Sargent, there we go, that’s on. Correct? Very good. Welcome to the
meeting this morning, and let me introduce our Sergeants at Arms. We
have Donna Blake and Hal Roach. Appreciate your service and over here if
you’ll—pages if you’ll raise your hands as we call your name. Annabelle
Webb, Sen. Bryant. Colin Miller, Sen. Van Duyn. Kayla Childress, Sen.
Brown. Martha Bland, Sen. Meredith. Adele Patton, Sen. Berrger. And
Hannah Ross, Sen. Hartselll. Thank you very much for your time here
today, and there will one change to our calendar. What we’re going to be
doing is changing the order slightly. We’re going to be moving Senate
Bill 279 to the end. It will bat third. So we’ll go 298, 315, 279. So
without any further ado, we have Senate Bill 298, school bus camera,
civil penalties. And I believe Sen. Pate will be explaining. Is that
correct? Sen. Alexander? Sen. Alexander, you have the floor to explain
if I could answer. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, go ahead. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Pate, we have seen the simulated demonstration on this, and because the camera is mounted right on the side of the bus it's going to be at such close proximity, and of course, using digital technology as the ones over on the bypass, they're up so high, there's some logistics there. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] So if you have a spare bus, maybe you can park it out there on the tow road and we'll get some truth in what's going on out there. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Absolutely. Thank you, sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I saw several hands go up. Let me start with Senator Barringer. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chair. My question's been answered. We had experienced this similar problem with red-light cameras. The timing of them, the person would be all the way through the light and then you'd get a bill, and so. But you've answered it and it sounds like this is in real time with good technology and should be able to really put a stop to some bad behavior. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I saw some hands over here. Senator Davis? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thanks, Mr. Chair, and to my colleagues, thanks for your presentation. I did, however, would ask if we could just maybe briefly have staff just kind of outline the sections, if that would be appropriate. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Sure. Staff, could you give us a summary of that? [SPEAKER CHANGES] So Section 1 of the PCS basically sets out the procedure for the county to adopt the civil ordinance that would be required in order to collect the civil penalty. And it, the ordinance that's adopted, would have to have a mechanism that provides that the registered owner of the vehicle is responsible for the violation unless they can furnish some evidence that the vehicle was, at the time of the violation, in the hands of somebody else. And they'd have to do either an affidavit stating the name and address of the person who did have the care and custody and control of the vehicle, or some affidavit saying that the car had been stolen from them. And they would also not be responsible for the violation if the notice of the county was tardy in giving the notice, 90 days after the violation occurred and then they're sending the citation. The violation of the civil ordinance would be a noncriminal violation, a civil penalty of $500. It would not get any points for drivers license or insurance points for the civil violation. There must be a process provided to the person to state how they can challenge it, and so specifics as to that. DMV can't register any vehicle for the owner until they've paid these penalties, and the county can go after them, civil action in the nature of a debt. And the PCS also says that the school buses would have to have these conspicuous signs on them saying that they have these cameras. Section 2 of the bill would provide, excuse me, the PCS would provide that local boards may install and operate these cameras, and then they would have basically three options. They can install and operate a camera without contracting with a private vendor, they can just do it themselves; a local board could enter into a contract with a private vendor on their own ?? according to the general procurement statutes, and the contract length would be three years; and then the third option would be that upon the request of one or more local boards, the state Board of Education could enter into a contract for a state-wide contract or a regional contract for them. Again, following standard procedures for procurement, with the maximum length of the contract being three years. And then the local board of education and board of county commissioners can enter into an inter-local agreement to just, to sort of effectuate the purpose of the ordinance and the installation and operation of the cameras. And they can be used to provide, the photographs and videos that are obtained can be used to provide investigating law enforcement agencies to use as evidence in the criminal violation of passing a stopped school bus. And then Section 3 and 4 make conforming changes in other parts of the statutes regarding the--not being able to register the car, and that clarifies that failure to produce a photograph or video from a school safety camera does not preclude criminal prosecution, that that's a separate matter and can be pursued on its own. And that they can, the civil penalty can be in addition to the criminal, any criminal penalty a person could face.
For violation of the other statute, and then section five of the PCS
would require the courts to make an annual report on the number of
offenses charged and convictions under the criminal statute. Counties
that adopt these civil ordinances have to maintain records of these
non-criminal violations, and then section 6.5 would direct the state
board to develop a contract for use by local boards, and provide
technical assistance to local boards if requested to do so.
I’m missing something. Regardless, I just think that’s a difficult, a high bar, so that’s one concern and I was going to ask staff are there any legal standards of applicable in the case law about what level of fine you can have or for civil penalties any knowledge you have of anything of that nature. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Staff’s discussing it. If you’ve got some input, you’re welcome to share it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator, I’m not aware of any case law that would say you could not have a civil penalty of five hundred dollars. I believe there are places in the statutes where we have civil penalties in that range. There may be something that says some cap at some point but I think that this is well under the range of what has been permitted in other cases. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up, Mr. Chair. I had one other question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I just want to lodge that concern for our citizens, even though I think the violation is egregious. Under interlocal agreements, could staff explain what might be the purpose of these and how come you might need those agreements in section 2c? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I’m sorry, staff, go ahead. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well, the language is pretty broad. It’s just that the local boards and the county commissioners can come up with whatever works for them in terms of the cost-sharing and reimbursement, I mean, I suppose it would even let the county tell the school board “do you want to use one of your people to process this and then you can keep more of the money?” It really is to just let them work out however it is that they want to handle this issue. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator McInnis, did you have a comment? [SPEAKER CHANGES] If I could add to Senator Bryant’s question, in 2013, according to the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts, there were four charges of passing a stopped school bus that caused death in one year. Four charges. And the number of, Madam Senator, that caused me almost to fall out of my chair was the survey that was taken of North Carolina public schools in March of 2014, where they talked about the school buses participating in this summary was 13,323 school buses were on the road twice a day. In the morning, there were 1377 people that passed a stopped school bus with the stop arm out. I’m just appalled at that number. In the afternoon, it was worse. It was 1735. And again some little child will pay the supreme sacrifice of walking out in front of that car and I hear you, I hear you about those folks, but we’ve got to draw a line in the sand. We’ve got to draw a line in the sand and these buses will have very prominent signs. This will not be a sneak attack or a clandestine deal. It’ll be very prominently displayed that this bus has a camera that will be taking your picture for that purpose. And I hear you, I hear you, but I think it is such a problem that we need to address it with a strong and firm hand. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Chairman Tillman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Chairman, if Senator McInnis will stop talking, I’ll get this bill through this year. Let me say one thing, this doesn’t cost the school system a dime. They can take it or not, and it’s going to improve the safety and it’s going to get people the word out that we’re going to have cameras on probably most of our buses. What can you lose if you’re a school system? It’s only for the safety and the well-being of the children in the bottom line. And I don’t know why we’re spending thirty minutes talking about something that we’re all going to vote for. I make a motion for a favorable report. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Senator Tillman. I did see a couple hands up if you had a comment. Senator Curtis or Senator Cook? Senator Curtis. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I was just wondering, if you could make the argument that speeding is not as offensive as passing a stopped school bus, so why not give points on the drivers license? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Because it’s not a criminal act. We’re going purely as a civil penalty. That’s not to stop someone, the law enforcement, from taking the evidence that we gather and going after them criminally. That’s where the points come in, and anything like that. But this is outside the purview of that. But again it does not preclude law enforcement from harvesting that information and taking it to the rules of evidence to create a criminal violation. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Senator Cook, did you have a question?
just a comment, Jerry beat me to it. Wanted to move for a favorable report. However, I'll take this opportunity to very quickly say thank you for bringing this bill. I've seen the same statistics you see. They are appalling. And as to concern for the level of the fine, I submit that you want to weigh that against the level of the cost of a funeral. [SPEAKER CHANGES] All right, thank you. While we do have a motion for a favorable report, the motion will actually be a favorable to the PCS and unfavorable to the original bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] That's what she said. [SPEAKER CHANGES] All right. Thank you. All in favor of that motion, say aye. Opposed, no. The ayes have it, and this does have a referral to J-II, so we can maybe work through some of these things. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman, thank you, ??. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. And next before us we have Senate Bill 315, and this is Senator Pate, is that correct? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Right. [SPEAKER CHANGES] All right. Please, you're welcome to explain the bill. And while he's coming up we have a PCS, we have a motion to adopt a PCS. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I move. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Tillman moves. All in favor of the motion, say aye. Opposed, no. The ayes have it and the PCS is before us so Senator Pate, you have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and I'd also like to thank Senator Tillman and Senator Van Duyn for sponsoring this bill with me. In this day of getting kids to put down their iPads and iPhones and to get out and do some exercise, I think we're missing a great area of resources that can be used for that very thing, after school hours. And that is the playgrounds, the outside playgrounds, of our public schools. If they're not used for other purposes after school hours are over, with certain conditions, they should be open the kids to use for recreational purposes. After all, the taxpayer's paid for the facilities at the beginning. So this bill will allow that to happen. I know of no opposition to the bill. The PCS addresses some issues that were brought up, but I think now we have a good bill that should be acceptable to everyone. The back of my home faces a middle school playground. It's a baseball field. On Sunday afternoons, I often see a father and a son come out to work on pitching and batting skills. The son's getting pretty good. But the father, like Senator Tillman, is not a prospect for the majors any more. But Senator Tillman, with this bill he can get out and do some more work from the pitcher's mounds and get his speed back up to 95 again, but I would appreciate your support of this bill. I will be glad to answer any questions. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Senator Pate. I saw Senator Rabin. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I move for favorable. [SPEAKER CHANGES] All right, we have that motion, let me hold that motion for a moment, we had a couple other hands. I saw Senator Cook. Did you have a question? Senator Cook. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. I wasn't sure you were looking at me. Thank you. I'm just curious. Is there some liability problems or anything? [SPEAKER CHANGES] That has been addressed in the bill. The Boards of Education or any, on the PCS has been addressed, and I think that has been satisfied from what I hear. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Bryant, did you have a question as well? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I just wanted to say how important this could be to addressing the obesity epidemic we face, especially in areas of the state where the small towns and the counties don't have money for full-fledged recreation departments, and to appreciate you for this. And I was going to make a motion if it hadn't already been made, but thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] We do have a motion, and any other further comments or questions? Seeing none, the motion is for favorable to the PCS, unfavorable to the original bill. All in favor say aye. Opposed, no. The ayes have it and the motion passes. Thank you, Senator Pate. We do have, our last bill for this morning is Senate Bill 279, and what we'll do here is we're going to have--Senator Barefoot is going to explain it. We have had people from the public ask to comment on it. We're going to allow that, two minutes per person to comment on it from the public, and then we're going to open it up to questions from the Senate. Senator Barefoot, you are recognized to explain the bill. Do we--this is just a bill. Go ahead. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. This bill authorizes the Board of Licensed Professional Counselors to issue a
License as a licensed professional counselor associate to applicants that receive graduate-level training from a nationally accredited institution of higher education. The current law limits the Board to only issue licenses to applicants who attended a regionally accredited institution. Applicants are still subjected to the minimum credit requirements outlined in the statute but will be able to earn those credits from a nationally accredited institution. The bill will allow for more applicants to become licensed while maintaining high entry standards for the profession. I ask for your support. [SPEAKER CHANGES] All right. Before we have questions from the Senate, I did have an individual request to comment. And that was you. Go ahead. You are recognized for two minutes to address this bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Thank you. I haven't done this before. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Please begin with your name and who you represent. [SPEAKER CHANGES] My name is Dr. Katherine Glenn. I am Chair of the North Carolina Board of Licensed Professional Counselors. I would like to thank you for the opportunity to speak with you today. I have with me today the Vice Chair of the North Carolina Board of Licensed Professional Counselors. I have another Board member with me today. I have former Board members, our legal counsel, and our Board Administrator as well as a licensed professional counselor from Pembroke, North Carolina. We appreciate the heavy responsibilities that you hold as members of the Education Committee, and we want to provide you with information that we believe will help you make a more informed decision about this bill. You have a received a letter from the Board signed by me. It outlines the facts regarding regional accreditation versus national accreditation and degree requirements for licensed professional counselors. It is our Board's position that this bill presents a threat to the protection of the citizens of this state. It is this Board's main regulatory purpose to protect the public. Regional accreditation provides a higher standard of institutional education whereas national accreditation does not. This will cause the educational requirements for licensure as a licensed professional counselor to be lowered in this state. While national accreditation may sound like a higher standard, it actually is not. Regional accreditation is higher than national accreditation. Every single mental health licensure board in this state, psychology, social work, licensed clinical addiction specialists, marriage and family therapists, pastoral counselors, all require regional accreditation as opposed to national for this very reason. Further, every single licensed professional counselor law across the country requires regional accreditation, not national accreditation. Regulations require that all licensed mental health professions working in the VA, as well as working with military families and service members, have the regional accreditation at the standard for licensure. This could cause a disruption in services to our military families, our military service members, as well as to folks in the VA. That's a very serious concern for us. [SPEAKER CHANGES] If you could finish up as quickly as possible. [SPEAKER CHANGES] We seek to work together with the Legislature to protect the public in North Carolina and to provide qualified mental health services to citizens in this state. We welcome the opportunity to answer any questions you may have today and to provide any further information you may need to make an informed decision. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. I appreciate you being here and sharing that point of view. I see a question from Senator Rabon. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Quick question. Are the criteria listed here for accreditation the same as they are now? To be licensed, these are the same things, right? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes. The only thing this bill does, and I do take issue with some of the comments made by the gentlelady from the Board. And I think that there are some other disagreements in the letter that they presented.
This does not take away regional accreditation. It just adds people that have been in nationally accredited schools. So what's a nationally accredited school? It's one that's recognized by both the Department of Education and the Council, it's called--the acronym is CHEA, and I've lost the name of that, on the top of my head. But to answer your specific question, Senator Rabon, it does not change any of the requirements for the profession. All this bill does is say that if you have received your master's degree from a nationally accredited institution, then you can apply to become a licensed professional counselor in North Carolina. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up, please. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Given the situation we have right now and the increased need for counselors, in understanding that the resources available regionally, not to mention folks getting out of the military who are accredited with the same quality, as long as the standards aren't diminished, aren't lowered, I can see no reason and I, motion for a favorable on the bil. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Can I make a comment? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, go ahead. [SPEAKER CHANGES] If I could make a comment to the military point, the military may have requirements for their counselors. This bill will not change that at all, and it would mean that if they require regional accreditation, then if you're someone who's got a, from a nationally accredited school, that you would not be able to do that. That's all that would mean. But the situation that you have is there are a lot of faith-based institutions of higher education that are not regionally accredited. They're nationally accredited. And the differences betwen national and regional accreditation have nothing to do with the actual standards of the degree program they're producing. They have to do with the types of courses they offer, whether a sound institution, and all of that is determined by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the Department of Education. They are the ones that recognize nationally accredited bodies. They also recognize the regional institutions. The purpose of regional institutions are to serve schools in a specific region. And so this bars people that have attended schools outside of the region that we operate in, which is called SACS, from being able to apply for this. And if I could read one thing to the committee that refutes a few things in the letter you have before you. This is from the website, from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, this is the actual regional institution that gives out--they say what is the difference between regional, national, and specialized accreditation? And what they say here for national is national accrediting bodies conduct comprehensive reviews of institutions and operate primarily throughout the United States. The accreditation granted encompasses the entire institution, which is something that this letter says that it does not, the regional institution says that it does. And most of the accredited institutions are private and have admissions focused on either career education or religious education. So basically what North Carolina's current law does, is it excludes people that have gone to get a master's in counseling from either a faith-based organization or from a career-focused organization, from being able to become a licensed professional counselor in North Carolina. [SPEAKER CHANGES] All right, thank you. I saw some questions. Senator Robinson, if you would begin. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chair. A couple of questions here. First is we received a report from Program Evaluation Oversight some time ago that looked at all of the licensing for different professions, et cetera, and I need to ask staff, was this one of those that was recommended for review? Was this one of the positions recommended by them? I don't remember this being one. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Robinson, I have--we have no idea. None of us staff Program Evaluation and don't really work in the area of Licensing Board, so it's something we can try to find out for you, but we have no idea right now. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chair. Follow up? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And the bill causes some questions. I have a master's in counseling. A lot of us have different kinds of backgrounds, et cetera, but the standards for regional accreditation are different for a national
And I think if you look at the similarity in terms of additional
requirements, when you get a Masters, and I’m making a comment, Mr.
Chair, and then I’ll ask a question. You get a Masters in any area, even
if you got a Masters in Political Science, you still have to go to law
school. So the regional accreditation has different and additional
stands, which prepares you for counseling in specific kinds of areas. We
dealing now in North Carolina with behavioral health problems. We know
we have a huge mental health issue going on across. We have to have
people with additional expertise, and I think these two accreditation
bodies, are the ones that we need to be responsive to. We might want to
ask staff to pull up, or let me ask someone to tell me what is the
difference in the regional accreditation staff? Can you do that? The
regional accreditation standards as opposed to national?
And its goals that for some reason would not need of regional accreditation standards but somehow the degree programs in all schools will meet said national criterium I'm just an Indianapolis Selig apples and oranges so what is it about bills , and they think only of programs that would preclude them from being a regionally accredited smugglers Saudis to one example staff might do it in words also that sample before regionally accredited school year that sometimes are looking, the liberal arts classes you also offer to their looking at things that might their outside of (SPEAKER CHANGES) Mr. Weed degree program when they think of accreditation son graduate of the seminary, by schools also regionally accredited because it offers an undergraduate degree program that their Allies seminaries out there that stand one bill for master's of divinity master's encryption education and are there also, there are four different faith based national accrediting bodies there knocking the havoc undergraduate school within their own father not to have some bells and whistles that you have to have been the regional standards but if that's not necessarily means that there be any more stringent and they're degree program and we haven't we have schools are certified by Sachs from backs of you may not want to look at am a graduate become a licensed professional counts were muted is not determined the difficulty of the program not only bells and whistles and to discuss pass the senate they're anything in terms of the differentiation and (SPEAKER CHANGES) I'll bet with the command to suggest they are the back of the private college graduate problem or anything else stepped in to become a cement at that , one of the things I know that's a good preclude one is the actual cost of the been accredited by some of the different accrediting agencies some of them it costs more to be a part of some token woman, some of the day was something in and out of nowhere the state of the date that is a situation of the states in terms of recognizing this national accreditation for licensed professional counselors and a prevalent in finale, some like different than the other states have some states will will recognize national because set this farce with GI was in which is national many states actually looking to cheer registry of hazel Maris to determine who they will actually licensed and can understand and follow at Belle glade that it is at 10 and 20 miles Bowie and Ivan Alexei A offense I encountered it mention about 10 of them all my staff to do the same time sure Chi as the council for higher education accreditation from which is a national advocating institutional voice for self regulation academic quality which is what accreditation does things… Academic quality they recognize 60 institutions and programmatic equivocating corporate credits and organizations are Kathy Exel how many states use national and regional and how many use of the general fund licensed professional counselors do we know I think it this time I'll have an answer for that I can get you the information bank in some ways of thinking we have opened up against another committee meeting but you have to suspend your competence time the suspense and questions than we have a motion from center raided for 15 report some of anger at the mystic chair and say that Sarah Marshall this I'm coming to the rent in setting any interest in this question I does anyone doubt that this issue in the context of the Supreme Court people like the taste of the Federal Trade Commission won a case against the dental against the dentist for pudding at prohibitions against a certain practices now is not exactly the same facts but when I hear DS ID have some concerns that we cannot ( SPEAKER CHANGES) I would certainly have to be concerned as as the gentle lady say about exchange and all that this part of the police power is a state however on the other guy and we cannot put up artificial barriers to people you would like to compete in an industry and sell I don't have a part in the valuation committee is now working at this issue broadly as they spent looking at specifically with respect to this CC read this particular case senator from South Dakota, time and not not to my knowledge but can you really bring up the main point here mean you have you have students that are graduating from excellent institutions are recognized by the council that also oversees the accreditation of the regional accreditation that same council also recognizes national accreditation all we got here in North Carolina and on and this would open net: would not ...........
[SPEAKER CHANGES] Limit it in any way and I thank you for your point. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Krawiec I saw your hand up earlier. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman. This may be a question for staff. I met recently with some counselors, and we know the 7000 counselors around the state provide tremendous, they're a tremendous resource in the rural communities providing mental health. But they're not allowed to do first evaluations from what I understand and a lot of time is wasted while they wait for a doctor or a social worker to make that first evaluation when someone's a danger to themselves or others. Can anyone answer that question for me. Does it take additional training to be able to offer that evaluation or, does anybody know? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Staff? [SPEAKER CHANGES] No that would be really getting into the healthcare issues that we just don't have the expertise here. [SPEAKER CHANGES] That is a, that's a separate- [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Stein I did see your hand up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I appreciate that, Mr. Chairman. I-what is the list of programs in North Carolina that meets the current standard which requires both a regional and national accreditation? And what is the list of programs that meet only national, but not national and regional, so we can kind of get a sense of what the practical implication of this bill would be? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Staff do we have a broke down list, or is that something we could come up with? [SPEAKER CHANGES] We don't have a broken down list at this time, but in speaking with the DPI and some other agencies, in many cases they look to the actual programs that are licensed-that are licensed through them to meet the standards regionally. [SPEAKER CHANGES] That's something we might be able to get to. [SPEAKER CHANGES] It would be great if y'all could get us that. Staff, if you can work on compiling a list. I don't know if we're talking about ten existing programs and three new programs, or are we talking about 40 existing programs and 300 new programs. I just have no idea what the practical ramifications of the bill will be. [SPEAKER CHANGES] We'll have staff come together what they can. All right, we are bumping up against a meeting. I see no other hands that we have a motion from Senator Rabin, and this is going to be a motion for a favorable report. All in favor s- [SPEAKER CHANGES] Can I make one last mention? The, the Licensed Professional Counseling Association of North Carolina is neutral on this. They are not opposed to this. [SPEAKER CHANGES] All right, thank you. For the motion, all in favor say aye. Opposed no. The ayes have it, and the motion passes. Thank you for-we do-before we conclude, all right I'll talk to Senator Davis. I appreciate your time today and the meeting is adjourned.