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@NCCapitol

Wake school construction bill resurfaces

Posted July 18, 2013

— It's back. 

Senate leaders have revived legislative language that would allow the Wake County Board of Commissioners to take over construction and maintenance of public school buildings from the Wake County Board of Education.

A similar bill that would have applied the same language to school districts in roughly a dozen counties has stalled in the House.

House Bill 726, which was reviewed and approved by the Senate Rules Committee Thursday morning, now applies only to Wake County but contains the same language that has been sought by the Republican-controlled Board of Commissioners and opposed by the Democratic-aligned school board. 

The measure is being pushed by Sen. Neil Hunt, R-Wake, who said it would allow the school board to focus on education.

Other senators asked if they could add their counties to the bill.

"What we have decided to do is let each county decide for themselves," Hunt said. 

However, the measure is controversial, with Democrats from Wake County opposed to the measure.

"If this is such a brilliant bill, why are we not doing a statewide bill?" asked Sen. Josh Stein, D-Wake.

The answer to that question may hinge on what can pass the House. Virtually all Democrats in the House and a good number of Republicans opposed the broader school construction measure.

Bills dealing with a single county typically have an easier time passing the chamber, and House leaders may be inclined to push the bill through because Hunt is a senior budget negotiator for the Senate. The two chambers are still trying to broker a final spending deal for the fiscal year that started July 1.  

Sen. Dan Blue, D-Wake, said that the bill could hurt the prospects of a school bond referendum slated for this year, adding that people would not want to vote for school funding not controlled by the schools.

"I'm getting the exact opposite response," Hunt said.

13 Comments

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  • superman Jul 18, 2013

    I dont support the bill. The school board has made some very bad decisions. The Wake County Commisioners are no different. I wouldnt trust either one of them with my last weeks lunch.

  • Bartmeister Jul 18, 2013

    I don't believe either side.

  • BPractical Jul 18, 2013

    "If you would like to let Mr Hunt know how you feel, his email address is neal.hunt@ncleg.net. He said that he wasn't hearing anything but support, well, let him hear the other side. dwntwnboy2"

    Thank you. I want to write him of my support...

  • WakeForestLiving Jul 18, 2013

    The school board doesn't need to be in construction business, they need to worry about educating kids and curriculum related issues.

  • dwntwnboy2 Jul 18, 2013

    If you would like to let Mr Hunt know how you feel, his email address is neal.hunt@ncleg.net. He said that he wasn't hearing anything but support, well, let him hear the other side.

  • FlagWavingFascistCrank Jul 18, 2013

    Add this to the list of power-grabbing atrocities perpetrated by the "Smaller Government", "Anti-Tyranny", "More Freedom" fascist NCGOP/ALEC shills on Jones St.

    Since when did stealing airports, hijacking municipal water systems, and meddling in county and local governments become the responsibility of the State Legislature?

    Fascism has arrived in America.....wrapped in a flag, carrying a cross.

  • whatelseisnew Jul 18, 2013

    "Better hope for a bond referendum and that is passes or local sales taxes will go up to pay for the $800million plus in new schools that will have to be built to educate little Timmy and his sister Betsy."

    Actually, I would prefer a sales tax, that way more people are putting money in the pot instead of property owners being gouged. I always vote NO on bonds. It is stupid to vote to put yourself in DEBT.

    "Rep. Hunt's own words don't make any sense. He says "What we have decided is to let each county decide for themselves" while simultaneously having the state decide for Wake county. This isn't a state issue and once again the hypocrisy of a politician is on full display."

    It is a State issue. The counties can not act contrary to existing law. Now the State should make it an across the board law, but allow for each county commission to independently decide whether the land and building decisions be made by the school board or the county commission. I opt for the Commission to do

  • rand321 Jul 18, 2013

    until you get can vote Hunt out of office, vote NO on the bond issues to send a message to both parties to quit the politics and pay attention to the citizens and taxpayers of Wake County.

  • avidreader Jul 18, 2013

    I will never vote for a bond again, regardless of who is handling the construction.

  • mmtlash Jul 18, 2013

    I'll give Neil Hunt one thing, he is nothing if not persistant. Let's see how many times and in how many different ways he can try to get this thing to pass

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