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Dix bill passes House, goes back to resistant Senate

Posted May 29, 2013
Updated May 30, 2013

— 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.

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  • djofraleigh May 29, 2013

    As for a mental health hospital, Dix was ideal, I thought, and Raleigh is more easily accessed by highways or rail or bus than Butner. There is no doubt in my mind about the greed involved in this Dix abandonment, and it is apparent that the poor ole mentally ill don't have saintly Dorethea Dix types to speak up for them today. There's moral outrage on Mondays for other things, but not for the mentally ill being pushed out and about. Look at the massive waste of mental health funds for at least the last ten years.

  • djofraleigh May 29, 2013

    As an aside, but in the vein that Raleigh no longer needs all government headquarters centered here as the state capital, but unfairly drains poorer counties, for in this age of electronic communication, the centralized state government should be dispersed over the entire state. DMV headquarters, eg, could move to Warren County, or better, Lenoir County where unemployment is 25%.

    A staggering amount of money concentrates in Raleigh from NCSU to state agencies to the lottery intake. Why not spread the public fat about the state. The poor mountain counties could sure use some help.

    Once, the capitol was moved from the coast to the Piedmont for geographical reasons, but today the various departments of government could, and should, be dispersed to spread the wealth out where it is needed, where land is cheaper, and plenty of folks need not just better jobs, but jobs.

  • razor2 May 29, 2013

    How is it they bypass the intent of the people who left the land
    for mental health services ?

  • WralCensorsAreBias May 29, 2013

    The Senate has already told you they aren't interested. This is a waste of time and your last Governor's fault.

  • TTDD May 29, 2013

    My guess is the State does not want to give it the Raleigh. Raleigh would sell it for a tremendous profit and it is anybody's guess how that money will get handled or not.

  • nic May 29, 2013

    I have a great idea...build a mental health facility on the land as it was deeded for and keep DHHS employees on site since the buildings have already been renovated into offices and the state already owns this property. Oh wait, that makes sense so scrap that idea.