RALEIGH – Gov. Pat McCrory stepped up his pressure on the legislature today to approve the infrastructure bonds package he calls NC Connect, with events in Raleigh and on the coast that included cabinet secretaries and local leaders.
“Over the past month, we have traveled the entire state of North Carolina and have seen first-hand the significant need for investment,” McCrory said in statement. “I commend local leaders for recognizing the critical importance of these strategic investments in our state’s future growth and prosperity. I encourage lawmakers to act on their call to let the voters decide on Connect NC.”
The NC Connect package is actually two separate bond proposals, a $1.48 billion infrastructure bond and a $1.37 billion highway bond. McCrory has been crisscrossing the state in recent weeks and plugging the bonds whenever he can.
According to McCrory, the timing is so crucial because the deadline is nearing to get a bond referendum on the ballot for voters to approve this fall. Not only does the governor say that valuable time will be lost if the bonds aren’t approved this fall, he also says it will be costly.
“If we delay, each 0.25 percent increase in interest rates will cost the state an additional $7.5 million in the first year alone,” McCrory said. “We must act now to leverage the best deal for North Carolina taxpayers, students and our military.”
According to McCrory’s office, the bonds include money for roads, education, public health, parks and the military. “Connect NC projects will benefit every community across the state while creating thousands of jobs along the way,” the governor’s office said in a release.
“Because of the state’s fiscal strength and strong balance sheet, no tax increase is needed to fund the bonds and the state’s AAA bond rating would be preserved,” the release stated.