Raleigh, N.C. — Gov. Pat McCrory, legislative leaders and administrators from state universities and community colleges all spoke Tuesday to the need for voters to pass a $2 billion bond referendum on the March 15 ballot.
The majority of funds from the Connect NC bond initiative would go to new or upgraded buildings at universities and community colleges.
"It's been 15 yeas since North Carolina approved a bond to invest in the state's infrastructure, and we've added more than 2 million residents to this great state since that time," North Carolina State University Chancellor Randy Woodson said. "If passed, the Connect NC bond will help keep our state strong now and well into the future – in fact, decades into the future."
Woodson said bond proceeds would allow N.C. State to complete its engineering expansion on Centennial Campus and build a plant sciences building to support agriculture.
"There's an old saying, 'If you don't keep moving, eventually you'll get run over,' and the Connect NC act will keep North Carolina moving," he said.
In addition to the $1.2 billion earmarked for University of North Carolina and community college campuses, $309 million would go toward water and sewer infrastructure, $179 million to agriculture, $100 million for state parks and the North Carolina Zoo and $79 million for North Carolina National Guard facilities.
Proponents say the bond wouldn't require a tax increase because the state can afford to pay off the debt with existing revenue.
Despite bipartisan support, the bond campaign hasn't yet raised the private money it needs to make its case to voters statewide before the March 15 primary.