N.C. regional government councils pass resolutions endorsing “Connect NC” bonds

I77RALEIGH — Six regional councils of government have passed resolutions favoring McCrory’s Connect NC bond proposal, the governor’s office said today. The Albemarle Commission, the Eastern Carolina Council of Governments, the Mid-Carolina Council of Governments, the Mid-East Commission, the Upper Coastal Plain Council of Governments and the Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments have all endorsed the bond package in resolutions and asked the legislature to support of placing the bond proposal on the ballot in November.

“Regional councils of government recognize that Connect NC provides creative solutions to cultivate a stronger economy and further develop our highly skilled workforce,” McCrory said in a statement. “I commend their call to allow the citizens of North Carolina to decide on these important investments in our state’s future.”

The regional councils are coalitions of county and municipal governments that assist member governments with economic development, planning, federal program administration and other functions. There are 16 COGs across the state.

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 promoting the bonds heavily across the state this summer.

While the governor likes to pitch the bonds as one package under the Connect NC umbrella, the two bonds may face different fates in the legislature. There seems to be broad support for the infrastructure bonds, but the road bonds are getting a cooler reception from the General Assembly — especially in the Senate.

The Senate budget proposal aims to increase highway funding without taking on debt by ending the practice of funding the N.C. Highway Patrol and other non-construction budget items from the motor fuel tax and would fund them through the state’s general revenue fund.