House Proposes Borrowing $3.1B For School And Road Projects
The North Carolina House wants the state to borrow over $3 billion to pay for school and road construction projects. This means voters may see bond referendums on the ballot this November.
House Bill 1225 proposes asking voters to approve borrowing nearly $2 billion for school construction projects, while earmarking over $1 billion for road construction needs.
Backers point to current low-interest rates as a reason to act now, and warn that transportation projects could come to a halt if no action is taken.
The News & Observer reports that the state Department of Transportation is instituting thousands of employee furloughs due to drops in revenue, and contracts for new highway projects have been put on hold.
Meanwhile, North Carolina school districts are facing nearly $8 billion in infrastructure needs. The House bill would divvy up funding to K-12 schools, UNC system universities, and community colleges.
House Speaker Tim Moore is one of the bill’s primary sponsors. He says while the legislation is not perfect, "it is a step forward to get some key and critical projects moving in the state.”
The bill faces an uncertain future in the Senate, which took no action on a school construction bond referendum proposed by the House last year.