Gov. Cooper presides over Council of State meeting
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper presides over a Council of State meeting.
governor. All council estate members have now joined except for audits. Or would an attorney general Stein, Germany. I just gotta start being a little late. That's okay. Good morning, Josh. Right. Three. Josh. Mary. Great. I can see you. Other people are dots. I hear you. Heather Horton from the Department of Commerce of you joined. I have OK, Green Governor. We have all presenters and all council estate members. Except for auditor would now presence, sir. Okay, We'll go it. Since it's nine to go ahead and get started. Welcome, everybody way. Have a relatively short agenda today, so we can go ahead and get through this. I hope everybody at a safe July the fourth. And you celebrated, uh, with your family or friends. Safeway, I'm gonna read the epics. Uh, reminder that we normally have here Carmelo Steel when you have it. Okay. This is the Council of State Ethics in a conflict of interest reminder in accordance with state government at the Ethics Act, it is the duty of every council member to avoid both conflicts of interest and the appearances of conflict. Any council member has any known conflict of interest or is aware of facts that might create the appearance of such a conflict. With respect to any matters coming before the council today, please identify the conflicts or the facts that might create the appearance of a conflict to ensure that any inappropriate participation in that matter may be avoided. If it any time any new matter raises a conflict during the meeting, please be sure to identify at that time will begin with the approval of the June 2nd, 2020 minutes. They should have been sent to you. Do I have emotion for approval? The approval of, uh, Commissioner Barry moves to approve. Sounded like Attorney General Stein seconding. Is there discussion on the motion hearing? None. All in favor. Say Aye. Uh, all right. All opposed. No emotion Carries. Thanks very much. Interest matters. Treasurer Falwell, Treasure Falwell Are you available for interest, Anders? Thank you, Governor. The interest matters are the interest reported a 21.2% and that's the interest important. Thank you, sir. Fire insurance matters causing. Thank you. Go. One is you see fund balance as of May 30 verses $42.4 million and over on page to have sleep Flames one for UNC hospitals, water damaged and the second one's state highway patrol. Hurricane Florence. Loss of 1.6 Megan and the third is cultural. Resource is of fire, and I move that we pay those three idols, second by the committee secretary Marshall Seconds The motion of Commissioner Causey to approve the items in the fire Insurance matters report. Is there discussion on that motion hearing? None. All in favor say, Aye, I all opposed. No motion carries. Thank you, Commissioner. Now State Ports Authority matters. Stephanie years Stephanie. Good morning, Governor. Members of council. We have one item, its acquisition by deed, and I'm happy to answer any questions you may have. Are there questions? Formas There's Do I have emotion? Move approval. Commissioner Trucks commissioner Talks were moves approval to have a second That gun commissioner. Very second back. Commissioner Barry's air for the discussion Hearing? None. All in favor, say Aye, all those No, The eyes have it. The motion carries. Uh, now we'll have Heather Warden with the North Carolina Marine Industrial Park Matters. Thank you, Mr Governor. Have one item to present to the council from the Marine Industrial Park Authority. That's a transaction that involves a utility easement being granted to Carolina Telephone and telegraph. We'll see in regards to approximately 910 square feet. This was approved at the quarterly meeting of the board back on June 23rd. Any questions for Miss Jordan? If not, do I hear a motion for approval? So move. Mr. Causey moves for approval. Is there a second, Stan? Second by the Attorney General for the discussions here and none. All in favor. Say aye. All right, I all those no motion carries. Thanks very much. Uh, now we have Tim Walton with State property. Morning, Governor, Members of council. I need to remove one item this morning on page 10 under acquisition by lease item number three I needed from the agenda. Would that I have 14 items for your consideration this morning. Are there questions for Mr Walton? Has the question traders recognized Mr Walton? Maybe to be disgusted. Later point it. Has there been an instance in the recent months where the council estate has accepted a property matters report that may have resulted in the approval of spending list like $2 million for a piece of property and uh, ultimately, what the people were paid by the state was millions of dollars more. Is there anything like that that you're aware of? Uh, and if not, can you explain just really? Briefly? The process when the council state does approve these things was what are the checks and balances To make sure that what the council of State approved is actually to the penny reflects what the state sent out? I'm not sure exactly. Follow your question. I think what? What we disclosed as the consideration that we pay is exactly what the transaction is, which can be verified on a good one or a closing statement. I'm not sure what it's that you may be referring to, but I will be happy to provide whatever we want to discuss after the meeting. I can provide later that mean thank you. Further questions for Mr Walton. Do I have a motion to approve these matters? So, moved tracks were Mr Crocker trucks from inscrutable their 2nd 2nd Bon Marche, second by Secretary of State Marshals through the discussion hearing Not all of favor say Aye. Hi. Uh, no. The eyes have it. Uh, the emotion carries for the state property matters. Thank you, Mr Walton. Thank you. Weigh now have two items or discussion and votes for other matters. Has more fields with the U. N C. Health care system. It's more Bill. Good morning. We present for here. Five items with you will be happy to answer any questions that you might have about them. Any questions for him is more field. Those matters are duly noted. Thank you. Name for being here. Doing any question. Adopt, Governor? Yes. A question for Mr More Field, please. You're, uh this more feel. Thank you, Governor. Uh, I'm also hearing of situations regarding these property matters with the U. N. C. And the acquisition of leases and buildings that because of cove in 19 on the impact on commercial real estate on occupancy of commercial real estate that the U. N. C system may have from a square footage standpoint, leaned too far into into the real estate investing world. Can you, uh, educate or comfort the Council of State regarding generally speaking, the You see, uh, exactly just in your real estate and or the leasing of real estate, the lack of payments where you've acquired real estate and your sub leasing it to other folks and the receivables associate with that, like we're seeing in other parts of the economy. From a clinical perspective, we are, actually, um, I wouldn't take short on space, but we're certainly utilizing all the space that we have that is least for clinic patients. You know, we're trying to make sure we're following all protocols and social distancing, and so it makes it challenging to get all of everyone end. Whoever East is working in small, confined spaces, we've also moved some clinics off of our hospital campuses, toe outpatient campuses as much as possible that we can use inpatient setting to support covert activities. So from a clinic perspective, we really have you or utilizing every space that we have from an administrative perspective. We are right now analyzing how to bring administrative staff back and to utilize this space that we have, um, we won't be able to fully occupy, but given the square footage that we do have will be able to social distance as needed, um, and be able to bring people back in safely. Been from a lovely perspective and our rental payment ability, we have not, of course, Mr any rent payments on our side. And then I have not heard of any tenants that we have being able to not afford or be able to pay their rent payments. We had come up with a new internal policy of what we would do. Should we be asked to defer help anybody with rent payments? But nobody came to us and asked that. So fortunately, we have not encountered any of that have been ableto continue to pay our payments. L'm in this bubbly situation and the other tenants. Thank you. Any further questions? Thank you, Miss More Field now recognized Treasure Falwell For comments on executive order 1 42 which was the order that provided or no cut off electricity util or utility electric Christie until July 31st And, uh, stranger Falwell You'll recognize Thank you, Governor. The purpose of my request was to introduce a resolution which has been emailed to all of you. Question the recision of Executive order 1 42 As a concerns municipal utility providers under the financial oversight of the state and local government finance Division of the North Carolina Department of State Treasurer, This resolution which I will explain over the next few minutes deals with Onley with municipal owned citizen owned utilities. Kelly King, who many of you know who is the CEO of BB and T slash truest, always says, if you if you get the wire right, you've always figure out the how. So why am I doing this this morning at the council statement? The reason is, is that executive order 1 24 and 1 42 have had extreme financial unintended consequences. Uh, and it is, has the potential of creating and economic inequality, especially in rural North Carolina, on this is not a political or emotional statement. It's a mathematical statement but calls Executive order 1 42 is putting especially cities in Eastern rule North Carolina and their citizens, because this is a citizen owned utility in a in a mathematical situation where they cannot survive. Uh, your executive order felt talked about governor of the deferral of these payments, and we're not just talking about electricity. We're talking about sanitation. We're talking about water and sewer in Rocky Mount case on your own community. They provide natural gas on DWilson, for example, they provide the cable services. But your notion Executive order 1 42 which talked about the deferral of these. The math just doesn't work because a lot of folks read this as a forgiveness of these utility payments, not they deferral. What's also interesting? An executive order, which I'm holding up here is that it exempted cable on TV companies. Section two. Guidance on cable and telecommunications related services. Telecommunications, mobile telecommunications, cable, wildfire. Wallison that service are urged, not shall, which is in the paragraph above it, but urged to follow these guidelines regarding people not being able to pay their bills. I find it odd that the citizen owned utilities are under executive order 1 42 but the actual cable and telephone companies are only urged to follow this policy. And it's not a requirement. I will tell you that these communities, as chair of the local government commission and your secretary revenue, sits on this commission as well. Secretary of State and and the matter Molitor would have got have were week before Cove in 19 and they've only become weaker since, uh, Cove in 19 and what some may not know, and I did not know four months ago that in the case of the Eastern Municipal Power Agency, if you have 32 cities that are in the Eastern Municipal Power Agency, if one cannot pay their bill to do power for the power that's being generated, that they're selling back to their citizens than the other ones eventually will have to pick up that tab. So the whole system in Eastern, especially in rural, especially eastern North Carolina, is getting weaker and weaker and weaker financially. Before executive order 1 40 to the city of Wilson that put in their own policies, these air elected diverse politically and every other stents, diverse governing boards who have been dealt their hearts pump blood like ours does. But their hearts also have pumped compassion for decades. They have dealt with people who can't pay their bills, according to the city manager and Wilson, the policy that they put in place regarding how we deal with folks, how they deal with folks that can't pay their bills. They had a 28% increase in accounts receivable and soon is executive order 1 24 and 1 42 went into place. Those percentages jumped 300 to 500%. The towns are you know, Governor are spending money to sue you over executive order 1 24 and 1 42 This is money they do not have, as people have not been generating the sales tax, the occupancy tax and, in some cases, the income tax necessary to keep these communities going. Ultimately, if 1 42 remains in effect, that cost is going to be born not by the people who actually used these utilities, but by the taxpayers of those communities. And there's no larger taxpayers. And that's communities in the farmers. Do as you know extremely well as well. The Agriculture Commissioner are facing extreme challenges of their own if we don't accept and percent, uh, this executive order is a relation citizen owned utilities. My comments do not apply the stockholder own utilities. We thank them for their employment and her what they do for our state. But this resolution rescinding this only applies to citizen oh utilities. If we don't do this, I believe that we're signing a death certificate for many ruled North Carolina communities, especially those in the East. So that's why that I'm presenting this and I will tell you that the at the direction of the governor, I presume The attorney general issued a waiver last week to the city of Elizabeth City and in the letter that came from the attorney general's office. This projected low balance for your electricity fund, if it occurs as projected, raises concerns about the city's ability, the timely meet, its financial obligations and in setting forth this flavor that was, Give it to the city. Last week there was protocols our outlined that everybody agreed on, and I'm sure every other it is a known utility would agree on. Also payment plan for customers with overdue balances. Referral to Community Assistance Agency for people who are in trouble, hardship exceptions, late fees and the limitation on general fund transfers out of the enterprise bonds back to the city's general. So here we have a recipe and a blueprint of the road map for what these waivers should look like. I don't think that the other remaining people municipal citizen utilities, should have to go through jump through all the same hoops that Elizabeth City went through, especially as I said earlier. This is not a plot. Telephone and Internet companies I will tell you that these cities in many instances, are facing financial headwinds, the likes of which it is really hard to calculate. Uh, talk about Moto tax, which is the when you renew the tag on your car. There's a law that allow that to be deferred for four months. As you know, uh, when you renew the tag on your car, the biggest expense of that our money it goes to the cities. The counties of the volunteer fire departments, especially important as volunteer fire departments, are providing 73% of the fire protection. While we're meeting today is a council estate. We all know that what's happening? Sales tax, refund occupancy tax. The real county, which has a population about equal to the student and back with the population, is Myers Park High School. We have a county that is depopulated so much that the number of people living there is about equal to the student and faculty population. At one urban hosko in Charlotte, they're looking at a 25% decline in sales tax and obviously a major decline across from eastern North Carolina with occupancy tax. So with that, I'll start to close my remarks and answering questions you might have. I'm just urging that this council estate person executive order 1 42 for citizens owned utilities. And that's my resolution, I will say on a personal level. Two things we need to push the power back down to these local boards. These local boards, like everybody on this council state their hearts pump blood for decades, their hearts to pump compassion. They know how to deal with these folks. Stay no situations like my mother in 1971 every Saturday. I would love a hell to the Journal Sentinel, and I would pay them for the newspapers that they sent me that week. Then I would pedal Teoh, a finance company, to make payments out of part of my profits for her Rambler automobile that she drove. And then I brought some back to her that she used because weak oftentimes had to make the choice between weather. We had electricity, power or water. And when you have a Cuba bullion in your pantries, having all three of those things is vitally important to eating. My point of bringing her into this discussion is this. The people of our community knew her. They knew our situation. They knew, which was trying to do on a limited income and they knew have to deal with us so that we could keep our utilities going. There's no question in my mind after traveling through eastern North Carolina in the last three weeks and actually sitting in the offices of some of these municipalities that these people who work in these municipal offices, they know folks like my mother and they know how to work with them. So I'm I'm begging you, Governor, in this council estate meeting to allow this resolution to go forward so that all the other cities don't have to go through the mechanics and the hoops and the bureaucracy to apply for a waiver that has already been granted toe one city and is deserved by the other ones that are owned the utilities where the utilities air owned by the citizens of their communities, these citizens will not survive this mathematically. Your original resolution 1 24 at 1 42 says it. Ultimately, that's these payments could be differ for up to four months, but then there would be need to be collected over six months. This is a mathematical statement. When you two first something for four months and then you're gonna try to collect it over six months. That means your utility bills are gonna go up 166% theatrics. Utility Bill Elizabeth City was $303 That include the sanitation, the water and sewer and the electricity. When people don't pay $1200 in utility payments, then they're asked to pay that back over the following six months. That is a mathematical impossibility that would have put people like my family in a complete, untenable situation. And then ultimately, if you're like we were where we were renting, then you have to move because you don't have utilities. And if you just think about the frictional calls, associate it with having to find another place to live. And then, of course, when you go to that other place to live, and then the utilities start checking your record of what your payment policy was that the place you were at you're just in the economic vortex that you will never, ever climb out of. So, as I said earlier, I'm asking this resolution to be adopted the past and operationalized. I eat the governor of the chair of the Council of State, and I'll be glad to answer any questions about anything I've said or any statistics that could back up anything that I could've presented to you today. Thank you, Mr Treasurer, for bringing this matter before the Council of State. There is no question that every single elected officials at all levels are facing very difficult decisions as this pandemic has attacked not only North Carolina but the rest of the world. And I appreciate theme the majority vote that this Council of state gave Teoh this utilities order there about 179,000 families that have become eligible for disconnection of their utilities and those families are facing severe financial hardship. So I think this executive order was very important to be able to protect them. This executive order lasts a little more than three more weeks, and we are telling people that it is unlikely that this executive water would be renewed. So what is happening now is that not only with municipal on, uh, companies, but also private owned companies are now working with families. Teoh put payment plans in place in order to be able to work with them. I don't think anybody wants to cut off people's utilities, and I hope that that will be a last resort. Who's the worked? But that is happening now. I will say that the executive order provided an escape valve. But you mentioned that a city could come before the office of the Attorney General to request a waiver on this. The city of Elizabeth City did did this request of the waiver and I think that there may be one more in the pipeline. Red Springs? I'm not sure, but I would point out that to my knowledge, Elizabeth City never gave notice to a creditor or to a bondholder that there waas a problem with this. So we're talking about a little over three more weeks, this order will expire. My office and I have been talking with municipal home utilities with the electric co ops and with the other utilities regarding these issues, and they have been made aware of every step that we have taken, and we specifically put forth in the order that this does not forgive the debt that we're encouraging payment plans to be put in place, and we expect that to happen. So that way also have way McKinney on the line, General counsel. I know that the attorney general is also on the line. Say, if any other council member would want to comment on this matter, we'd be glad to allow them at this time. Go get this is commissioned trucks. Yes, sir. I concurred with this order primarily because the state had not gotten out unemployment checks sent off in a timely matter. And I hope we got that straightened out. But, you know, I I guess I never thought about the municipal loan utilities and the effect that it would have all of them. They are elected people, elected officials just like we are. And, you know, I would hope that they would use compassion and extended weather circumstances to make sure that people who looked after But you know, I agree with the trust your phone well, that this needs to be a local decision now that things X straightened out somewhat with unemployment checks. So I agree with him on that. And then the other question I have is there have been times that you needed concurrence from the Council of State at times that you didn't concurrence of the Council of State. The unique concurrent snout to if if we decided to We're seeing Narcan cars. The You still need concurrence from the council. Well, first, if we were to extend the order to make the decision to extend the order, we would ask for concurrence of the Council of State. There is no for these in under the law to revoke a concurrence of the Council of State. This is now in order, which is under the Emergency Management Act. And there is no provision to revoke concurrence on an executive order that has already gone into effect. Governor, this is Josh, Mr and generally recognized. Thank you. Go places for day of this factual questions. What towns have sued the governor and what is the bureaucracy and boots that is required to get a great I believe the town that is, uh, that's doing the governor is LaGrange. You accept plural. So I said there were multiple. You don't about 1 10 of liberating the Grange so far, and their delinquencies in in the month of April represented 19 D efs of their overall budget for their utility. What are the beer? What's the bureaucracy in the escape about that we That is an executive order. Thank you for your question to be clear. And you're the attorney General and I'm not the lawsuit against the governor by the town. The Grange has not very has to do with the fact that under the bonding provisions, I believe you should be commenting on this, not me, but the bombing provisions that have set been set forth over the last few decades through the General Assembly, by which these communities actually borrow money in order to build these utilities that those bonding provisions were violated because this executive order. But that's as far as I'm going to say about that because you're the attorney General and you should know more about this than I do as far as the View how the lawsuits about which I was not familiar since you talk about multiple lawsuits and I'm honest it familiar with the one lawsuit that is OK as far as the bureaucracy live, make 32 community, 31 other communities they were suffering under executive order 1 42 with their citizen known utilities. In the case of Elizabeth City, you know, the City Council asked for a waiver. They voted for a waiver. After a period of weeks. They never got a response. This is all documented on my desk here. Did not, did not get a response and went. Then the following Monday, the City Council, a diversity council, voted to. They had to make a choice between Elizabeth City staying in business as a city or defined the governor's order. And once that City Council made that decision, which was going to go into place 48 hours later on Wednesday morning on July 1st they were grand. The waiver within a couple of hours of that happening. Why put people through this six utilities? I'm glad that you were. You were able to articulate your understanding, which is an air you are miss informed. It was a city made of request. Within three days, we responded in writing. We have multiple written communications, email, communications, phone call communications with Elizabeth City, in which we articulated what we needed to get understand the factual basis because they had inconsistent information in their materials. But once we got them to clarify what the numbers were. We worked out what the conditions were and granted the waiver on and frankly, was unimpressed by the forthrightness professionalism of the city manager there. But nonetheless, we did what we thought was the right thing to do for the city's finances, but also for people who are hurting. And what I worry about is that you were trying to come up with a blanket, a proposal that would allow any municipality to disconnect any persons, water or power irrespective of their financial situations. And people are struggling before 13 side employment stay. Why? I can only handle what it is. I want to do everything we can help you. So I just wanted it. I think we should stand behind. And at the end of the months when it expires, I'm sure the governor says he indicates may not be renewed in his little world. Mr. Mr Governor, Governor cannot respond. Please. Certainly, Attorney General Stein, you used the word air a lot. And what I've said in my resolution is if this order is rescinded that they follow the very components of your letter from your office about how to deal with payment plans for customers. They're overdue compassion. How to refer these individuals to community assistance agencies easily your words compassion, how to deal with hardship, exceptions, compassion, how to deal with late fees and the limitation of general fund transfers. So what I'm suggesting is not what you said. That was a complete mischaracterization of not only where my intuition is, but where my heart is and where my mind is on this issue. And quite frankly, I think it will be a shock that every member of this Council of State, which is paid by law all over $100,000 a year, were also part of executive order 1 42 There is absolutely no means testing. There's nobody who's a member of the Council of State. He really had to pay these bills, either. They can also be deferred. I mean, is that what executive order 1 42 was meant is to apply to me, the governor and other members of this Council of State who have the means used income has not gone down. That's not what it was meant for, and that's why we need to push the power away from Riley back down to these local communities. Do you know these citizens and their cities better than anyone else? Thank you, Governor. State Auditor Beth would daughter just recognized. So I have to say, in agreement with Commissioner Troxler that, um, I too when I signed off on this thought this was a temporary thing. I thought that July 1 we'd all be back to normal way are not. And I agree with the treasure and that what we have here is not sustainable. But I want to remind the treasure and tell everybody on the phone call that we have so many cities and counties out there who are not going to run well and say they have the ability to make the right decisions is not a true steak. I am investigating goings on in several cities right now who have absolutely no financial controls in place. I would tell you, in my investigation of the city of Rocky Mountain, they have written off a $1,000,000 a year and electric bills, and the City Council says they were never aware that those write offs were half a 1,000,000 a year for 20 years, $20 million the City Council said they didn't have a clue. We have before us look Government Commission, month after month after month, people who want to borrow money and they're not even reconcile in their bank statements. So I need a truth somewhere in the mid executive order, 1 42 is not sustainable for these cities. Counties vote out of business at the same fine, turning it wide everybody, and resolving exactly 42 is not going to get it either, because we've got 150 look on its financial watch list. Not because they pay their bills because you're not being run way have finance officers. You don't have a clue what they're doing. City managers, You don't have a clue, but do so to turn this all over the damn direction is not the way to go. So damn find out this autumn. Very Executive order One is not sustainable. Just dissolving this all at once and give our back to the locals. Many of them don't have the capacity to handle the power underhand back to them. Thank you, Governor. That amount order, I would would point out that the order is temporary and that the order expires on July 30 1st heard. I heard that I'm just saying OK, I'm saying that what we have is not sustainable. It does need to it expire, but I worry about it. Splendid expires. Are the counties of cities or the citizens utility companies? Can they handle the situation? Then I'm not so sure we should even walk away with some by. That's what they should be doing. Because again, I'm telling you, there many local governments out there who's elected officials don't have the capacity to do their job. Way to go. I had to talk with you about other, uh, other alternatives after the 31st at an auditor would love to have suggestions on how to proceed. Thank you that any other comments on the agenda item on executive order. Governor. Yes, thank you just to correct one other thing. The waiver that I read from that came from the attorney general's office. It came after the City Council, either in a work session or in a public meeting, had had not received any, even though they have been dialogue going on, had not received the official waiver and had to make a decision because bills were going out 48 hours later about how to deal with this subject. So the waiver was granted. After the city had made the decision, they could not wait any longer. And that's the fact. You know, our common man and I would just say again, let me be clear. I don't think we sending 1 42 is the rate ago without some other guidance to help these cities and counties out of these situations again. It's not sustainable, in my opinion, but at the same time to just drop it all of a sudden I'm not sure is the right way to go either, because again, I don't believe that the local governments, all of them, have what it takes to get their local governments out of the situation that they're in. So I wasn't saying to leave it on dime, not saying to take it away. I'm just saying there needs to be some alternatives to help us through this 19 in our local governments and again, I see this month after month after month, I know exactly what I'm talking about when I say that many elected officials cannot run there there. Local governments. Thank you, Madam. Auto Auditor, I do not plan to rescind this order. It does end July 31st and there is no provision under the law to revote Concurrence. So we can talk about, uh, what can happen after do all authority first and would be glad to enter in those discussions. Commissioner trucks were that I hear you gravity. Yes. Here, hearing what you're saying about not being able to rescind concurrent, I would ask you before this date comes up to be in contact with us to let us know your intentions about this order. I do believe that it does need to go away asses intended in the beginning, and I would ask you to work. So you and the attorney general toe work with these municipalities. One of my real fears is that agriculture runs on power. Add as these cut these off some so no companies getting worse in worse shape and the power rates go up and up and up. Then it's going to put us on a terrible situation. Trying to pay a huge power bills on forms that were already strapped for cash? Absolutely, absolutely. None of the none of the payments were weighed under the executive order. And what is going on male is that many of these municipalities air telling their customers that as off all this first, they will have the authority to disconnect utilities. So you better enter into a payment plan with us, and we know that that is happening now. The only thing that was waived were late payment these in penalties under the order which did provide significant health to those families that are better struggling right now, Governor up. If I may make one more comment, sir. You know something coming from you saying that you do not intend to extend this order this process on a much better place that what it is now they can begin to work with people that are delayed Withhold payment plans if they are pretty sure that this is gonna end on August 1st. It doesn't sound like we've got the votes for concurrence anyway. Right. Well, Governor, stay, daughter. Well, I would agree with Commissioner that if you put something out that says, however you say it, we don't have the votes or whatever, but to put people all noticed that they need to start now planning to get on a payment plan to to get this problem straightened out. So I'm in agreement with Governor with Commissioner Troxler that with something out now that you're not probably going to renew it, it's not gonna be those to renew it. Get people planning. So you want way worm or explicit in the order about that this time in the towns are telling that to the utility customers. But I appreciate that. Are there any more comments on this agenda? Item Commissioner Barry, you're very you recognize? Yes. Uh, first of all, I would like to say that I appreciate very much treasure Falwell bringing to our attention and the work he has done and the work you have done on it would and everyone Governor, everyone. It's very difficult situation. But I'm curious to know, Is there any idea from Charlie or the governor as to where federal money stands and whether or not North Carolina will be receiving any more federal money and what that money will be used for in particular, especially when we know that was the seat in the summer time. It could be a dangerous situation if utilities air cut toe home and water and sewer that would leave citizens in a very untenable situation. So is there any idea from the governor's office or from the budget office or from the General Assembly, where this money might be utilized to have those citizens who are struggling to pay these utility vehicles? Thanks for that question, Commissioner Barry. We do believe that there will be another traunch of money coming from the federal government. The United States House of Representatives has passed the Heroes Act. It is now over in the Senate and negotiations are going on. We're pushing our congressional delegation. A bipartisan coalition of governors is pushing hard to be able to get some help from the federal government not only for state governments but for cities and counties as well. And I would point out to that legislation that we have passed wise money has been sent 1st 2 times two counties in this last time to cities to help them with their budgets. My public policy office, our team has been working very hard to try to establish funds, help families with their utilities. I know some of the investor owned utilities have set up funds to help families who are having a time struggling time paying bills. There was a house bill in the state Legislature that provided a fund that could help families in this situation. It did not pass this time. We're working now to try to find money and hope the General Assembly will step up eventually and pass the phone to help these kinds of families. And Charlie, you may have some additional knowledge about what what else is happening in the spear. Thank you, Governor. You you hit on most of the items and thank you, Commissioner. Very for the question. The only other thing I would add is the National Governors Association and heads of all the local government associations have also been asking the United States Congress to provide old commit flexibility to the Corona Virus relief Fund that was sent to us from the federal government several months ago. Providing additional flexibility would have allowed the backfill of lost revenues for these auxiliaries and other lost revenue items you have been pushing on that and all your proposals to the legislature, but in action in the U. S. Senate right now has not provided the additional flexibility and and, um, the executive branch and feces in Treasury guidances and limiting. So, you know, if we had gotten CRF flexibility, like, was asked for several months ago that this issue could have helped that and then in the Heroes Act that you mentioned Governor related to direct assistance for folks around, you know, utilities, mortgage assistance, Reynolds Systems of those kind of household items thing US House Bill had $75 billion in it that was passed a month or so ago. If North Carolina got its normal percentage, that would be about 2.5 to $3 billion that are state would have to provide assistance, these items. And so you know, obviously there's been a lot of conversation and discussion about this item. But if if prior decisions that made Teoh loosen up some funding, we could have been helping this situation all along in every recommendation governor that you have brought forward to the Legislature at fixes to these types of problems. Unfortunately, we just haven't had the flexibility to him. Thank you, Governor. What I'm hearing for gold in these bills and proposals in Congress are in play right now. over the next two readings, and I'm hearing very broad bipartisan senses. Are Council of State about concern for the financial wherewithal of cities and counties in North Carolina? Wouldn't be helpful for there to be a Council of State letter to our congressional delegation urging them to include relief for cities and counties in the next round of recovery money. Assuming that house. So I think, yes, that would be very helpful. In fact, I know that local governments did appreciate the money that General Assembly appropriated that came from the feds way want to provide help to both cities and counties. They're going to need help in backfilling their their budgets. So, yeah, I think that would be most helpful. Most all of the governors have, uh, approved that and are pushing that. I know that Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland, when were on the plane with the president or vice president, mentions that every single time he's the chair of the National Governors Association that he continues to bring it up, and it's an issue that I think it's clearly important. So I love for us to start that anybody that would wanna sign it. I think it could help with issues like this that could help in cities that are struggling financially right now. Mr. Governor. Governor. Yes, sir. I just want to say is your policy. People are considering these matters that you dutifully consider the unintended consequences of these executive orders. And you know, when something goes through Congress that has a scoring on it when something goes to the General Assembly, it has a fiscal note on it. You know, I think executive orders need to have a physical note on whatever it is talking about about the the financial impact of our citizens. And I want to say that I'm opposed. I'm opposed to the federal government providing subsidies for people like the people on this call whose income has not gone down for them to give deferral that may put there the missile utility in a bind it This needs to be means tested and executive order 1 42 is not means tested. Nor did it apply the cable companies. People are paying their cable bills. I know this because I've said and watched it, but they're not paying for the electricity to bring that turns the TV on. I mean, this is just bizarre. Thank you, Trevor, that this This executive order didn't remove debt that anybody goes. Everybody owes the full amount of their utility does. All this did was to prevent the utilities from being cut off for a period of time. That's all it their way. Look forward to trying to provide help to people before trying to provide help to these municipalities. Look forward to municipalities working with customers to put together payment plans. Any other comments on this provision hearing? None were finished with the agenda items pushing this hour where I have a meeting. So Council State is adjourned. Thank you all very much. Governors, Superintendent John, tonight I have one inconsistency on health guidance, but I can follow up with you via email. Are we going around the banks? All right. We don't have time to do. I don't have time do that. Two guys. Guys days. Thank you. Wow. Okay. Don't Don't