House considers tougher penalties for graft
The state House is considering a bill that would impose tougher penalties on for local officials who use their office for political gain.
the house will come to order. Members will take their seats. Visitors will retire from the chamber. The sergeant at arms will close the doors. We'd ask our members and our guests to please silence and electronic devices. This afternoon's prayer will be offered by Representative Sasser would ask everyone on the floor as well as our guest and Gary to please stand for the prayer and remain standing for the pledge of allegiance. Thereafter I was obsessed. Thank you Mr Speaker for this opportunity as I thought about today what to say since this is my first time to lead prayer before this esteemed group, I thought about the old testament and when moses gave us the 10 commandments that tell us what not to do if we want to be in God's good graces. Then I thought about the new testament which gives us grace through jesus christ and also in the new testament were given my Lord's prayer. So you if you will allow me to paraphrase, I would like to pray our father who art in heaven. Hallowed be thy name. That kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us grace as we show grace. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For than is the kingdom the power and the glory forever and ever and all God's people said Amen. I pledge to you. Yeah. Mhm. States of America. The report with your stand one. Mhm. Okay. Yeah problem. Jump from Caldwell represented halls recognized promotion Mr Speaker. The journal for November 25 has been examined and found to be correct. I move that it be approved as written Represented Hall moves the journal for November 25 be approved as written. Those in favor will say aye. Those opposed no the ice have at the journal is approved as written. Representative Paul Recognized the 4th Committee Report Card Read ruth callan and operation of the house committee report. Representative Hall, Senate bill 4 73 enhanced local government transparency, favorable counter counter for today. Senate Bill 2 96 collaborative Ori Fisheries study favorite House committee substitute unfavorable Senate committee substitute Senate committee substitute is placed on the unfavorable counter House committee subsidy will be countered that bill will also be counted for today. Cork will file resolution assigned a number. Listen represent following chairman of the Committee on rules counter operations. The house recognize sent forth a traditional committee report card to read Representative Justin, Hall rules county operates the house committee report A joint resolution a journey into 2021 regular session of the General Assembly to date certain and limiting the matters that may be considered upon convening favorable introduction. Members of the lot of conversation. I know folks are glad to be back and glad to see each other after thanksgiving but I would ask if we can keep the conversation down so that members can follow what we're doing. Uh members what we're about to do this is the adjournment resolution. Uh Cork is directed to file resolution and assign a number without objection. Introduction of bills and resolutions? The cork will read the resolution Represented Destin Hall, House Joint Resolution 9 79. A joint resolution of journey 2021 regular session of general. Similar to date certain and limiting matters that may be considered apartment reconvening counter and Cher directs that will be added to today's counter represent brody's recognized the fourth conference, pork cookery Conference Report. Senate Bill 3 29. The company is appointed to resolve the difference between the Senate and House of Representatives. Senate Bill 3 29. A bill to be entirely and act to modify architect les licensure and seal engineers see a building permit exemption criteria for certain construction projects. House committee substitute favor 8 1921. House Committee substitute number to favor of 10 2021 submit the following report. The Data Companies Serving Report in November 29, 2021. Conference for the Senate. Senator Jarvis, Chair Senator Edwards. Conference for the House of Representatives, Representative Protea, Chair Representative Panic and Farkas Conference. Sports added to today's calendar Mr but mr speaker I was just gonna ask what the number is but it will be on the dashboard, it'll be up momentarily. Um and we'll be glad to let folks look at it for it's taken up. We'll add it to the counter now. Uh Members chairs happy to extend the courtesy of the Garrett to a special guest we have with us today. Are state auditor Beth wood is here with us today, Miss, would you please stand? Thanks for being with us. Please join me in welcoming her were with us today? Yes. Okay. Also a motion of the general from our deal represented McNeely, the chair is happy to extend the courtesy of the gallery to Wesley dessert and mayor lee matinees as well as other friends who are here from the town of Harmony north Carolina. Would you all please stand so we could welcome you up here in the back. Thanks for being with us today. Mhm German from Merida represented McNealy's recognize speak to a point of personal privilege. Thank you. Mr Speaker. Uh ladies and gentlemen, fellow representatives. Uh, these are friends of mine from Harmony north Carolina. If you remember maybe the last session we had, we recognized Harmony Hill camp meeting celebrating their 175th anniversary and we couldn't make the logistics work. So we got him here today even though we did the resolution the other session. So if you would, I'd just like to remind you of that And and that's why my friends are here and to see me of course and my jacket members were about to take up the bills on the calendar. Uh, this is gonna be the order of business today. We're gonna take these four bills up the Senate's coming in at four o'clock. I don't know how long it will take to resolve these bills but once these are done we will be going into a recess more than likely until five. That's what we're told that uh were needed to in order to have the budget tech corrects bill with us as well as a number of bills that the Senate is going to have. Uh it's it's the intention of the chair that we dispose of our business today and that we don't have to be back later in the week. Also, I can tell you, you can see from the american. Let's go and take this up. House Joint resolution 9 79 corporal reed Ever seen the whole house start resolution 9 79. A joint resolution of journey into 2021 Regular station of the general assembly and gates certain and limiting the matters that may be considered upon reconvening the House resolved the Senate concurrent members Before I recognize the rules. Chair to explain the bill thought it might be helpful so that members will know what the uh basic outline of the of the adjournment resolution this has been agreed to with the Senate And what this would do is essentially keep us in skeletal session until December 10 of this year at which time we would adjourn And then we would come back on December the 30th. We would be out of session for those 20 days to get past the holidays. I will tell you this very clearly. It is the it is the intention of the chair that there would not be any business taken up on December 30. That if there is business to be taken up, it would be on January V. If however, there is some kind of circumstance that necessitates that we do act on that date. If we have say for example something back from the courts on redistricting or if there's something regarding these lawsuits and the body wants to act, we would do it. But I will promise you there will be ample time and notice given to everyone. But it is the intention the chair that that that's certainly the week right there after christmas and I don't want to see that disrupted. So it would be the intention of the chair that we not deal with anything until january 3rd. Once we once we adjourned on the 10th and then after today, today will be the only day of really of business and then between now and the 10th would be uh skeletal sessions. If something happens that necessitates us acting prior to that, there again would be ample notice given to each of the caucuses on that. So I just wanted to one of the members to have the background that so with that jump from caldwell represented paul is recognized to debate the resolution. Thank you Mr Speaker, I thank you covered it pretty well. Mr Speaker, you might make a pretty good rules Chair someday. Uh Members are glad to stand for any questions, but don't have anything to add to it. Thank you. Thank you for being Chairman Hall. You did a great job there. For what purpose does the lady from orange robes and vince go rise Mr Speaker. I've given Mr White amendment, I'd like to debate the amendment. Uh, is it on the dashboard? I just handed it in. Okay, it's on the dashboard. Ladies recognize to explain the amendment actually, the clerk will read the amendment first Lives in Ensco moves to me the bill on page one by inserting the following between lines 30 and 31. Ladies recognize to debate the amendment. Thank you Mr Speaker, Ladies and gentlemen of the House, this amendment would add Medicaid expansion as an allowable bill to be considered when we come back in. I think this is very important for us to have a good debate on this issue. Oh, this is a real opportunity for us this year to make a difference in the lives of about a million of our constituents across the state. We have many uh, in that group, many are mentally ill, which is a high priority for me. They have, they have now no access to health care. We now send those people to jail in prison. We now have a prison, uh, mental health institution inside a prison because we are not providing services for those people so they can live in the community. We all uh, support our veterans, but many veterans are uninsured and they would fall into that many, about 600,000 of those million people that are uninsured here in North Carolina are are veterans who have gone abroad to fight for us so we can have a democracy here and we are not providing health care for them back here in the, in the states. Now, this would also bring an enormous amount of money into the state. Our state needs the stimulation that this bill would create. Um, the tax dollars from north Carolina are being used to pay for Medicaid expansion in other states. But north Carolina would not have to put any state dollars into our Medicaid expansion because we would be, we would be assessing our other providers who have already agreed to do that. Uh, many north Carolinians, uh, we should, this is not a partisan issue. Uh, we have people on both sides of the aisle that support this issue. I would like for us to have a good debate when we come back into session on this issue. What purpose does the jump from caldwell represented paul rice the debate. The amendment gentlemen has for members. I'm gonna ask you just to oppose the amendment simply because it was pre arranged with the Senate. Uh, and of course we were trying to get adjourn today. Also, there were some provisions in the budget about expanding Medicaid and all of those issues are still going to be eligible in the short session and we're gonna be back here again at the end of the month. So I would ask you to oppose the amendment. Mr Speaker for the purpose of the lady from Orange Drive. Speak a second time. Lady has for thank you mr Speaker. Ladies and gentlemen of the House, this is the time to vote on this bill. We need to ensure that we can get it done and this is the day. This is a time that we can be sure that we will get this bill before us in the future. We've put this off too long. This is the year. This is the time. Uh it's badly needed by many people. It's our responsibility and we are not we are not meeting our responsibility debate the bill, vote it down if you need to but debate the bill and I believe that there are enough people on both sides of the aisle that that bill would pass but let's at least get it debated and vote for that vote yes for this amendment right now, thank you. Further discussion. Further debate on the amendment, not the question for the house. The adoption of them in a once at four by represents co those in favorable vote. They're supposed to vote no. The cork weapon to vote. Representative terry on the floor. Representative Hawkins on the floor represented turner those members here The core clock machine recorded vote 46. Haven't voted in the affirmative and 61, the negative the amendment fails. We're now back on the resolution for purpose to jump from wake up SAn martin ross to see if the gentleman from caldwell, the rules Chair would yield to a question from you. Thank you Mr Speaker and I thank the gentleman for yielding to my question. My question regards. On page one provision beginning on line 22 bills responding to actions related to litigation challenging the legality of legislative enactments. And my question is, would this also permit consideration of legislation that responded to litigation challenging the failure of the Legislature to enact certain provisions? I think I'll answer that by by seeing if the gentleman, we'll do a question as well. Uh Gladly. And the gentleman give me an example of how the legislature may have failed to act. Hypothetically if there were litigation out there asserting that the general simply had failed to adequately fund education, uh pursuant to the mandate in the north Carolina Constitution. Representative, I believe, you know, according to this provision, any sort of litigation whatsoever. Uh, that's out there that in any way might relate to uh any legislative issues period could be taken up at that point. So most likely I think that could be taken up if necessary, as as good impeachments as well. Thank you. Mr Speaker. See if the general deal to one other question you have in here. Are you heels? The next question regards the end of that provision number five uh and containing no other matter? I think I understand what that means, but I just want to clarify, I understand that to mean that uh legislation that was brought forward in this session that responded to litigation but also contained provisions that were not necessary to respond to that litigation would not be in order. I think generally that's the case. Uh you wouldn't add in some unrelated provisions other than those outlined in subsection for in that individual bill in one single bill. Anything further? Not a question for the House is the passage of House Joint resolution 9 79 on second reading those in favor will vote either as opposed to vote no the cork women. The vote stevens are representative gonna wish to vote quack quack machine recorded vote 99 having voted in the affirmative and the negative. House Joint resolution 9 79 passed the second reading the objection be read a third time for Donaldson. Concurrent question for the House is the passage of House Joint resolution 9 79 on its third reading those in favor will say, aye, I suppose now you guys have it. House Joint resolution 9 79 having passed third reading orders sent to the Senate by a special messenger and in fact, Mr Kirk all chair directs that all messages today be sent by special messenger, whether to the Senate or to the governor. Let's take up Centerville to 96. Really quickly agree. Right. Senators Lady Sanderson and a Zara, Senate Bill 2 96 The building material and can make changes to the current operations Appropriations at 2021 General, similar in Oakland and Act is represented. Richardson, is this the bill the gentleman was going to handle? I will jump from Cumberland represented. Richmond has the floor to debate the bill Members uh somewhere between the 4th, the 3rd edition of this budget and the 5th edition of this budget. two very important projects got somehow mixed up in the exact amount of allocation. Both were vetted, both went through the committee process and both passed one version of this house budget in the form that it's meant to be uh they correct sums of the monies that are needed to complete these projects are in the bill. I'm not, I do know that there's also a another one that edge comb that has the same problem. I'd ask for your support on that. Mr Speaker, I don't know the other aspects of this bill. Well, we have this focus the debate if not question for the house passed the Senate bill 2 96 on second reading those affair will vote, aye. Those opposed vote no cork open to vote Hannah gah core clock machine recorded vote 101 having voted in the affirmative five of the negative Senate bill 2 96 passed the second reading the objection here at third time. Similar question for the house passage of Senate Bill 2 96 on its third reading those in favor will say, aye. Those opposed No Guys have it sent a bill to 96 having passed 3rd reading orders sent to the Senate by Special Messenger. Senate Bill 4 73, Corker Read Senators Barn Sanderson & Edwards. Senate Bill 4 73. I built him entitled enhanced local government transparency, johnson with no climbing acts represented Winslow. Why don't we take the amendment up? I think that is that is that a technical amendment more than anything? Uh Gentlemen, uh gentlemen recognized the fourth Amendment. A PB 39 corporations represented Winslow moves to Mandeville Jumping has four debate the amendment. Thank you sir. Uh This amendment makes a few important clarifications to this transparency bill. If a local government has been subject of investigative audit with findings by state audit amendment empowers local government commission to select three options of cPS from which a local government may choose for their annual audit. This ensures transparency while still ensuring that local governments retain decision making power over the process. The amendment also amends the section regarding participating in contracts with a nonprofit that the council MR Commissioner associated with the amendment ensures that an honest mistake or honest a mission will not be penalized. It also changes the effective date to January 1 2022 for criminal offenses. The amendment also makes various technical corrections suggested by the state auditor and the state treasurer who are in full support. Thank you. Mr. Speaker. Further discussion debate on the amendment. If not the question for the House is the adoption of amendment A one those in favor will say aye. Those opposed. No. This appears to have it. As you have the amendments adopted. We're now back on the bill, represented Winslow's recognized debate. The bill. Thank you. Mr. Speaker. Senate Bill 4 73 implements several crucial reforms to ensure transparency and local government. It was developed in close consultation with the state order and the state treasurer and has the full support of both. It passed the Senate 42-6 with 14 of our Senate. Democratic colleagues, colleagues voting in favor highlights the biller follows if your local government was subject to an investigative report by the state auditor, then the L. G. C. Is empowered to select the county who perform their required annual audit of local government. The L. G. C. Is empowered to this for three years following the state autos report. If a local government official owes money for a county municipal services than their official compensation from the county municipal will be garnished into the debt is paid in full. This section is not retroactive as effective when it becomes law. The bill also makes a class a felony offense of an elected public official solicits received personal financial gain by means of intimidation, undue influence or misuse of employees of the political subdivision which the elected officer serves. And subject to certain exceptions, prohibit public officials from participating in making administering a contract, including the award of money with a non profit with which the public official is associated and would create a misdemeanor offense for such violations. Thank you. MR. Speaker. Further discussion. Further debate on the bill. For what purpose does the gentleman from Guilford represented quick rise to debate the bill. The gentleman has the four. Thank you. MR Speaker. I like, I would imagine everyone here in this chamber and every citizen in north Carolina would expect that our elected officials will be good actors and uh respectable persons and would do the right thing. Also, I think that we all will agree that when they don't do the right thing, that there should be some sanction and that sanctions should be uh not only punitive but should be a deterrent. So for those reasons, uh like what's in the bill? However, there is one section that's going to lead me to vote against this bill. That section says that the bill would be retroactive. This section would be retroactive to July 1, 2018 that's problems um, and uh, problematic to me because in the simplest way that I can explain this away, that I would understand that as if the city of Greensboro takes the speed limit on main street And Monday says the speed limit's gonna drop back from 45 to 35 starting this coming monday, But they go back and look and see that on two July 2018 that I actually drove 37 mph and what was 45 mph? They say under the new law, you now will be charged for having speed on a road that we changed the speed limit on at a later date. How can the law be retroactive? How can we go back to 2018 To something that wasn't a law in 2018 and give sanction in 2021. That, to me makes no sense. And that would be the reason I'll vote against this bill with all due respect to the fine work that our state auditor has done and is doing that section alone causes me to vote against this bill. Thank you. What purpose does the gentleman from weight represented? John rise. See if the bill presenter might yield to a question represented Windslowe, is the gentleman yield to a question from Representative john Yes, I do think the yields and the gentleman is permitted staff on the floor. Thank you. Representative Winslow, I'm I'm looking at section one B. And one C. Of the bill as the section that Representative Quick just referred to and I'm trying to grasp whether or not that section would have indeed have the effect. That Representative Quick suggested that at some point in time conduct which was not criminal under the statutes, could could retroactively be made criminal as a result of the operation of those two sections. That's my question. Speaker. All right. Um They're already criminal offenses. It's just now this makes it punitive. So even if they were three years from today, if they had a criminal offense, it would be effective. Master Gentlemen other questions. The gentleman is recognized for a series of questions. Thank you. Mr. Speaker Representative Wednesday in section uh for a of the bill, there is a new offense created uh regarding the uh member of a nonprofit organization. What if under Section one B. That's conduct was subsequently discovered. And could it then be charged retroactively? So that would not be defense. It only applies to the auditing and not that section applies only to what auditing could um uh Yes, could not the audit, discover and act by a local elected official who was also an official of a nonprofit that brought him her into conflict with the newly enacted section of the law. You will not be able to prosecute in that case because Mhm. You've already used up all your phone of friends things there. Yeah, That's right. If you if you read further down to section, you actually see that section applies December one of 2021. I'm sorry. I'm still having trouble with this. The section we're discussing and one B extends for three years. Well, if you look at section four B, it says this section becomes effective december 1st 2021 applies to offenses committed on or after that date. So we're not talking about retroactively right debate. The bill Mr Speaker, thank you, represent. Thank you represent john's we're gonna estimate the thank you members representing a quick and I've raised these issues for a very simple reason. Section 16 of the North Carolina Constitution provides that retrospective laws punishing acts committed before the existence of such laws and buy them only declared criminal or oppressive, unjust and incompatible with liberty. And therefore no expose. Factor laws should be an actor whether or not, and I appreciate the candor and the response I got him to my, to my question whether or not this section 11 B and C are in are not in compliance with the letter of the constitutional provision. It seems to me, they sure, brush up hard against the spirit of that provision and raised concern not withstanding. Uh as Representative Quick indicated the work of the auditor and I heard the debate and rules and I understand there's a a lot of back story to this to this bill. Uh, that's not what I'm concerned with. I'm simply concerned with uh, this issue of potential brushing up against the violation of the north Carolina constitution. Thank you. Mr Speaker for what purpose does the lady from Mecklenburg representive Cunningham arouse. Thank you Mr Speaker to ask the bill's sponsor question, represent Winslow german deal If I can find a friend? He yields. Uh huh. You might need to phone a friend early. Okay. When I heard the bill in rules, I understood there was a cap on the population um and I wanted that explanation because I kept hearing that it was a statewide bill. But as the conversation continued on, I understood it was a 15,000 population. So can you tell me if that is still in the bill? Mr Speaker German has 4 to respond. Uh So that only applies to the nonprofit section. So uh when we're talking about who there's a bill applied to, It applies to all local governments and elected officials at the local level um the 15,000 less only applies to jurisdictions that are involved in nonprofits. Follow up MR Speaker coming to you healed. Thank you. So the applicability of this bill, if we cap at 15,000, I believe it was 400 something municipalities and 100 and something other counties that would not actually be impacted local. I don't, I don't know about the number of jurisdictions applies to but it only applies to voting on one section uh for that nonprofit. When you're voting on a budget for local jurisdiction. Follow up. MR Speaker heels. Thank you. So according to the numbers of 60 counties with population of 15,000, correct, 483 municipalities with no greater than 15,000 people. So it's really not a statewide bill if it's not impacting every municipality in every county, correct. Do we need to phone a friend? I'm not question Yes. It's a question asked at one time please. You asked me that the numbers, I don't know the numbers specifically. No. Okay. What it is is that if we, if we don't exempt those people specifically in those groups, what's going to happen is that the jury system is so small. That's very difficult for them to be involved in other committees that may be impacted by the budgets. That's why that provision was put in there. Thank you. I'll speak to the bill. The lady has four debate to build. I am very concerned when I see a carve out of local municipalities or even the county commissioners when they are supposed to have independence and set in their local authority in audiences and other statues inside and if we're gonna do something for one set of municipalities and one set of counties and it's supposed to be statewide. Everyone should be impacted if it's statewide, nobody should be carved out from heaven to be under the microscope to be told what they're supposed to do. And then the repercussions come back determined by outside entity. When we have said that we give them local authority and now we're going to take it back and then it's not going to be consistent through the whole state. I asked for you not to support this field what purpose jump from brother represent viable rice to ask the bill handler question it was a Winslow german yield. Yes, sir. He yells, I think I have an easy question for you. The section three deals with apparently nonprofits I believe are benefiting from the public position. I've got a hypothetical and it's probably yes and no. Um I'm an officer of the town mayor or council member. I'm involved in the real estate business. Very heavily Ronald real estate company. I purchased a piece of property from the town for my business and pay the market value and also the highest bid that has received. So is this involved this bill be involved in any of that or would it be any pro prohibition against town officer in a small town being involved in a real estate deal which may be beneficial, but they paid the market value and the highest bid. And all the procedures were followed. Is that involved in this bill? I guess? No, sir. That section only applies to non profits. Thank you or the discussion. Further debate. If not question for the House is the passage of Senate bill 4 73 on second reading those in favor will vote either as opposed to vote no cork weapon to vote represent Hunt, wish to vote represented. All wish to vote, represent Reeves was Representative Reeves Reeves. I I'll read, you know, Representative terry is showing us a non vote on these uh Mr minority leader. You know, if she wants to be excused or not, I'm glad to show it. However, anybody knows we'd ask that should be excused. Thank you. Show excuse on that as well as the private uh corporal like machine recorded vote 64 having voted the affirmative 44 in the negative, 74 73 passed 2nd 3rd, 2nd reading without objection. We're at third time represents smith. I saw the ladies like after I put the questions the lady wish to debate the bill, purpose. Lady rise. Yes sir. Thank you. Mr Speaker. Um I do wish to debate the bill. One of the things that I look at now is this is just another case of where the state has decided to overreach on the local level because the auditor already has the ability to do whatever she needs to do because we have laws on the books. And so I'm very concerned that now we're meddling. You just imagined If someone from the federal level decided to do that to us at the state level and go back three years and look at what you guys have been doing and what we have been doing and trying to find issues. So I think we're doing a lot of nit picking for no reason because if we have people in positions and we have laws on these books, if this was an issue in 2018 Then someone should have introduced this bill in 2018 and done it the way that we are um have been doing it traditionally. But to now set this type of precedent. It is not wise and it does not make sense. And it seems like it's targeting, especially when you look at those smaller municipalities, this looks like spot zoning to me and this is what we try to make sure that we stay away from and we should not be doing, but that's what we're voting on right now. So I do urge people to vote no for this. Thank you. Further discussion debate. If not the question for the House is the passage of Senate before 73 on third reading those in favor will say, aye, I suppose now can you paint the chair of the eyes have it? Yeah, I do have it sent a bill for 73 having passed 3rd Reading order sent to the Senate by Special Messenger. Representative Panic is recognized them for the conference corker read council report. House Bill 1 10. The conference is appointed to resolve the difference between the Senate and House of Representatives On House Bill 1 10 I built to be entitled An Act to make changes to the housing opportunities and prevention of eviction program. Senate conferees and insurance committed ourselves to adopt 8 31 21 submit the following report. The conference recommended that the Senate and the House of Representatives adopt this report. State conferees approval for november 29 2021 countries from the Senate. So the Edwards tear senators raven Newton and Mckinny's conference from the House of Representatives representing panic Chair Representative Harvester bowls bills attitude. Uh today's calendar mm stand at his mom telling Corey special cases from the Senate. Mr Speaker pursuant to your message received on 21 October 2021 at the House of Representatives failed to concur in the hospital. 1 10 Senate committee substitute third edition built of entitled an act to make changes to the housing opportunities and prevention of conviction eviction program. The president pro TEM appoints senator Edwards. Chair, Senators, raven Newton and mechanics on the part of the Senate to confer with a light committee appointed by the honorable lock at the end of the differences arising may be resolved respectfully. Sarah hall. No Mr court members chair makes the following adjustments to conference committee for house bill 3 34. That is the jobs grant and tax relief. Believe that's going to be used for the technical corrections for the budget. That will be the technical corrections bill members just for so members will know the staff is still drafting that. Uh and that bill is technical, there are changes in there but any there's no new money but there were some changes there but there are things such as renaming and so forth. But that bill is gonna take some time to get done. So chair is gonna uh represents Saint is not here today. So Representative saying Israel is removed as a conferee and representatives ARP and lambeth are added as conference to that bill, Senator lisa notified represent lambeth was will be designated the chair of that. So where members were about to point to take a recess until five. We're checking to see what the um well we're just gonna make the call. 50 clock is gonna be when we're going to come back where we are at that point we we should have received a number of bills from the Senate by that time for the house to act home and the Senate will have received bills from the house. There are two bills remaining on the calendar. The chair is being informed that There's some discussion about 329 and then uh Chair was asked by the bill's sponsor. That 1 10 be delayed until that time. So those are uh conference report. So they're they're not critical in the sense of having to go back to the other chamber. Uh So with that we'll open it up to some notices, announcements prior to going into our recess. Gentlemen from wayne represented, Bell is recognized for an announcement. Thank you Mr. Speaker Republicans. We will caucus immediately upon recess and 12 28 right downstairs please be prompt for what purpose? Ajumma from Davidson represented Watford rise point of personal privilege german has the floor for those responsible for the eyes and nose. I have composed this piece of 3rd grade pros. My moving forward from the darkness to the light resulted a new seat mate. Representative Donna White through the years of finer neighbor I have never had even though my previous one was a charming lad On this commemorative day November 29 we honor this special lady that is so fine. Rise and join me if you will as we celebrate her birthday here on Capitol hill. What purpose jump from gas and represent orbit. Rise point of personal privilege. Mr Speaker Gentlemen has the floor house will come to order MR Speaker. It came to my attention that they were gonna be losing one of the finest minds that ever walked the floor of this chamber in here. Young man that I think is one of the most professional if not the the most professional young man uh in his both work ethic and his ideals and his philosophy understand Dillon reel is going to the private sector. I want to personally tell him thank you. You will be sorely missed by me and many others in this chamber and give him a fund and hearty farewell. Actually, what purpose does the gentleman from union represented brody rice point of personal privilege. Gentlemen has the floor. Thank you Mr Speaker and members. I've never anticipated us being here this long. So I've never had to Uh I had the opportunity to say is publicly but today my wife and I have been married 47 years. I love you baby congratulations. For what purpose gentleman from Illinois represented Humphrey rise thank you Mr speaker point of personal privilege. Young man has a four uh thank you members. Uh I just want to thank you for all the outpouring of Love last week, last two weeks after I lost my mother suddenly she was 75. Just a wonderful lady and uh I'm gonna miss her terribly. But I wanna thank you all for your phone calls, you text your flowers, your messages. And uh my family was impressed by the outpouring of support from this body. They were uh just surprised at how much love we actually do have for one another. So anyway, thank you very much sir, thank you of The lady from Bunker represented Fisher's recognized to speak to one personal privilege. Thank you Mr Speaker. Um It is with a real mix of emotions that I rise today to um let this body know that I will be retiring from the legislature. Uh effective December 31 of this year. Um I cannot express to you all and I'm talking about you all what this time has meant to me. It has been the honor of my life and I have learned so much from every single one of you that I've come into contact with And I have made such friends of people who are here over these last 18 years and like I've said before when I stood up on the floor we are like family. We may not always be the best functioning family, but we are a family. And I am going to really miss the camaraderie the support the friendships. And I just want to say, I'm gonna be saying, I'm gonna be saying my prayers for all of you all as you head into 2022 I'll be thinking of you. I will be hoping that with this coming election that we find some real balance in north Carolina and I wish every single one of you the very best in whatever you do going forward, not only for yourselves but for the people in north Carolina. Thank you so much. Yeah. Yeah. Representative Fischer. I know I speak for all for all of your colleagues when I thank you for your service and your friendship and what a delight it has been to serve with you and there aren't as many has been serving quite as long as you and I have here now. So uh, you will, you will be missed. But we appreciate your hard work and and we're gonna keep working until you leave. So still plenty of work to be done. Can I just add one more thing? Yes, ma'am, fortunately or not. I won't miss the end of session festivities around contentious buncombe County Bills. Mhm. Stay tuned. They're coming Or I say it's coming. Thank you so much. It just wouldn't be the holidays without one. Right. For what purpose does the jump from our table represented. McNeely rise uh, moment of personal privilege. Uh, gentlemen has the four. Well, with thanksgiving this past week, we all had a lot to be thankful for. And really we also had a lot to be thankful for the day after thanksgiving. Not for the 1st 58 minutes of the ball game, but for the last two. And I thank you lord for those last two minutes go back. Yeah. Some things don't even deserve a response. For what purpose does the gentleman from Durham represented Hawkins Rise. Uh, point of personal privilege. Gentlemen has the floor just rising to wish my mother mary Ann Hawkins Green a 60 happy 65th birthday. Happy birthday represent. McNeely. We've asked the Durham County board of elections to recount that that that game not, it's not over there, that's for sure. For what purpose agenda from union represented. Willis rise for a point of personal privilege for uh, I'd like to remind the gentleman to my left at the best football program. Uh, North Carolina resides in the mountains of north Carolina at Appalachian State and they will be competing for a conference championship this weekend, which they are undefeated in and they'll also be competing in a bowl game this year, which they're also undefeated in until the uh, little puppies over there at north Carolina state can match that. We'll uh, we'll agree that north Carolina is our state is not the best program. Thank you sir. The wake Forest folks have anything to say while we're at, this is curious for what purpose just to be a representative Adams rise point of personal privilege has the floor. I just like to welcome Appalachian state to their new facility in hickory, The Duke campus that will be built there and I look forward to becoming a more enthusiastic uh, app state fans members. We uh, I think further notices or announcements. One thing, the chair wanted to share what we're talking about schools, uh, if any of you have not visited the new western School of Science and Math represented Blackwell and I had the chance to visit that facility uh, here several times recently. And that is something that I would encourage all of you to look at if you're heading heading west to get christmas trees or for whatever reason, if you're from this part of the state, you're going that way really do jump off the interstate and take a look at it. That is something to be very proud of. That this general assembly has passed and it is just incredible to see what had really been, I guess a campus falling into disrepair after the closure of the school for the deaf there. That at that part to see that turned around the new facilities and the opportunities for so many young people in this state that are happening. Of course, we're very fortunate to have the, the school science and math in Durham County and then having this one in Burke County as well is something that's going to pay dividends for many, many decades to come. So is uh if you get a chance to get out that way would encourage you to take a look at it. Certainly something that everyone in this room had a hand in making happen. Something we can all be proud of his north Carolinians for what purpose does the gentleman from Burke represented? Black will rise? Of course you couldn't be more correct Mr speaker. Uh but I was gonna add, you can buy your christmas tree at King's christmas tree lot, which is right there in Morganton and you can kill two birds with one trip to Morganton. Uh Well just so we're not favoring any one company, you can buy christmas trees anywhere in western north Carolina just to be clear, we'll make sure we uh so but just make sure it's a north Carolina tree. And so again we're gonna recess until five and we will be coming back to take up some other bills but before we take that recess that we have any other notices or announcements Sitting on the chair is going to wear that the house stands in recess subject to the standard stipulations until five pmm