Senate and House pass CR, governor talks infrastructure bond plan

JandBSignHoriz

RALEIGH – The N.C. Senate passed a continuing resolution this morning 43-0 after the House passed it 107-1 last night. The CR keeps the government operating at current funding levels until August 14, giving the legislature six weeks to negotiate and pass a final two-year budget.

The CR does have some funding increases in education, including bringing starting teacher pay to $35,000. Raises for other state employees will be negotiated in the final budget.

On Monday, Gov. Pat McCrory sent a letter to the General Assembly in which he urged members to reach a final budget within 30 days and outlined his budget priorities. McCrory called for support for his proposed infrastructure bond program, Connect NC, and an increase in funding for economic development plans. He also expressed his concerns about the Senate budget’s tax changes.

Support for Connect NC is gaining steam across the state and will be the focus today for the governor as he travels from Raleigh to Onslow County. The transportation bond program would make critical infrastructure investments, paying for 27 highway projects across the state in rural suburban and urban areas. The bond would require no tax increases and would preserve the state’s AAA bond rating. Seven municipalities in the Piedmont have passed resolutions calling for putting the bond on the ballot for November elections.

The town of Spencer resolution states, “New school facilities and superior roads and bridges are long-term investments in North Carolina’s future that will support growth and make the state more attractive to businesses and residents.”

McCrory will be in Hammocks Beach State Park this afternoon to talk about the $67 million allocated in the bond to replace, renovate and restore facilities at 28 state parks across the state. Friends of State Parks also passed a resolution in support of the bond, saying will create jobs and improve quality of life for visitors to the state parks for generations.