The state House Finance Committee passed a $4 billion transportation and infrastructure package Tuesday morning.
It was a boost for Governor Pat McCrory, who has been pushing for a similar bond issue. Up to this point, the state Senate has been lukewarm on the proposal.
“We’re pleased that the Connect NC bond proposal continues to gain momentum. I applaud the House for listening to the people across our state, who want to prepare North Carolina for the next generation,” McCrory said in a release. “The House proposal aligns with our plan to invest in North Carolina with a prudent, conservative approach that takes advantage of historically low interest rates and doesn’t raise taxes.”
The House bill is larger than McCrory’s and funds additional projects, including state parks, university and school buildings, and even new exhibits at the zoo.
“We’ve gone through a fantastic process in creating a new tool in having an objective as possible funding of our transportation needs in the state,” Rep. Dean Arp (R-Union) said.
The House package includes $2.85 billion in infrastructure bonds and $1.30 billion in cash for transportation. It will likely get a vote on the House floor later this week.
Leaders in the state Senate are less enthusiastic about borrowing money for road construction.
The bond issue will likely play a major role in ongoing budget negotiations. If it passes, voters will get the final say in November.