Senate bond proposal differs from Governor's plan

Senate bond proposal differs from Governor's plan

RALEIGH, NC (WECT/AP) - Republican leaders in the North Carolina Senate shaved nearly $1 billion off Governor Pat McCrory's bond proposal for improvement and transportation projects.
The new proposal unveiled Monday would borrow $2 billion, in keeping with a new agreement with House Republicans. Gov. McCrory has pushed a bond proposal worth about $2.9 billion.
The package also leaves out any money for roads. McCrory wanted some proceeds for highway projects. Legislative leaders say road debt isn't necessary now that the final state budget located new money annually for roads. An email news release sent by Senate leader Phil Berger's office outlined the reasons for not including transportation funding:

The Senate proposal would only borrow money for education and infrastructure needs, since the state budget passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. McCrory last week invests an additional $705 million over two years in transportation. The additional investment will allow the state to build at least 70 new highway projects, replace hundreds of structurally deficient bridges and resurface thousands of miles of roads – without borrowing money.

"In order to continue to attract and retain jobs and maintain a high quality of life in North Carolina, we must take care of our basic infrastructure and strengthen our community colleges and universities," Sen. Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) said in the same news release. "$2 billion is a lot of money to ask our taxpayers to borrow, and I hope they will weigh the proposal carefully when deciding how to cast their ballots. But once they consider the long-term value to our state, I'm sure they will agree this bond is a good investment in North Carolina's future."

The Senate bond package wouldn't go to the voters until November 2016. The governor originally wanted a referendum this fall but appears agreeable with one next March.

To see the Senate's bond proposal click here:

Copyright 2015 WECT. The Associated Press contributed material to this report.