Raleigh, N.C. – A $700 million package of ‘Build NC’ transportation bonds passed by the Republican-led General Assembly to fund road construction and repairs is on track for issuance by the end of October after being approved by the Council of State on Tuesday.
North Carolina’s unanimous “AAA” credit rating preserved by the General Assembly’s prudent fiscal management of the state budget will ensure low interest rates for the infrastructure bonds.
The state’s ability to borrow with AAA ratings amid a pandemic and economic uncertainty is the result of North Carolina’s remarkable fiscal turnaround led by tax, budget, and policy reforms in the state legislature since 2011.
The creation of the Strategic Transportation Investment Program (STIP), along with significant spending on rail, state ports, and aviation assets, are strategic infrastructure priorities that positioned North Carolina as a national leader in attracting jobs.
The Build NC bonds continue the state’s powerful investments in economic connectivity, said state House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland).
“These transportation funds will meet immediate road construction and repair needs in North Carolina communities, serving regions that have faced real uncertainty about the future of projects that are critical for their their schools, businesses, and neighborhoods,” Speaker Moore said Tuesday.“We continue to prioritize infrastructure needs with powerful budget funding and critical reforms to hep move North Carolina forward as our state continues its rapid growth.”
The General Assembly also approved bipartisan transportation reforms in 2020 to address nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars in overspending on Gov. Roy Cooper’s watch, which caused widespread employee furloughs and continued uncertainty in road funding.
House Bill 77 addressed concerns raised by State Auditor Beth Wood to increase taxpayer accountability at NCDOT with stronger transparency measures, firm management oversight, and a restructured board with legislative appointees.
That bill also balanced the department’s budget, modified cash balance thresholds, and directed annual NCDOT state audits.
Legislative appointees to the new Board of Transportation will now take a direct role overseeing the agency’s budgets to prevent future cash flow shortages and furloughs that have affected nearly 10,000 employees due to the Cooper administration’s mismanagement.