Rep. Jeffrey Elmore of North Wilkesboro is among sponsors of legislation proposing a $3.1 billion bond referendum to address education and transportation needs in North Carolina.
Under House Bill 1225 (Education and Transportation Bond Act of 2020), the state would borrow $1.5 billion for the N.C. Department of Transportation, $800 million for K-12 public schools, $600 million for the University of North Carolina system and $200 million for the state's community colleges if approved by voters.
Joining Elmore, a Republican, as sponsors of HB 1225 are Rep. John Torbett (R-Gaston), Rep. Michael Wray (D-Northhampton) and House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland).
In a joint statement, the bill sponsors said, “North Carolina is in a strong position to leverage our smart financial management now to invest in the future of our state's economic connectivity and educational success.
"This bond proposal builds on North Carolina's substantial investments in every community to ensure our rapid population and job growth continue as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic."
Last week, analysts for the legislature’s nonpartisan Fiscal Research Division and the Office of State Budget and Management predicted state tax revenue would drop by $5 billion in the current budget biennium due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes a $4.2 billion drop (8.2%) in General Fund revenues and a $774 million drop (9.7%) in the Highway Fund and Highway Trust Fund.
Last year, Moore filed a bill to put a $1.9 billion statewide school construction bond referendum on the ballot. It passed the House but stalled in the Senate.