Dix bill passes House, goes back to resistant Senate
Posted May 29, 2013
Updated May 30, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — The state House voted 111-5 Wednesday to approve a bill that reworks the deal between the state and Raleigh over the Dorothea Dix property.
"A vote for this bill is a vote to get it right," said Rep. Justin Burr, R-Stanly.
Former Gov. Bev Perdue signed a deal to lease the Dix property to Raleigh days before she left office. Lawmakers immediately decried the deal, saying it was hastily done and gave too much away to the city. Public records later revealed government lawyers were concerned that the deal could have legal flaws.
The Senate passed a bill that simply condemned the lease and offered the city little in return.
House lawmakers have reworked the bill, postponing a legal showdown over the lease so that the city could negotiate to buy the property. The bill also clears the way for the state to sell the Governor Morehead School for the Blind property to the city as well.
Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane has endorsed the new bill, as has Gov. Pat McCrory, although Senate leaders have objected to the measure, saying it still gives away too much to the city.
The Senate will have the option of accepting the House changes or rejecting the House-drafted measure and sending the bill to a conference committee.