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Bond Proposal to Benefit Colleges

By: Dominique Caulder

McCroryThe new Bond Proposal will benefit Bladen Community College with capital funding. On Monday September 21, 2015, the Senate offered a new version of the bond proposal that Governor Pat McCrory has been lobbing to pass legislation for several months now. The bond will borrow sufficiently less than the Governor first proposed.

Under the new proposal the Senate Finance Committee recommends to borrow $2 billion. This new agreement with the House of Representatives is less than the $2.85 billion dollar package the Governor originally planned. When this was decided, Governor McCrory wanted to have enough money left for road and bridge construction to last until halfway through the year 2017.

Legislative leaders stated that debt for roads is completely unnecessary, and a final state budget approved by law makers last week leaves $700 million dollars for the road and bridge construction. These funds come largely from increasing prices for Division of Motor Vehicles fees and withholding $216 million from State Highway Funds.

Universities will benefit greatly, $1.3 billion of the proceeds from debt will go to the University of North Carolina institutions, which will receive $921.7 million and all community colleges receiving $400 million. All 58 community colleges will receive their funds based on a specific formula. The community colleges receiving the bonds include Bladen Community College ($7,466,430), Brunswick Community College ($3,265,519), Cape Fear Community College ($6,752,783), and Southwestern Community College ($7,841,853).

The bond UNC will receive will fund 11 new projects along with a $124.4 million Life Sciences and Technology building for East Carolina University. There will also be $115 million for a nursing school building at UNC-Greensboro and $102.9 million for a science, technology, and math building at Western Carolina University.

Governor McCrory intended to have a new referendum this fall to lower interest rates, but it will be held off until March of 2016 when all primaries will be held. Senator Bob Rucho, the finance committee co-chairman, stated that waiting for the referendum will give bond boosters more time to persuade voters to accept the bond.

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