House debates limits on attorney general
The House takes up a proposal that would limit the attorney general's ability to settle lawsuits.
prayer will be offered by representative shepherd. We ask all of our members and our guests in the gallery to please stand for the prayer and to remain standing for the pledge allegiance thereafter represent shepherd. Thank you. Let us pray our gracious heavenly father. We thank you for this beautiful country that we live in in this nation. I pray today a prayer of protection around this nation and those that live here. God we pray for those that have Covid and are in the hospital and are struggling. We pray for those families and each one of them. We pray God you'll put a hedge of protection around each and every one of us as we strive to serve you God we pray today that everything that we would do would bring honor and glory to you God we thank you for all your blessings that you bestow upon us each and every day in christ's name. Amen Amen. I'm glad to lead you to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic in which it stands one Nation under God the individual liberty and justice for all. Jump from Caldwell represented hall recognised promotion Mr Speaker. The journal for September 14 has been examined and found to be correct. I move that it be approved as written represented. Hall moves the journal for september 14th be approved as written those in favor will say hi those opposed No, the eyes have it. The journal is approved as written Calendar House Bill 24 The corporal read Representative Tovar house with 24 a bill to be entitled chimney rock late louis de annexation annexation general symbols. No climate tax jumping from rutherford represented Rodgers is recognized for emotion and the house will come to order. You know, I would move that we vote yes on this. The Germans moved that the that the house concur with the From the 3rd Reading the senate committee substituted House bill 20 for further discussion, further debate if not the question for the houses. The motion to concur with the third reading. Senate committee substitute House bill 20 for those in favorable vote either as opposed to vote no the cork women to vote. AARP I bowls on the floor. Okay Brown cooper Suggs wish to vote represent fisher wished to vote. Rockman push up Bumgarner's excuse the absence mr cork there was heavy handed on the floor chair saw him earlier represent gilded lady intend to be the only no vote. It's a sheriff saw represented by our momentarily we're gonna hold the vote open since we did move quickly into the calendar. Your members. Okay, Brightman, I write my nine our I Yeah. Hannah guy art sorry, recorded looking for bowls and Riddell if these gentlemen are here I saw bowls earlier Core clock machine recorded vote 104 having voted in the affirmative and none of the negative. The house does concur with the on third reading with the Senate committee substitute the house bill 20 for bills ordered enrolled. House bill 123 the corporal read as well as the amendment. Representatives stevens has been one of three. A bill to be entitled an act to amend promise for certain automatically renewed consumer contracts. Senator Edwards moves to amend the bill on page one, lines 11 through 15 by rewriting those lines to read jerry Silberman are climbing next. Maybe from Surrey represented stevens is recognized for motion. Thank you. Mr Speaker. I move that we do not concern and like to be heard on the motion. Lady has moved at the House do not concur with the amendment to the committee, substitute the House bill one oh three. The lady has the four to debate the motion. Thank you Mr Speaker. Um I don't think the Senate's amendment is bad, but I think that it's not well understood. So by taking it to conference, we can hopefully clarify with some of the people who are concerned about it. If you know people who are concerned, please refer him to us. Thank you. Further discussion. Further debate. Not the question for the houses. The motion not to concur with the amendment to the house can be substitute the House bill one oh three. Those in favor will vote, aye. Those opposed to vote no, the cork will open the vote core clock machine recorded vote 105 having voted in the affirmative, none of the negative. The house has voted not to concur with the Senate amendment to House committee substitute the House bill one oh three and the Senate will be so notified. House Bill 3 20 The Cork will read Representatives destined Hall, Bradford Parade and Howard Hospital 3 20. A bill to be entirely modernized, remote business of access, general centers. No climate and acts. Gentlemen from caldwell represented Hall is recognized for motion mr. Speaker I move the House to concur with the Senate committee substitute the House bill 3 20 Germans moved that the house concur the Senate committee substitute the House bill 3 20 the gentleman has the four to debate the motion members. That was only a minor change from the Senate. And this bill passed overwhelmingly the first time it came through. I don't know of any opposition to appreciate your support. Further discussion, further debate. Not the question for the House is the most you can curve. The Senate could be substitute House Bill 3 20 Those in favor will vote either as opposed of it. No, the cork open the vote represent Adam's wish to vote corker lock the machine recorded vote 105 having voted in the affirmative, none of the negative. The House does concur with the Senate committee substitute the House bill 3 20 and the bill is ordered enrolled and sent to the governor. Senate Bill 3 60 Carvery, Senators heist and Daniel, Senate Bill 3 60 a bill to be entitled for him. It conclusive settlements by a G seven jump from caldwell represented Hall recognized the debate. The bill. Thank you. Mr Speaker uh members, we've already heard a similar bill to this in the House, so I won't be real long today, but I do. I think it's important to remind everyone of the context and why this bill is necessary. Many of you were here last session in summer of 2020 when facing a pandemic. We had members of both parties and I was lucky enough to get to lead that charge on the house side for uh my side of the island. I worked with many of the folks on the other side of the aisle two create a bipartisan elections bill because we were dealing with Covid and we want to be able people to be able to vote safely while also ensuring that we had election integrity And we did that. We worked for weeks on that bill on summer of 2020 and the ultimate product was a bill that passed 105 to 14 in the house. How often do you see in elections bill Past 105-14 in the house and went on to pass the Senate. And of course, the governor signed that bill again, summer of 2020. Well, then there was a lawsuit filed not long after that, and the reality was it was a group of democratically aligned groups, Democratic lawyers who often represent the Democratic Party and allies in lawsuits that's not disparaging them. That's just the reality of what the lawsuit was and they've got the right to file that lawsuit and be heard in court, just like anybody else would. But the problem came in september of 2020 when uh supposed or alleged settlement was reached between the governors state board of elections, the Democratic governor, state board of Elections and Democratic groups who had sued. So essentially, it became a friendly lawsuit at that point, even though the General Assembly was a party to that lawsuit were not given the opportunity to sign off on it. And you have to remember where we were at that point in time. This is 41 days before the 2020 election. A million absentee ballots had been requested. 225,000 people had already voted in this election. And this settlement agreement changed the rules of the game in the middle of an election. So we're changing the rules in the middle of an election and I don't care how you're changing them, that never makes sense. We should have one set of rules for an election and they shouldn't be changed right in the middle of it, especially after this body has just come together and and enacted a bipartisan bill to deal with an election during a pandemic. Of course, thankfully, uh the speaker and approach him in the Senate filed suit on that settlement and much of it was overturned. So what this bill would simply do is just it would require in these lawsuits from now on that the pro TEM in the Senate and the speaker of the House, whoever those people maybe have to sign off on a settlement agreement, it doesn't mean that we're going to get the outcome that the speaker and the protest and the Senate wants. It just means that if you're going to settle the case, then those two individuals, whoever they might be at the time, we'll have to agree to. And that makes sense because that's how lawsuit works. It's usually parties who have differing opinions about something on each side. They have a dispute. That's why it's a lawsuit. But when it becomes a friendly suit and two friends to each other so that they can have a pretend settlement agreement and change the laws of this state, it's not right and it throws doubt into our elections and it creates chaos in the middle of an election. It doesn't have to be election law. It could be any other type of bill or law that we see. So, again, this just lets this body be heard were all members of the legislative body, not the executive judicial branch were members of the legislative body. We work hard in here to try to craft laws that are best for the state stand up for the legislative body and vote for this field. Again, it only requires the protein and the speaker to be able to sign off on settlement agreements. And if this body passes something you don't like and maybe you voted against it and the state's suit on it. Then let a court decide that let a jury decide that or a judge don't let it be decided in a scam settlement that changes the election, changes the rules that this body has passed. I hope you'll support the bill. What purpose the lady from Durham represented mori rise thank you. Dash the bill's sponsor question. Everything halls Germany yield. Are you the yields? Mhm Berbers alcohol. Um so in this bill, we're really changing the constitutional powers and duties of the attorney general set forth in the north Carolina constitution. Is that correct? I don't think we're changing any of his constitutional powers or duties at all. Follow up question in your statement, you said that let's change this. So the legislative body is the body that will decide on settlements, is that right? No, that's not what I said at all. I said, let's change it to where the legislative body gets to say that still means the governor is still a party. So to be clear and I appreciate the question because perhaps perhaps I wasn't clear and this is an important point and it can get technical. This doesn't mean that only the pro tim and the speaker will have to sign off. We still have a governor who has to sign off in representing the executive branch, it just says that the governor can't go around and settle the case because if his friends have suited a lot question, come on your heels. So if the legislative body should have a say in settlements, why isn't a joint resolution of both houses? Why give it to just two people, the speaker and the President Pro 10. It's a legislative body should have a say in this. It should be the entire legislative body represented Marie. If you give me your Marie, I'm sorry if you give me your commitment that you will vote for this bill with that amendment, I'll accept that amendment. Okay, speak on bill. Lady has afford to speak on the bill, understand 4th amendment if she'd like. Uh well, actually, if I did set forth amendment, it would be for this bill to be a constitutional referendum because I think we are changing the constitution of this state with this bill. The executive power implements the laws, the legislature passes the laws, the judiciary interprets the laws. Article three of our constitution gives the attorney general the right to defend all actions and our appellate court, civil and criminal to represent the state. It goes on to talk about settlements. The example we had about the elections. If there had not been a settlement. How long would protracted legislation go on months and months and we never would have had a resolution the laws as they are work and they work. Well, it's just like one of our senators across the aisle said, you know, if you don't like the laws, don't be a judge and make the laws run for the judiciary. If you don't like what our attorney general is doing and selling cases that constitutionally he is obligated to then run for attorney general. But this bill is dangerous. It will have protracted legislation. I think it's unconstitutional saying the legislative body shall have oversight of legal proceedings, judicial proceedings. This isn't changing rules in the middle of the game. This was a filed lawsuit. The system worked and we should not be changing the system because of one outcome of a settlement legally done by the attorney general that was not in political favor. Please vote against this bill. Thank you. What purpose the gentleman from Cumberland represented Richardson rise to debate the gentleman has for, you know, members. It never ceases to amaze me how smart this body is. The judge has just raised a very good point. Um, I tend to agree with this bill because of something that happened with Mike Easley was Attorney general and we were fighting over the settling the dispute with the military retirees. The people in the legislature. The time felt we should settle it. The Attorney general. The time felt we shouldn't settle it and we ended up paying You know, 20 times on the dollar by not settling. But she's raised a very, very good point here and we need to take that into account. This is a constitutional decision. And I think it requires a vote by the people. I think that we need to amend this to a referendum. I really do. I think she's right. What purpose of the lady from Surrey represented stevens rise uh, to speak of the bill. Lady has for thank you. Mr Speaker. And I'm just a little confused because as an attorney who's practiced for years and years, I've never been able to settle and no judge has been willing to accept the settlement that was not signed by all the parties. The state of North Carolina was a party here. We had an interest. We still have an interest, but we were not even consulted. We actually have a settlement form established by the administrative office of the courts that says the court has inquired as to whether all the parties agreed to the settlement. You don't just settle with a couple of parties unless it's only their issue to be resolved. We still have the state of north Carolina in there is a party and they should have been, they were listed as a party. They should have been consulted. They should be part of any consent order or settlement because they were a party. It wasn't an issue of us intervening. It wasn't an issue of us seeking out to do something. We were named as a party. We were part of this lawsuit. So there's no reason in the world we shouldn't have been part of the settlement further discussion, further debate. If not question for the houses, the passage of Senate Bill 3 60 on second reading those in favor will vote either as opposed to vote no. The cork hoping the vote represent bell Bell. I Reeves. Reeves. I Reeves. No reason, sorry. That really wasn't intentional, represent right, represent Richardson out with the german right to vote core clock. The machine recorded 58 having voted in the affirmative 47 the negative Centerville 3 60 passed a second reading the objection be read a third time. Gerald North climbing. Next question for the houses, the passage of Senate Bill 3 60 on its third reading those in favor say, aye. Those opposed No, it does appear to have it, the eyes do have, it sent a bill 3 60 having passed its third readings ordered enrolled and sent to the governor members we have reached the end of the calendar for the day, uh, and for the week. And I do understand there may be some point of personal privilege. So I would ask the body to, to stay at order and uh, and, and and pay attention to those, but I would point out that uh, for next week, uh, and instead of having a one day voting session on Wednesday, it looks like we will have a one day voting session on thursday of next week. Probably thursday morning. The reason the chair is looking at that is looking at the public hearing schedule and appreciate represented Carney pointing out to me, there's a public hearing at up in coal we that Tuesday night and then on Wednesday there's uh there's one in charlotte, so it looks like the day that would result in the least back and forth on the highway might be to uh to do that on thursday. So that is the plan. If something were to, if something is to change, I'll make sure that we have noticed out in plenty of time. But that's the that's the intention of the chair at this point that we have votes uh then also House Bill 2 64 which we did not reach today. Chair is going to withdraw that from the counter Mr cork. That's counter for next thursday lady from Orange representive Ensco is recognized to speak to a point of personal privilege. Thank you Mr Speaker. Um I rise in the time honored tradition of senior members to announce that I will not be filing for re election. I know that this announcement is usually made on the last day of session but we may be in session still in december and Uh filing starts in about 10 weeks and I want to give people a chance to actually think about this. So anyway, it has been really my honor and my privilege to serve here for 24 years. We will be 24 years. I'm not going away. I'll be here until the end of December 22 I think. So I'll be fussing at you until then. But it has been a an enormously gratifying uh career. Uh I've learned so much you and I've gotten to know so many really wonderful people and made lifelong friends and uh and have been, I've been proud of actually being able to make a contribution to the difference that we make for people. I know that. Um, One thing we have in common, we have our differences, but one thing we have in common is we have those 80,000 people back home That are depending on us. So I've got 80,000 people that are depending on me to make sure that government works for them and that society works for them. It's a wide range of people with many different needs, but especially especially concerned about those kids that need help in school, that our future is going to depend on how well educated our next generation is going to be. So I've been really uh it's been gratified to be able to make some differences in those positions. And I I hope that all of you will also be able to appreciate the responsibility you have and the progress that you make and that our differences are really important. I registered as a republican. Both parties make mistakes. So I thought the Republican Party had left me. And so I became a democrat. But that but those things go back and forth. It may change someday and be just the opposite. So keep true to your values. Uh I do want to mention that that things have changed here since I first came. Uh we blackberries were new, then iphones didn't exist, portable laptops were really not portable, they were desktop computers so that they were relatively new. So uh things have changed and we've gotten more efficient I guess maybe and uh things will go on changing so hang in there and uh love each other and fight the good fight and I'll See you until December 2022. Thank you very much. Mhm. Yeah. Mhm. Mhm. Yeah. Mhm. Okay. Okay time thank you represent Mexico. I'm seeing I'm starting to see less and less faces the folks and when I first showed up. So I guess this is the way it works around here but I appreciate your service for sure. Uh Chair directs that house bill for four short titles immunity for 911 dispatchers. Uh that that conference report be withdrawn from the committee on rules and return to the conference committee members. For what purpose does the gentleman from Scotland represented pierce rise moment of personal gentleman has for Mr Speaker, you just made that announcement about some of the colleagues that you serve with. I rise today to share with our uh body that the former member who I replaced. Mr Donald Barner passed earlier this saturday and asked you to keep his family in your prayers and at the appropriate time. Representative Graham and others. We will put together a resolution to talk about the many great things he did for Robinson County And for the state of North Carolina at the appropriate time. But just to remember, his family represented Donald Barner from Robinson County. He was old districts was 87 and then uh 48 and he served from 1997 to 2004. Thank you. Mr Speaker. Yes sir. Thank you represent pierce. Uh for what purpose does the lady from Durham represented Maury Rice. Uh Thank you Mr Speaker to give notice of a discharge petition. Please recognize Thank you. Mr Speaker pursuant to House Rule 39 I'm giving notice. I will file a motion and her requisite petition to discharge House Bill 5 25 allowing E. R. P. O. S to prevent suicides and saved lives from the Committee on the rules, Calendar operation the House with the principal clerk today. In accordance with the rules, I've obtained a fiscal note to be included with this petition. Thank you know, do uh for what purpose jump from elements represented here today to rise. Mr Speaker having submitted a representative statement with the clerk, I said to be read in its entirety upon adjournment and spread across the journal and would like to be recognized to speak. That statement. Chair directs that the represented statement be read upon the german in its entirety and spread across the journal and the gentleman's recognized to speak to a point of personal privilege. Thank you. Mr Speaker Today marks the beginning of Hispanic heritage month across our nation and is celebrated from September 15 to October 15. It commemorates the culture contributions and histories of american citizens whose ancestries descend from Mexico, the caribbean, central and south America And other parts of Latin America. This observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was then expanded by President Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30 day period. It's important to recognize that for generations, hispanic and latino americans have shaped north Carolina with their stories and contributions woven into the fabric of all of our communities during this hispanic heritage month, it's important to recognize the Hispanic heritage month is north Carolinian heritage as well. Over a million hispanic or latino residents here in north Carolina. No, this place is home In fact, Hispanic or Latino residents saw the largest increase in any racial or ethnic group in North Carolina over the last decade, according to data from the 2020 census, The States Latino population grew by more than 300,000 people in or over 10% of the community today around one and nine residents in North Carolina or Latino. So so whether it's whether it's an orange county or Onslow County. I think it's important to recognize that north Carolina cannot succeed unless the hispanic latino community succeeds. It's important to recognize that especially in the midst of a pandemic Latino residents have been at the front lines as either restaurant cooks, farm workers, educators, factory workers, nurses and these essential workers have continued to serve North Carolina during this battle with COVID-19. So it is in this part that I believe that north Carolina is so much of its strength from its immigrant roots. This state is strengthened by the sacrifices and hard work of so many individuals striving to create a better life for everyone. And it's this spirit that makes north Carolina the best place to live work and to raise a family. So I hope you all join me this month and recognizing the contributions of the hispanic community in your districts and your communities as we celebrate Hispanic heritage month. Thank you so much. Thank you represent potato. Also, the chair is happy to extend a special congrats, congratulations to uh, one of our staff from the clerk's office. Uh, Mr Greene who just found out that she passed the north Carolina bar exam. So mr, congratulations on that on being an attorney. Mhm. I told her it was a large mask, but I see you're turning red even underneath that. So congratulations. For what purpose does the jumper from Harnett represented Penny rise Point of personal privilege German has for the young lady to my left is going to have a special day Friday is called a birthday. I think she's gonna be 29 the best I recall. But uh but anyhow I just wanted to call because tomorrow actually I'm not going to be here and so I wanted to wish her a very happy birthday. The plant has been watered and she will have to make sure she maintains it. But it's been an honor to serve her for the last nine months. And I just want to say thank you on your special day friday. Thanks. Happy birthday. Mm hmm. Yeah. Yeah. What purpose does the gentleman from Katima representive Adams rise one personal privilege German has the floor. Uh I spoke to our colleague Dana Bumgarner about an hour ago and I suggested that he might watch the proceedings this morning. I can report to you that his feistiness is coming back and uh if he's still watching dana, I hope you get better and miss you buddy. And uh if our performance did not satisfy him, I'm sure that he's made appropriate remarks. Thank you. Yes sir. Thank you. For what purpose does the lady from weight Representative on haven rise to give notice of a discharge petition. He is recognized. Mr Speaker pursuant to House rule 39 I'm giving notice that I will file a motion and the requisite petition to discharge House bill 6 23 purchased permit required long gun from the committee on rules calendar and operations of the House with the principal clerk today. In accordance with the rules of obtained a fiscal note to be included with the petition noted for purpose jump from Wayne represented smith writes point of personal privilege. German has four. I rise today to give honor and reverence to my lovely wife whose birthday is today. Happy birthday sweetheart. What purpose does the lady from Randolph ribs in the early rise point of personal privilege please. Lady has the four. Thank you. I just wanted to report um the other half of Randolph represented McNeil. He had helped surgery yesterday and he's taking no pain medicine today. He's home. So just pray for his full recovery very quickly. Thank you, ma'am. Thank you For what purpose does the jumping from Mecklenburg was into Bradford. Rise a moment. Personal privilege. German has it for So yesterday my seat mate had a birthday. So hang on for 1/2. Happy happy birthday. What purpose of gentleman from Wayne? Representative bell rice for an announcement was recognized for an announcement? Damon speaker, Republicans, many of you asked about caucus this week. We would not be having any caucuses this week to allow the appropriation cherries to continue their work on the budget so hopefully we can get out of here before december. Thank you. Members on Senate Bill 6 88. Short title sports wagering. Uh Chair is gonna re refer the bill to committee on commerce If favorable judiciary one if favorable finance if favorable rules, calendar and operations of the house. Further notices and announcements. What purpose of gentleman from Canberra's representative Pittman Rice personal privilege. Gentlemen recognized or a point of personal privilege. Thank this figure. I just wanted to tell everybody my, my son Samuel and to find troops under his command er down in Louisiana helping out along with a lot of other National Guard folks and um you gotta be careful what you joke about because I joke to him. I hope you don't end up having to wait around with the crocodiles or I mean the alligator, excuse me. He sent me a picture the other day, his first sergeant did a selfie with an alligator in the water right behind him. So I said it's a shame we couldn't catch him. Alligator tail is pretty good. But anyway, um really appreciate those folks from all over. I think when our group, my son's group comes home they're being replaced from some by some people from Ohio I think it is. So we just have fine people all over this country that that jump in and do what needs to be done when the time comes up and people sign up to actually sign up, you know, to go in our military to be able to do those things and we ought to just praise him and pray God bless them and thank them. Thank you. Yeah, further notices and announcements. If not the gentleman from columbus representative represented jones is recognized for emotion. Mr. Speaker I move the house. Do now adjourn to reconvene thursday september 16th at 11 a.m. Subject is the standard stipulation set forth and rule 15 1. Representative jones move seconded by Representative stephens at the house. Do now adjourn to reconvene thursday september 16th at 11 a.m. Subject to the standard stipulation set forth and roll 15.1. All those in favor will say hi, all those opposed. No the eyes have it. The house stands adjourned.