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North Carolina Legislative Report - April 24, 2015

April 24, 2015

The General Assembly convened for the 2015 legislative session on January 14. Lawmakers returned to Raleigh on January 28 to begin the session in earnest. The MVA Public Affairs Legislative Report on North Carolina will be distributed on a weekly basis to keep you up to date on the latest legislative issues facing the state.

On The Floor

The General Assembly’s crossover deadline is Thursday, April 30. A flurry of legislative activity took place this week and we can expect the same next week as lawmakers hurry to get legislative priorities passed through the chambers.

For legislative action lookup by day, click below:

Committees

Joint Health and Human Services Appropriations Committee

The Committee met on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.  The Committee received presentations on child welfare needs, NC FAST, IBM solution for child welfare, and the counties point of view on child welfare.  The Committee also heard remarks from Sen. Barringer regarding foster care, received testimony in favor of foster care reform from country music artist Jimmy Wayne, heard an overview of the State foster care system from DHHS staff, and reviewed legislation regarding foster care that has been introduced this year. 

House Health Committee

The Committee met on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday of this week.  On Monday, the Committee heard presentations on the State’s Certificate of Need laws from representatives of the North Carolina Hospital Association and the North Carolina Orthopedic Association.  H 200, Amend Certificate of Need Laws, served as the basis of that discussion, but was not voted on by the Committee.

On Wednesday, the Committee approved two bills.  H 465, 72 Hours Informed Consent by Person or Phone, would 1) require physicians who perform abortions to report certain information to DHHS; 2) increase to 72 hours the waiting period for women who voluntarily consent to an abortion; and 3) make technical and conforming changes.  H 746, LME/MCO Board Amendments, would amend the appointment process for LME/MCO governing boards to provide that the optional process by which county commissioners can appoint members to an area board requires the adoption of a resolution by two-thirds of the constituent counties and authorizes the Secretary of DHHS to approve an alternate appointment process that includes constituent counties delegating appointment authority to intermediary bodies, created by the counties, to represent regions of a multicounty area authority.

On Thursday the Committee approved two bills.  H 728, Amend Laws Pertaining to Chiropractic Board, seeks to enlarge the time for certification of chiropractic clinical assistants by the State Board of Chiropractic Examiners.  It also authorizes the SBCE to impose fines as sanctions and to increase licensee renewal fees. H 842, Medicaid Wavier Protections/Military Families, would protect access to Medicaid waivers by dependents of members of the Armed Services.

House Regulatory Reform Committee

The House Regulatory Reform Committee met on Tuesday, April 21, to address three bills.  H 44, Cities/Overgrown Vegetation Notice, changes requirements for annual notice to a chronic violator of a municipal overgrown vegetation ordinance, to authorize notice by regular mail and posting.  H 44 received a favorable report in committee and was given approval on the House floor.  H 446, Amend Statutes Governing Bail Bondsmen, amends the law governing the licensure of bail bondsmen to increase the minimum age to be eligible for a license, extends the time limit for the return of collateral security to include the time period in which an appeal from district court may be filed, and requires the Commissioner of Insurance to return the amount of a bondsman’s security deposit above the outstanding bond liability in the event the bondsman ceases writing bonds.

HB 446 received a favorable report in Committee and was placed on the House calendar for April 28.  H 158, Jim Fulgum Teen Skin Cancer Prevention Act, prohibits tanning bed operators from allowing anyone under the age of 18 to use the equipment.  H 158 received a favorable report in Committee and was passed on the House floor.

House Environment Committee

The Committee met on Tuesday and Thursday of this week.  On Tuesday the Committee took up five bills.  H 141 authorizes certain cities to undertake activities through their stormwater management programs to implement flood reduction techniques that result in improvements to private property.  H 141 received a favorable report and was sent to the House Committee on Local Government.  H 576, Amend Environmental Laws – 2, directs DENR to study ways to optimize recycling requirements for discarded computer equipment and televisions and extends the duration of permits for sanitary landfills and transfer stations to a facility’s life of site.  H 141 received a favorable report in Committee and was sent to House Finance.  H 593, Amend Environmental Laws -3, clarifies reimbursement eligibility for third-party claims from the Commercial or Non-commercial Leaking Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Cleanup funds, exempts certain wetland mitigation activities from Sedimentation Pollution Control Act requirements, modifies implementation of the odor control of feed ingredient manufacturing plant rule, prohibits the requirement of mitigation for impacts to intermittent streams, directs the Forest Service to study dangers and risks to the State’s forest from the importation of firewood from other states and directs HHS to create a streamlined process for approving new technologies for on-site wastewater treatment and disposal.  H 593 received a favorable report in committee and was approved on the House floor. H 538, Clarify Water and Sewer Authority Powers, authorizes water and sewer authorities to adopt ordinances concerning the regulation and control of water systems owned by the authority, enter into reimbursement agreements with property owners for design and construction of infrastructure, and offer and pay rewards up to $5,000 for information leading to conviction of persons who willfully deface, damage, destroy or commits acts of vandalism or larceny of authority property.  H 538 received a favorable report in committee and was given approval on the House floor.  H 630, Alternative WQ Protection for Falls Lake, directs DENR and the EMC to examine the results of the Jordan Lake Nutrient Mitigation Project to determine if similar technology could be deployed in Falls Lake and to consult with the EPA to determine if all components of the Falls Lake Strategy comply with federal law.  H 630 received a favorable report and was approved on the House floor.

On Thursday the Committee addressed four bills.  H 634, Stormwater/Built-Upon Area Clarification provides that for the purposes of implementing stormwater programs, “built-upon area” does not include a surface of number 57 stone laid at least four inches thick over a geotextile fabric.  H 634 received a favorable report and was approved on the House floor.  H 765, Environmental Technical Corrections, makes clarifying, conforming and technical amendments to various laws related to environment and natural resources.  H 765 received a favorable report in Committee and was approved on the House floor.  H 795, SEPA Reform, increases the threshold for application of the State Environmental Policy Act, increases the number of exemptions from the act and otherwise amends the Act.  H 795 received a favorable report and was placed on the House calendar for April 27.  H 339, Add Fonta Flora Trail to State Parks System, authorizes the addition of the Fonta Flora Loop Trail in Burke County to the State Parks System.  H 339 received a favorable report and was approved on the House floor.

House Education Committee – K-12

The Committee met on Tuesday, April 21, and approved eight bills.  H 162, Sudden Cardiac Arrest Education/Students, would require the State Board of Education and local boards of education to educate those involved in school athletic activities on sudden cardiac arrest and to recodify the statutory provision on concussion safety and emergency action plans.  H 334, Charter School Extracurricular Activity Fees, would seek to enhance the charter school application process and to allow a charter school to establish fees for extracurricular activities.  H 380, Statewide School Safety Management, would authorize the Department of Public Safety to implement a statewide school risk and response management system, to make confirming changes to other school safety requirements, and to provide for grants for additional school counselors.  H 439, Competency –Based Assessments, seeks to establish the intent of the General Assembly to transition to utilizing competency-based learning assessments for all elementary and secondary students in North Carolina.  H 474, Healthy Out-of-School Recognition Program, seeks to include in the types of programs that do not constitute the provision of child care track out programs for children who attend year-round schools and to establish the healthy out-of-school time (host) recognition program.  H 539, School Playgrounds Available to Public, seeks to authorize local boards of education to make outdoor school property available to the public for recreation purposes.  H 878, Expand Board of Trustees/School of Science & Math, would expand the membership of the board of trustees of the NC School of Science and Mathematics.   H 559, Testing Feedback for Students/Teachers, would direct the State Board of Education to provide student performance data to parents, students, and teachers on the results of statewide tests and assessments.  It would also increases the number of days prior to the end of the instructional semester or year during which assessments and final exams can be administered to five.

The Committee also met on Thursday and passed four bills.  H 660, Transition to Personalized Digital Learning, seeks to further the transition to personalized digital learning in all K-12 public schools.  It would also help transition from textbooks to digital material for all learners and require SBOE to develop and implement digital teaching and learning standards to teachers and school administrators.  H 661, Teacher Recruitment and Scholarships, seeks to transform educator preparation in NC.  H 662, NC Elevating Educators Act of 2015, seeks to establish a multi-year program to provide for excellent teachers and high-quality digital instruction and to provide for financially stable advanced teaching roles for K-12 classroom teachers.  H 902, Transforming Principal Preparation, seeks to establish a competitive grant program to elevate educators by transforming the preparation of school principals. 

House Finance Committee

The Committee met on Tuesday and Thursday of this week.  On Tuesday, the Committee approved three bills.  H 347, Modify Graham County Occupancy Tax, would recodify the previously authorized Graham County occupancy tax to make it more uniform with current occupancy tax guidelines. By doing so, Graham County would be able to use up to one-third of the occupancy tax proceeds for tourism-related expenditures, which it cannot do under current law.  H 543, Amend Laws Pertaining to NC Medical Board, makes a number of changes to the laws pertaining to the NC Medical Board, including increases in the fees for an application for a license to practice medicine and surgery and the annual registration fee and the repeal of the fee for a retired limited volunteer license. S 372, Renewable Energy Safe Harbor, would provide a delayed sunset for the renewable energy credit for taxpayers that have met certain investment and construction milestones by the end of 2015.

On Thursday, the Committee approved H 256 and seven local bills.  H 256, Handicapped Parking/Veterans Plate, would allow a vehicle displaying a partially disabled veteran plate to park in designated handicapped parking spaces and would allow a person to meet the certification and recertification requirements for a handicapped license plate or placard with a disability determination from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs indicating that the person is handicapped.  The local bills that were approved were: H 99, Town of Polkton/Deannexation; H 217, Clayton Deannexation/Annexation; H 218, Clayton Annexation; H343, Clayton/Extend ETJ Area; H 353, Wilson's Mills/Satellite Annexations; H 469 Sunset Beach/Parking Meter Proceeds; and H 492, Rutherford Cty/Rutherford Airport Authority.

House Commerce and Jobs Development Committee

The House Commerce Committee met on Wednesday, April 22 to take up four bills.  H 567, NC Aircraft Repair Act, regulates the repair of aircraft.  H 567 received a favorable report and was referred to House Transportation.  H 564, Exempt Motorcoach Manufacturer and Distributor, exempts manufacturers and distributors of motorcoaches from the prohibition on owning, operating or controlling a motor vehicle dealership in this State.  H 564 received a favorable report and was referred to House Transportation. H 594, Clarify Sale of Antique and Specialty Vehicles, clarifies the requirements that must be met to obtain a temporary supplemental license for the sale of antique motor vehicles and specialty motor vehicles and expands the definition of specialty motor vehicles.  H 594 received a favorable report and was approved on the House floor.  H 779, IT Procurement/Promote Competition, promotes information technology cost savings through competition.  H 779 received a favorable report and was placed on the House calendar for April 27.

House Public Utilities Committee

The Committee met on Wednesday, April 22, to take up two bills.  H 349, Develop Broadband Connectivity Plan, requires the office of the State CIO to develop a broadband connectivity plan to increase access to broadband throughout the State and expand the service area that broadband service providers are permitted to provide telephone service to their broadband customers.  H 349 received a favorable report in Committee and was approved on the House floor.  H 681, NC Energy Ratepayers Protection Act, amends various provisions of the general statutes related to distributed generation and directs the Energy Policy Council to perform an assessment of the costs and benefits of distributed generation.  A PCS to H 681 was introduced but failed.  H 681, as filed, remains in Committee.

Senate Health Care Committee

The Committee met on Tuesday, April 21, and approved a number of bills.  S 235, Establish Advisory Council on Rare Diseases, would establish the Advisory Council on Rare Diseases within the Department of Health and Human Services. S 286, Regulate the Sale of E-Liquid Containers, would prohibit the sale of e-liquid containers without child-resistant packaging and create a new Class A1 misdemeanor for a violation of the provisions prohibiting the sale of e-liquid containers without child-resistant packaging. Any person, firm, or corporation would also be liable for damages as a result of selling e-liquid containers without child-resistant packaging.  S 367, Achieving A Better Life Experience Act, would authorize the establishment of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Trust Fund, administered by State Treasurer, to assist and encourage the contribution of private funds to accounts from which specified expenses may be paid for individuals with disabilities.  S 368, DOD-Certified Child Care & State Subsidy, would authorize U.S. Department of Defense-certified child care facilities to participate in the State-subsidized child care program.  S 578, Transition Certain Abuse Investigations/DCDEE, would transition abuse and neglect investigations in child care facilities to the Division of Child Development and Early Education within the Department of Health and Human Services.  S 371, LME/MCO Claims Reporting, would outline requirements for data submission from local management entities/managed care organizations (LME/MCOs) to the Department of Health and Human Services and the use of that information by the Department.

Senate Commerce Committee

The Committee met on Tuesday, April 21, and approved four bills.  S 22, Historic Artifact Mgt. and Patriotism Act, seeks to ensure respectful treatment of the American flag and the NC flag by state agencies and other political subdivisions of the state.  It would also establish the Division of Veterans Affairs as the clearinghouse for the disposal of worn and damaged flags.  S 195, Motor Vehicle Service Agreement Amendments, seeks to provide a legal framework for the sale and regulation of motor vehicle ancillary product contracts.  S 327, Allow Prize-Linked Savings Accounts, seeks to allow banks to conduct savings promotion raffles.  S 374, Modify For-Hire License Logbook Requirement, would make voluntary the requirement that a holder of a for-hire coastal recreational fishing license maintain a logbook summarizing catch and effort statistical data, delay implementation to allow the Division of Marine Fisheries to conduct a stakeholder input and education process, and forbid DENR from entering into a joint enforcement agreement with the National Marine Fisheries Service.

The Senate Commerce Committee also met on Thursday and approved four bills.  S 673, Clarify Motor Vehicle Dealer Laws, seeks to clarify motor vehicle dealers and manufacturers licensing law.  S 674, Truck Dealer Cost Reimbursement, seeks to increase the amount of compensation payable by a manufacturer, manufacturer branch, distributor or distributor branch of certain new motor vehicles to motor vehicle dealers to cover certain costs.  S 504, Mobile Beauty Salons, would provide for licensure of mobile beauty salons and to ensure the safe and hygienic operation.  S 25, Zoning/Design and Aesthetic Controls, seeks to clarify when a county or municipality may enact zoning ordinances related to design and aesthetic controls. 

Senate Finance Committee

The Committee met on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.  On Tuesday, the Committee approved three bills.  S 159, Transferred Properties in Corrected Revals, would clarify the process by which undervalued property is to be taxed under S.L. 2013-362 (a law enacted in light of problems with a 2011 property tax revaluation in Mecklenburg County).  S 284, Infrastructure Assessments/Repeal Sunset, would extend the sunset provision on the authority granted to counties and cities to use special assessments to address critical infrastructure needs for five years, from July 1, 2015, until July 1, 2020. S 556, Disposition of Minimal Property Tax Refunds, would authorize local governments to not mail refunds of overpayment of taxes for less than $15. 

On Wednesday, the Committee continued its discussion of tax reform and economic development.  The Committee heard presentations from legislative staff comparing the provisions of  H 117, NC Competes Act; S 526, Job Creation and Tax Relief Act of 2015; and S 338, Economic Development/Tax Modifications. No action was taken on any of the bills.

Senate Agriculture/Environment/Natural Resources Committee

The Committee met on Wednesday, April 22, and approved four bills.  S 303, Protect Safety/Well-Being of NC Citizens, seeks to protect the safety and well-being of citizens from regulatory overreach by prohibiting the Environmental Management Commission and DENR from issuing rules implementing federal standards for wood heaters or enforcing such rules, and by forbidding the commission and the department from enforcing air emissions standards limiting fuel sources providing heat or hot water to a residence or business.  It would also require the EMC to affirmatively adopt air quality management rules promulgated by the U.S. EPA.  S 572, Agricultural Regulatory Relief, seeks to provide regulatory relief to farmers by requiring the Department of Transportation to study bridge weight restrictions in agricultural areas, and the regulations governing transport of fuel for agricultural use by farm vehicles, and it requires DENR to study regulatory barriers to increasing drainage of agricultural lands.  S 647, Amend Trapping Law, seeks to amend the trapping law relating to Conibear type traps.  S 374, Modify For-Hire License Logbook Requirement, seeks to make voluntary the requirement that a holder of a for-hire coastal recreational fishing license maintain a logbook summarizing catch and effort statistical data.  It also would delay implementation to allow the Division of Marine Fisheries to conduct a stakeholder input and education process, and forbid DENR from entering into a joint enforcement agreement with the National Marine Fisheries Service.

In The News

Raleigh News & Observer: NC environmental impact law in jeopardy

Raleigh News & Observer: Religious freedom bill dead for the session, NC House Speaker says

WRAL: Senators vet options for future of job incentives, taxes

Charlotte Business Journal: Sources: North Carolina ruled out for Volvo plant

Raleigh News & Observer: Bill to place governor and lieutenant governor on same ticket fails

Charlotte Observer and Raleigh News & Observer: Bill would move 2016 presidential primary to March

Calendar

Mon, April 27, 2015

15 MINUTES AFTER SESSION

Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the (House)

Outdoor Heritage Act. (H640)
Unemployment Insurance Law Changes. (S15)

 1228/1327 LB

1:00 PM

Regulatory Reform -- CORRECTED (House)

Regulatory Reform Act of 2015. (H760)
Amend Septic Tank Requirements. (H705)
Clarify PE Licensure. (H742)

 544 LOB

3:00 PM

Local Government (House)

Stormwater/Flood Control Activities. (H141)
Counties/Public Trust Areas. (H346)
Town of Hope Mills/Satellite Annexations. (H386)
Fontana Dam/Establish Electric Power Board. (H415)
Amend/Clarify Back-Up PSAP Requirements. (H512)
County Sign Ordinance in Municipal Parks. (H544)
Cities/Public Trust Areas. (H591)
County Provide 911 Dispatch Services. (H730)
Local Government Regulatory Reform. (H836)
Restrict Municipal Eminent Domain. (H875)

421 LOB

3:00 PM

Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee

Agenda: NCGEAR Hearing

 544 LOB

3:00 PM

Health -- CORRECTED (House)

Modernize Physical Therapy Practice. (H135)
Got Natural Milk. (H309)
Prohibit Powdered Alcohol. (H290)
Pilot Project/Used Needle Disposal. (H712)
Amend Composition of NC Medical Board. (H724)
Heat Stroke Prevention/Student Athletes. (H768)
Modernize Dietetics/Nutrition Practice Act. (H796)
Establish Advisory Council on Rare Diseases. (H823)
Revise Certain Policies/Child Care Subsidy. (H832)
The William C. Lindley, Jr. SUDEP Law. (H814)
Amend Laws Re: Medical Treatment for Minors. (H847)
Reegan's Rule/Childhood Diabetes Screening. (H20)
Require Hospitals to Offer Influenza Vaccine. (H925)
Standards for Chiropractic Peer Review. (H729)

 643 LOB

3:30 PM

Judiciary I -- CORRECTED (House)

Amend Eyewitness ID/Show-Up. (H566)
Amend Innocence Commission Statutes. (H678)
Appraisal Bd. Recordkeeping & Bkgrd. Checks. (H651)
Restoring Proper Justice Act. (H774)
Forcible Entry Into Car/Child Trapped Inside. (H896)
Facilitate Successful Reentry. (H570)
Law Enforcement Body-Worn Camera/Study. (H811)

 415 LOB

4:00 PM

Banking -- CORRECTED (House)

Credit Unions/Statutory Changes. (H511)
Proof Required for Debt/Fees. (H541)
Mortgage Origination Support Registration. (H126)
NC Money Transmitters Act.-AB (H289)
Fight Financial Transaction Card Fraud. (H627)

 1228/1327 LB

4:30 PM

Education - Universities -- CORRECTED (House)

NCNG Tuition Assistance Benefit Amendment. (H709)

425 LOB

5:00 PM

Wildlife Resources (House)

Adopt State Cat. (H161)
Reporting of Animal Incidents. (H460)
Sale of Deer Skins. (H601)

 1228/1327 LB

5:00 PM

Health Care (Senate)

Jim Fulghum Teen Skin Cancer Prevention Act. (S125)
Expand Outdoor Food Service at Public Events. (S363)
Track Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy. (S405)
Reporting of Substance-Exposed Newborns. (S598)

 544 LOB

5:30 PM

Session Convenes (House)

 House

7:00 PM

Session Convenes (Senate)

 Senate


Tue, April 28, 2015

8:30 AM

Ethics (House)

State Ethics Comm. Revisions. (H677)

 415 LOB

8:30 AM

Finance (House)

Enhance UI Program Integrity/Reporting. (H22)
DES Board of Review. (H23)
Zebulon Charter/Use of Certain Fees. (H307)
Simplify OT Collection by Intermediaries. (H379)
Fayetteville Charter/PWC Changes. (H392)
Drivers License Fee/Donate Life NC. (H476)
Repeal Business License Fees. (H739)
Clarify Motor Vehicle Dealer Laws. (H800)

 544 LOB

10:00 AM

Judiciary I (Senate)

Uniform Political Activity/Employees. (S480)
Proof Required for Debt/Fees. (S511)
Prohibit Re-Homing of an Adopted Minor Child. (S652)

1027/1128 LB

10:00 AM

Judiciary II -- CORRECTED (Senate)

Reconvene at 3 pm or immed. following session

1124/1224 LB

10:00 AM

Pensions and Retirement (House)

Increase Retirement Age/Judges & Magistrates. (H205)

 415 LOB

10:00 AM

Regulatory Reform (House)

Task Force on Regulatory Reform. (H763)
Building Code/Rustic Cabins. (H706)
Grant Recipients Posted on Grantor Web Site. (H812)

 544 LOB

10:00 AM

Rep. R. Moore - Press Conference

 Press Room LB

10:30 AM

Rep. Ralph Johnson - Press Conference

 Press Room LB

11:00 AM

Education - Community Colleges (House)

Community College Remediation Pilot Project. (H754)
CC Innovative Pilot Program. (H396)
Central Carolina CC/Bd. of Trustees. (H488)
Financial/Life Skills CC Course. (H756)
Limit Soldiers' CC Tuition. (H860)
Comm. Coll. Summer Courses/Funded FTE. (H579)

 643 LOB

11:00 AM

Rep. Pierce - Press Conference

 Press Room LB

12:00 PM

State and Local Government (Senate)

423 LOB

12:00 PM

Transportation (House)

Study MPO/RPO Oversight. (H74)
Exempt Motorcoach Manufacturer & Distributor. (H564)
NC Aircraft Repair Act. (H567)
Rural County Dev. Funds for Road Const. (H569)
STI and Ferry Tolling Revisions. (H672)
Reinstatement of Driving Privileges. (H735)
Automatic License Plate Readers. (H829)
Veterans Plates/Vehicle Weight Restriction. (H915)

 643 LOB

1:00 PM

Insurance -- CORRECTED (House)

DOI License Processing Fees. (H196)
Property Insurance Fairness. (H182)
Impounding Vehicles with Lapsed/No Insurance. (H599)
Establish Chiropractor Co-Pay Parity. (H528)
Principle-Based Reserving. (H361)
Surcharge Transparency. (H496)
Payments for Ambulance Services. (H715)
Insurance Required for Mopeds. (H148)
Proper Administration of Step Therapy. (H821)

 1228/1327 LB

1:00 PM

Finance -- CORRECTED (Senate)

NC Competes Act. (for discussion only) (H117)
Motor Vehicle Tax: Waive Penalties/Interest. (S273)
Register of Deeds-POA Indexing Fees. (S332)
Limit Storage Fees on Damaged Vehicle. (S345)
Registers of Deeds/UCC Recording Fees. (S386)
Local Incentives for Historic Rehabilitation. (S472)
Job Creation and Tax Relief Act of 2015. (for discussion only) (S526)
Economic Development/Tax Modifications. (will be on agenda for discussion only) (S338)

 544 LOB


Wed, April 29, 2015

10:00 AM

Agriculture/Environment/Natural Resources (Senate)

Labor/Up Amusement Device Penalties. (S75)
Create Inspection Program/Venison Donations. (S546)

 544 LOB

12:30 PM

Judiciary III (House)

Controlled Substances/NBOMe & Other Drugs. (H341)
Standard of Proof/Public Safety Dispatchers. (H352)
Notice Before Automatic Contract Renewal. (H631)
Juvenile Law Changes/Abuse/Neglect/Dependency. (H669)
Assault on National Guard Member. (H691)
Same Firearm Protections for 50C as 50B Order. (H801)

421 LOB

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