section 14.4 is identical to what's in the Senate budget, it basically directs DNR to transfer money that's currently budgeted in a capital account for the water beach access grant program
To move that money into a special fund. On pages 126-128 are technical corrections to the Clean Water Management Trust Fund statutes to conform to the changes that the General Assembly made last year to that particular fund. On page 128 you have a House only provision. This directs that the $1 million that's appropriated to the Clean Water Management Trust Fund be used for the remediation and mitigation of storm water impacts to lakes subject to a nutrient management strategy approved by the EMC. On the bottom of page 128 you have a House Senate modified special provision for the commercial fishing licences. This provision is similar to what the Senate did in that it doubles 6 commercial fishing licenses over the 2012-13 level but it does not repeal the increases that the General Assembly put in effect for the permits last year. It also does not set up a special fund to deposit those increased fees, instead it directs that 50% of that, or actually 100% of the increase or 50% of the fee be directed to support the At Sea Observer program. Those fees are effective July 1st of this year but won't be collected until this time next year, so in the spring, the third quarter of 2015 through advance licence sales so this is essentially effective through the 2015-16 commercial fishing license season. On page 131, advanced sale of licenses, this is an identical provision to what was in the Senate and it directs that the commercial license fees, not the ones that were just increased, not the amount to be increased, but the ones that the division collects, they are allowed to carry those monies forward into the subsequent fiscal year to implement their programs but at the end of the fiscal year, if they still have funds remaining, they shall revert to the general fund. At the bottom of page 131 you have a House only special provision that requires the Division of Marine Fisheries to enter into a joint enforcement agreement. You may recall that in the Senate budget they specifically prohibited the Division of Marine Fisheries from entering into that agreement. On page 132, you have an agency request that was in the Senate budget that the House adopted. This basically permits the Division of Marine Fisheries to issue their rules electronically and have copies of their rules available in hard copy upon request. At the bottom of page 132 you have a House only provision, this was in the Governor's budget, it allows the Secretary to set fees to defray the costs associated with the Natural Heritage Program. Specifically the Secretary would be able to set fees when preparing customized environmental reviews from that data or to develop an online technology that users could go in and pull the data out that they wanted. The other fee that the Secretary is allowed to set is a fee for actually conducting the inventory of those natural areas. At the top of page 133 you have a special provision related to CDBG infrastructure programs, this is the same as the Senate, it basically clarifies that the CDBG funds that DNR now manages can be used to do hookups on private property. Section 14.17 is identical to what's in the Senate budget, and it requires, directs that DNR require that all local governments applying for loans or grants from the Department of Water Infrastructure, they have to certify that they are not cross-subsidising the general fund from their Utility Enterprise Funds. Section 14.17a is a House only provision, this directs that of the $500,000 appropriated to DNR for water/sewer grants, that $500,000 must be spend in tier 1 and tier 2 counties, that is consistent with current law already, and that the grant shall be used for the
water and sewer services to local government or educational facilities. you have the house version of the men shallow rock dredging channel and lake dredging fund. what this special permission does is change the distribution to the wild life resources commission boating safety account from annual to quarterly to help with cash flow, it does the same thing for the dredging fund. It also directs that an additional 1.67 million be deposited in the dredging fund in 1415, that's the dollar amount that the general simply had anticipated that dredging fund receiving this year but didn't due to the timing of the collection and distribution of the tax. section 14.19 is a house only provision it allows the dean or secretary to adopt rules related to boat washing for aquatic weed measurement. you may recall that in the senate budget they transferred their aquatic weed program from Deaner to Wildlife the house budget does not do that. instead it gives the dean or secretary the authority to do boat washing. the second part of this provision is similar to what was in the senate it allows the dredging fund to be used on a recurring basis for aquatic weed control and estate up to $500,000 each fiscal year. On the bottom of page 134 you have a house only provision or senate modified provision that allows Deaner to use lapped salaries and operating funds from that 1.8 million dollars in colash money. the house has appropriated in their budget they can use lapped salaries and operating to purchase up to 596,000 in equipment to support that initiative. the difference between this provision and what was in the senate is that the senates money is contingent upon the passage of a colash bill the house money is not. at the top of page 135 and over to 136 you have the redirection of interest on certain environmental funds that we've reviewed and the money report I will tell you that the difference between the house version of this special permission and what was in the senate is the removal of four special funds. the senate had diverted tax from the ecosystem enhancement fund, the clean water management trust fund, the parks and rec trust fund, and the marine resources fund. those funds have been eliminated in the house version of the budget so they will continue to receive their interest. In the middle of page 136 section 14.22 this follows the money on the admission inspection funds that are going to the general funds and directing air quality to use its cash balance, this is the same as was in the senate and the same thing is happening in the next special provision for the water and air quality account. at the bottom of that page this is a house modified provision for the solid waste disposal tax you may recall that the senate budget they diverted 1 million dollars of these tax to support administration the house budget does not do that but there was a technical change that needed to be made to the statute to conform to the changes that the general assembly made last year when they directed a portion of these funds to go to the general fund. at the top of page 137 you have a house only special provision that was in the governors budget and what this does, because its very short, it amends the intent language that's in that statute. that intent language had said that the hazardous waste fees collected not exceed 30% of the total funds from all sources to support that program. over the past few years as the general assembly has shifted more of the costs to fee receipts and reduce the general fund, essentially the division has been in violation of this intent language this removes it and so there is no question the use of those fees. the last item for the department of environment and natural resources is a house only provision this provides the department with flexibility to meet one of the reductions that the general assembly enacted in last years budget. last year when the department asked for permission to merge the division of water quality and water resources the general assembly took a 2 million dollar reduction
Option in 1415 due to that merger. The department has requested flexibility not to take it all from that particular division, but to spread that $2 million reduction over the entire department. That's what this provision does. There are two limitations on it. They cannot take a reduction from any expansion item that the General Assembly has expanded over the biennium. That is in fact already current law. The other thing that this provision does is it disallows the department to take a reduction to an item that was reduced in either the Senate version of the budget or the House version of the budget but not enacted in the final version, so if the Senate had reduced an item and the House did not, and it is not finally enacted, DNR can't go to that particular reduction item and take the management flexibility against that. In the middle of that page 137 begins the Wildlife Resources Commission special provisions, that first one, wildlife license changes is actually just the long technical correction to the omnibus Wildlife Resources Fee Bill that was enacted by the General Assembly last June. I'm happy to go through those technical changes, but there are no fee increases in this, it's just conforming language. The last special provision in the Wildlife Resources Commission begins on page 140, and what this does is transfer the responsibility for deer oversight from Wildlife Resources to Ag. You recall that in the Senate budget they had Wildlife and the Department of Ag working together on this issue of importation of deer and reporting back to the General Assembly. The House budget goes ahead and transfers that program. If you look on the last page of that provision, 142 subsection d, it does prohibit the Ag Commissioner from issuing a transportation permit for the importation of deer into the state prior to July 1, 2015. And Mr. Chair with that, I'll hand it over to Aubrey and Corbya. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Jennifer. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Commerce special provisions begin on page 142. Section 15.2a transfers the ABC Commission as a type 2 transfer from Commerce to the Department of Public Safety. Next page 143, Section 15.2b increases the regulatory fee to the jurisdictional revenues of regulated utilities of .01% to .14%. It will raise approximately $1 million for the Utility Commission's public staff. Section 15.3 repeals authority given to Commerce in the 2013 Appropriations Act to reorganize and establish a public-private partnership. Section 15.4 allows Commerce to carry forward base realignment and closure activities funds that were unexpended in FY '14. Section 15.5 follows the money, sweeping unencumbered cash balances from 5 special funds to offset the general fund appropriation of Commerce's Admin Division. If you flip the next page, 144, section 15.6, also follows the money, directing the Commission on Workforce Development to prescribe the contribution methodology for how participating agencies will support the common follow up system with $500,000 in non-recurring funds. Agencies shall then transfer the funds by the end of calendar year 2014. Commerce's Labor and Economic Analysis Division shall also develop a plan to transfer the information and the required capabilities of the common follow up system to the government data analytic center and submit this plan to the office of the State Chief Information Officer by February 1st of 2015. Just below that, section 15.7 also follows the money, providing $250,000 in non-recurring funds to merge two Commerce IT programs, and it requires a report on this merger to the IT Oversight Committee by February 1st of 2015 and also requires a report from the State Chief Information Officer regarding progress on the NCConnect inititative, specifically regarding the integration of Commerce's broadband program. Section 15.8 follows the money and reduces the Limited Resource Communities Grants Program, leaving $1.25 million in that program. If you turn the page
...or look to the next page, rather. Comment Community Development Block Grant State Matching Funds follows the money, and also the department is directed to provide the remaining match from in-kind support for CWG funds. The department must submit a report to GOV OPS and the Fiscal Research Division by February 1st of 2015 regarding those positions that have been eliminated and the manner in which the state match will be achieved and how that match will be ultimately reported to the federal government. Section 15.9A directs Commerce to use $5.9 million in de-obligated federal Community Development Block Grant funds. $5 million will be allocated to the Public Services category which serves homeless and at risk veterans in rural areas with substance abuse services and employment services including job training. The remainder of that balance will be used for local government training regarding CDBGF activities. Now if you flip the page to page 146 you'll see the Rural Division Special Provision Expanding the Building Re-use Program to allow vacant buildings to be eligible for this program and it also allows for building demolition. Section 15.10B directs Commerce to study factors that are used in determining a county's TEAR designation and provide a report to GOV OPS NER props and FRD by February 1st of 2015. I did skip one, look just above there. That's directing the New World Economic Development Division grants that are non-recurring and appropriated for this next fiscal year, $2.3 million shall only be used for grants and shall not be used for admin costs. If you look there at the bottom of the page, page 146, Section 15.C, increases the Travel and Tourism Board by two members. One agri-tourism expert appointed by the Ag Commissioner and another representing state parks designated by DNR Secretary. If you flip to page 147, Section 15.12 follows the money establishing the Light R Reserve in DPS. That same page, 147, Section 15.13 repeals Session Law 2013 367 or Senate Bill 379, which established the expanded gas products to agriculture program. If you look just below that, funding the One North Carolina Small Business Fund, this follows the money. The $2.5 million capitalization of that program. Section 15.14A is the capitalization of the Main Street Solutions Funding Program from the utility account. Section 15.15 is a Boiler Plate Provision which allows funds from the Employment Security Reserve Fund to pay the interest payment of the state's unemployment insurance debt. Bottom of page 147, Section 15.16, is an Industrial Commissions special provision. It designates that the Commission Chair may appoint deputy commissioners to serve a term of eight years. Current deputy commissioners' terms begin expiring February 1st of 2015 and proceed until February 1st of 2016. If you flip the page, on pages 148 and 149, Section 15.6A is a Worker's Compensation provision limiting reimbursement for prescriptions and professional services to no more than 105% of the average wholesale price. On page 149, Section 15.16B, Sunsets Employer Paid Filing Fees and Hearing Costs effective July 1st of 2015. Now to Commerce State Aid provisions. There is, in Section 15.17 an NC Biotech provision which follows the money and also directs the center to prioritize the funding of loans over the funding of grants. The additional non-recurring funds for biotech shall be used for three new initiatives. $2 million for New Industry University Partnership Grant Program. $1.1 million for the Bio-defense Cluster Effort and $500,000 for Ag Biotech. On page 150, Section 15.18, follows the money regarding RTI's appropriation directing that entity's research to be shared with the state energy office.
Next section, 15.19, follows the money for Grass Roots Science Program eliminating a museum that closed. Section 15.21 also follows the money for the support center and requires the support center to report on those activities. Mr. Chair, we are done with the provisions. Glad to take questions. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Aubrey, and members of the NER fiscal team. I've neglected to recognize our Sergeant-at-Arms, Charles Godwin and B.H. Powell. They got our room set up efficiently and thank you for your service. We also have three pages. Alex Monroe from here in Wake County sponsored by Speaker Tillis. Ariel Merange, sorry I butchered your name, sponsored by Representative Hanes and Kristen Norton here from Wake County sponsored by Speaker Pro Tempore Stam. Thank you for being here with us. I'm sure you've just filled your head with NER knowledge and I'm sure you will never forget it in your life. [laughter] And with that I will open up for conversation on the special provisions, discussion and debate. If any member has...Representative Dobson. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Couple of questions starting in that they're similar in nature but I guess a little bit different. Page 142, part 15, the transfer of the ABC commission to the Department of Public Safety. Is that, we was talking about those provisions being repealed and a new...is that basically setting up a new commission or are they just rolling over into the Department of Public Safety? [SPEAKER CHANGES] They're just rolling over to the Department of Public Safety. [SPEAKER CHANGES] So it'll be the same members. Page 147, kind of the same line of thought on the industrial commission. We talked a little bit about that, as well. Is that reconstituting a new board on that or... [SPEAKER CHANGES] That is sweeping the existing board and replacing the appointments. [SPEAKER CHANGES] OK. So on, I guess it's on page 148 then, Section 15.16, as of August 1, 2014 the terms of all current deputy commissioners are as follows. Those with the least amount of term, expire within six months, so that's totally changing what was in there initially? [SPEAKER CHANGES] That's right. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman, just a comment if I may. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Certainly. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I may be not reading that right and if I'm not, I apologize, but it seems on that, that it may be a backdoor way of implementing part of Senate Bill 10 and I hope I'm reading that wrong and that's not what's happening here, but that seems to be that that maybe something that needs to be part of legislation as opposed to the budget. So I'll just throw that out there. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Representative Dobson. Further discussion, further debate on special provisions? Representative Millis. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Page 131, Section 14.11. This is a heavy item and I'm uncomfortable with it just because of there's a lack of understanding of what this means. I'm not saying that I'm against the measure but I'm extremely concerned. I've listened to both sides and I've tried to stay to this issue but it's a little alarming to me to take this step. For me personally because I haven't heard both sides of the issue and I just want to make sure we're not doing something foolish because, I mean, you read the language here. It's a heavy authority to grant and I know that it says that the department may do these things. I understand the department can opt out and things of that nature, but I just completely prefer to look at this matter before I can understand the ramifications that we as a body may be granting. Especially because of this way to priority funding aspects of dredging that was a federal responsibility. So again, it's kind of concerning for me to give them further law enforcement authority into state waters that they've kind of backed away from their financial responsibility from other matters in the past. So, it's just a little concerning. I just wanted to put that comment out there and maybe that's something we could discuss on the break about some possible amendments to strike that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Jennifer, would you like to address part of this? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, Mr. Chair. On the joint enforcement agreement I wanted to clarify that it in fact...
does require that the vision to enter into a joint enforcement agreement. North Carolina is the only coastal State both on the Atlantic and the Pacific that does not have a joint enforcement agreement. In last year’s budget bill the General Assembly actually thought that they had given the division that authority and took a corresponding reduction to the division’s budget both last year and this year in anticipation of them entering into a joint enforcement agreement. So the money was already taken out in anticipation that it would be replaced with the federal funds. So, this sort of helps clean up what the General Assembly thought that they had done last year and make North Carolina consistent with other coastal states, but it is a requirement, they don’t have an option not to do it in the house budget. [CHAIRMAN] Compare that to the senate which expressly prohibited joint enforce agreements, and so it’s a complete shift from what the senate proposed, that’s [???]. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I’ll look. [CHAIRMAN] Certainly. [SPEAKER CHANGES] That’s one of the reasons why that I question what’s being done especially because what the understanding in last year’s budget, this was a move by the assembly to do this, and therefore, when I see the Senate, it’s a little bit of an odd spot, but not that we always agree and always disagree on things, but it’s just a little concerning that we’re directing this authority without at least some deliberation and thought on both sides of the issues. Just to make sure that we’re doing something that’s proper, and again, I’m not trying to throw stones at the Federal government, but it’s very concerning to me, and I understand that we’re the only state, but maybe it’s good policy that we’re the only state. Sometimes it’s not that [??] to be an outlier, I don’t know, I’m just a little uncomfortable with this move at this time and I’d like some further information possibly. [CHAIRMAN] Certainly. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Or maybe we could look at maybe putting a pause on this, going along with the senate and look at it again in the next long session. [CHAIRMAN] Further discussion, further debate on the special provisions? Representative Wilkins. [REPRESENTATIVE WILKINS] Could staff help me out please with the guts of GS147 - 69.1 section d? [CHAIRMAN] Which special provision is that? [REPRESENTATIVE WILKINS] It appears several times around 100 maybe 135, 136. [JENNIFER] Mr. Chair. [CHAIRMAN] Jennifer. [JENNIFER] Representative, that’s actually the State Treasurer’s. That’s a part of the State Treasurer’s Statutes that direct how interest is supposed to be earned and where it accrues to, so what this does is, depending on how the General Assembly set up the statute that said interest would accrue to a special fund or not. So, in some places they used the State Treasurer’s statute, so that the bill drafters had to undue the reference to allowing them to earn interest in their special funds. [CHAIRMAN] Representative Catlin, you’re recognized. [REPRESENTATIVE CATLIN] Thank you. So page 133 section 14.17 [??] Structure. Basically, local government applies for loans or grants has to certify that no funds received from their utility operators venues for local government funding—general fund. I’ve had some small towns contacts—they share administration. Instead of having a separate administrator for the utility department, I could see some complications there. How stricter are? [??] Is this going to be so strict that if they share a legal staff, that they won’t be able to apply for a grant or a loan? [CHAIRMAN] Jennifer. [JENNIFER] I don’t believe that so strict. It does not require them to keep their funds separate and a part. The section actually goes on to clarify that it doesn’t include payments made to local government related to regular and ongoing costs related to the utility and employee benefits sorts of things. So, if there is an attorney that’s cost-shared, if you will, and supporting the utility, presumably, that’s covered in here. But it is intended to stop local governments from taking utility money and just subsidizing their general fund, and then coming and applying to the state and asking for either grant or loan money to support their utility system. That’s the intent. [REPRESENTATIVE CATLIN] That needs to be covered. [CHAIRMAN] Yeah. Thank you. Further discussion, further debate on special provisions? Okay, well it is
00:00 11:10 10:10 what time is it, 11:10 that clock is messed up and so eleven let's just call it 11:15 representative west has a bill and senate committee at noon if members will have amendments to staff by noon I would like to reconvene at 12:30 to process amendments and continue our discussion that's representative Wilkinson. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Questions [SPEAKER CHANGES] Certainly [SPEAKER CHANGES] does representative west's bill have anything to do with possums. [SPEAKER CHANGES] the best [??] in Cherokee county. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Clay county [SPEAKER CHANGES] clay county clay county the other sea, further discussion further debate on the schedule so if you haven't figured it out Deener's amendment generally is gonna go to Jennifer commerce amendments generally going to go to Aubrey agg amendments generally go to Tim if you have anything about wildlife send it to Jennifer as well with that we will stand in recess until 12:30 enjoy your lunch. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr chairman I appreciate that. 01:50 [??] 04:19 we call any [??] back to order first order in business we have some amendments representative Murry is recognized for an amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr chairman I have an amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Have you handed them out yet. [SPEAKER CHANGES] not yet. [SPEAKER CHANGES] no. [SPEAKER CHANGES] okay. [SPEAKER CHANGES] representative ray is recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] six? seven? [SPEAKER CHANGES] six or seven. [SPEAKER CHANGES] thank you Mr chair. [SPEAKER CHANGES] [??] 05:00
Representative Murry is recognized to explain his amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman. This amendment is a technical change at the suggestion of finance staff to the wildlife resources fund shallow draft navigation channel because this is – the way the tax law works, we can’t make changes retrospectively. You have to make it prospectively, so this change complies with that tax regulation. If you have any questions, Ms. Hoffman will be able to assist. I would move adoption of the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any questions from the committee. [SPEAKER CHANGES] If not, all in favor of the motion, say aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Opposed, no. The ayes have it and the amendment is adopted. Representative Murry is recognized for another amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] We have another amendment that’s relatively technical in nature, and even though this says Roger West as a sponsor of this amendment, I’m going to take care of this one. This is a clarification on the section that deals with the deer management issue, and it clarifies - the board of agriculture is in charge of this particular program – we’re talking about deer and side fences, but if you are talking about game carcasses and part of game carcasses distracted by hunters, that’s not the purview of the department of agriculture, so we wanted to make sure that didn’t disrupt existing hunting operations for deer hunters. So, I’ll move adoption of the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any questions from the committee. If not … Representative Wilkins. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Anyone from wildlife resources want to be heard? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman, this is actually requested by wildlife to make sure we got it right, if you want to hear them say that, that’s ??. We thank you for bringing that to our intention. It was not our intention to disrupt. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any other questions for the committee. If not, you’ve heard the motion. All in favor say aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Opposed, no. The ayes have it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Millis, I think I’ve got some of your amendments, if he’s … [SPEAKER CHANGES] You ready to go, Representative Millis? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Ready to go. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You are recognized to send forward an amendment. Which one is it? Tell us which one is it is. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You start. You pick. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Let’s start with the loan - wastewater infrastructure loan provision. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I’ll explain it while Congressman gets it handed out. This is just to clarify - just making sure local governments aren’t using the actual utility fee and infrastructure aspects to subsidize other aspects or their general funds. This just to clarify the changes and of course I’m sure that any other issues that may need to be addressed can be addressed in conference, so any questions I’m more than happy to speak about. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Do you move for adoption? Any questions from the committee. If not, you’ve heard the motion. All in favor say aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Opposed, no. The ayes have it. You have another one now Rep. Millis? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You are recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] While they’re passing out all the sections, 14.9 on special provisions page 131 lines 27 through 28, we just want to insert language here that shows that it’s the intent to the general assembly to use those funds for the at-sea observer program. The Senate has some language about the fisheries resource board in there. There’s some vetting issues that need to be worked out over conference but we just want to make sure that we understand that the conferees understand is that for chambers actually to direct these funds to the intended purpose. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any questions from the committee. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Rep. Millis moves for adoption of his amendment. All in favor say aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye [SPEAKER CHANGES] Opposed no. The ayes have it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And the very last one is
[CHANGE SPEAKER] Also same page 131, line 32 through 44. We just want to delete those lines that way it can be addressed in the conference. If not it will be the same in both proposed budgets and this issue needs to be worked out further. [CHANGE SPEAKER] I’ll put it in conference. Any questions from the committee? Representative McNeill moves for adoption of his amendment. All those in favor say aye, opposed, no. The ayes have it. Representative Murry is recognized for amendment. [CHANGE SPEAKER] Thank you Mr. Chairman. This amendment deals with the CBG language. There’s a partnership between the Department of Commerce and the folks from Commerce can further address this if you have any specific questions. There’s a collaboration between commerce and DOT. It sounds like DOT might not be ready to go to the collaboration over the next 12 months. So, we are basically eliminating the DOT module language from the CDB provision on page 145 line 14 and 15. So, that’s what we’re doing and if you have any questions I’ll be glad to let you talk to the General Counsel for the Department of Commerce. [CHANGE SPEAKER] Any questions from the committee? [CHANGE SPEAKER] For the adoption of the amendment. [CHANGE SPEAKER] If not you heard the motion if all in favor say aye, oppose no. The ayes have it. [CHANGE SPEAKER] Those are all of the amendment that I see deposited with the Chair. [CHANGE SPEAKER] Does any other members have any amendments? Representative Dobson. You need to sign it and send it forward [CHANGE SPEAKER] Did he sign it? [CHANGE SPEAKER] He signed it. Does everyone have a copy of the amendment? [CHANGE SPEAKER] Not quite yet. [CHANGE SPEAKER] Everyone have copies now? OK, Representative Dobson, you’re recognized. Explain your amendment. [CHANGE SPEAKER] Thank you Mr. Chairman. Basically, what this amendment would do is decrease the money for FFA on page H2. It would restore that to a hundred thousand. The FFA grant funding for our FFA foundation. Those funds would be taken from item on page 70, H15. The grant program expansion. There is a two point three million non-recurring there. Reduce that to two point two, which would still leave the necessary funds. ?? So I would move the adoption of the amendment that would basically help out our FAA. [CHANGE SPEAKER] Questions from the committee? [CHANGE SPEAKER] I’m all for that. [CHANGE SPEAKER] If not, you’ve heard the motion. All in favor, say aye, oppose, no. The ayes have it. [CHANGE SPEAKER] Thank you Mr. Chairman. [CHANGE SPEAKER] Thank you. Ok. That concludes all of our amendments and Representative Murry is recognized for a motion. [CHANGE SPEAKER] I move that the natural and economic resources SO committee adopt the appropriations sub-committee report as amended and further move that staff be authorized to make technical corrections and conforming changes related to reconciling the various amendments adopted and that the appropriate totals may be adjusted accordingly. [CHANGE SPEAKER] You’ve heard the motion. All in favor say aye, all oppose, no. The ayes have it.
[laughter] I want to take this time to thank our staff for working with us. They've been working real hard for the last couple of weeks. I know with the House in back of that with the Senate and I just want to say how much we appreciate what you've done. If we have any...Representative Murry, do you have any comments? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Everybody should get a chance to co-chair a committee with Roger West at some point in their life. [laughter] [SPEAKER CHANGES] We stand adjourned. That's an experience, isn't it? Are you giving me a hard time or are you bragging on me? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'm bragging on... [cross talk] [SPEAKER CHANGES] Is there anything you want us to do... [SPEAKER CHANGES] I don't think so. I think you're on our [?]. Yeah, I'll show it to you. I heard this afternoon saying that you had waved, smiled... [SPEAKER CHANGES] Gordon? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, sir. [cross talk]