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North Carolina bond packages resurface after veto crumbled cash plan

Borrowing money to pay for North Carolina university and school buildings, roads and other projects is getting attention again at the General Assembly after a pay-as-you-go construction expansion plan crumbled last year beneath a veto.

Republican House Speaker Tim Moore and other representatives filed a measure this week that would put a $1.9 billion debt referendum on this November’s ballot.

Moore said recently it makes sense to borrow when interest rates are low, construction jobs are needed and tax revenues have dropped due to the COVID-19 economic downturn.

The full House sought a similar package last year, but Senate Republicans wanting to build using conventional tax revenues won out in legislative budget negotiations. Then Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed the GOP’s budget in part because he favored a referendum, although his proposed debt approached $4 billion.

House and Senate Democrats filed bills this month seeking referendums for bonds of at least $3 billion.

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