$3 billion fund for infrastructure proposed in the House

Christine T. Nguyen—The North State Journal
Members of the North Carolina House of Representatives at the General Assembly (Christine T. Nguyen | The North State Journal)

RALEIGH — This week N.C. lawmakers proposed a $3 billion fund for investment in K-12 school construction, public building repair and renovations, transportation, university and community colleges and the National Guard, among other areas.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 in the North Carolina General Assembly on Thursday.The bill requires that in odd-numbered years the state budget sets aside 4 percent of tax revenues in a fund for debt reduction, and capital improvements like school construction, water and sewer and transportation projects. It also would earmark one-fourth of any budget surplus each fiscal year for the fund. “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.”Reps. Arp and Ross told reporters Thursday the additional funding would not require voter approval because it does not issue any debt. They say it would not require raising taxes and estimate that it would reduce the total state debt by 62 percent over the next 10 years.”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,” said Deputy House Majority Leader Stephen Ross.