Raleigh, N.C. – North Carolina House Appropriations Chairman Dean Arp (R-Union) and Deputy Majority Leader Stephen Ross (R-Alamance) introduced House Bill 583 Pay-As-You-Go Capital & Infrastructure Fund at a press conference Thursday, legislation to improve the state’s approach to long-term funding of public roads and buildings.
The bill provides a state debt reduction plan and funding mechanism to provide $3 billion in much-needed capital investment in K-12 school construction, public building repair and renovations, transportation, university and community colleges and the National Guard, among other areas.
Reps. Arp and Ross told reporters Thursday the additional funding would not require voter approval because it does not issue any debt, but would actually reduce the total state debt by 62% over the next 10 years.
According to the lawmakers, this legislation would not affect the voter approved, $2 Billion Connect NC Bond, but simply provides an additional $3 billion in capital and infrastructure investment over the next 10 years without raising taxes or incurring any additional debt.
Representative Arp, one of the primary authors of the Connect NC Bond legislation released a statement:
“This is a new vision for North Carolina and a paradigm shift in the way we provide long term funding for our capital, infrastructure and transportation needs,” Arp said. “It makes a commitment to our children that we will wisely invest in their future, now.
This simple, common sense plan applies basic financial principles, provides 150% more funding than the Connect NC Bond, and would not require North Carolina to take any additional debt or raise taxes.”
Deputy House Majority Leader Stephen Ross also released a statement:
“This investment will ultimately create jobs in North Carolina by improving our infrastructure and educational facilities to foster better learning environments and transportation resources that connect all of North Carolina,” Ross said.
As the bill is currently written, the proposed fund may be used for the following purposes:
(1) New State capital projects
(2) Repair and renovation of existing capital assets
(3) Grants to public schools and community colleges for school construction and renovations
(4) Economic development infrastructure projects, water and sewer
(5) Transportation capital improvement projects
(6) Early repayment of outstanding General Fund debt