Dix Campus

House and Senate lawmakers have filed bills that would break a lease signed between the state and the city of Raleigh for the 325-acre Dorothea Dix campus in Raleigh. City leaders argue the state is reneging on a properly executed deal. Lawmakers say they are getting a better deal for the state than the agreement hastily signed by Gov. Bev Perdue on her way out of office. STATUS: Lawmaker ended their legislative session without passing a bill to affect the Dorothea Dix deal. Instead, they will let Gov. Pat McCrory and the city work out a new deal.

"The deal was done at well below market value," said Sen. Ralph Hise, R-Mitchell, one of the sponsors of Senate Bill 334. He and fellow lawmakers say the state and the city could redo the lease for a park under more favorable terms to the state. Lawmakers say they would also like to keep offices for the Department of Health and Human Services on the campus.

Former Gov. Bev Perdue agreed to lease the Dorothea Dix property to the City of Raleigh for 99 years. The rent would start at $500,000 and increase over time. Lawmakers say that falls far short of the property's actual value. 

City leaders, including Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane, say the state is breaking a deal signed in good faith. 

Bills and Status:

Bills have been filed in both the House and Senate to condemn the lease signed by Gov. Bev Perdue. The Senate bill appears to be the one that will ultimately pass if the measure makes it all the way to Gov. Pat McCrory's desk. The full Senate passed the measure to tear up the Dix campus lease on March 26. The measure is now in the hands of the state House.

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UPDATE (5/22/13): The House has drafted its own version of the Dorothea Dix bill. Like their Senate colleagues, the House measure paves the way for undoing the lease between the state and City of Raleigh. However, the House bill includes more incentives to renegotiate the deal that the Senate bill did. Among the inducements, the state would negotiate for the sale of the Governor Moorehead school property as well as much of the Dorothea Dix campus. 

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UPDATE (6/23/13): The Senate has rejected the House proposal. Negotiators for the two chambers are trying to work out a final deal on the bill. Lawmakers on the conference committee tell WRAL.com that they are close to an agreement and expect to recommend a bill before the end of the legislative session. 

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UPDATE (7/29/13): Lawmaker ended their legislative session without passing a bill to affect the Dorothea Dix deal. Instead, they will let Gov. Pat McCrory and the city work out a new deal.

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