On March 15, 2016, voters across North Carolina will be going to the polls, casting primary ballots in their respective parties, but also deciding our state’s future well-being with a $2 billion bond package for our university system, community colleges, state parks, National Guard and numerous local water and sewer system improvements.
As an avid supporter of our state park system and former associate justice on the N.C. Supreme Court, I was honored to be asked by the governor to co-chair the Connect NC bond committee. The Connect NC bond plan is designed to bring together the state’s greatest assets and strengthen them so we can continue to be the best place to live, work and play.
The $2 billion bond package will provide targeted, long-term improvements focused on our quality of life. For example, the $980 million dedicated for our university system will help prepare our students for the future through construction of new science and technology buildings. The community college system will receive $350 million for new construction and repairs that will enable the local education centers to improve their mission to train the state’s workforce.
The bonds will benefit agriculture across the state by providing $179 million for agricultural research facilities including a new “Plant Sciences Building” at N.C. State University and a new science lab for the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
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Our state parks will also benefit from the bond with $75 million dedicated to improvements for park facilities from Mount Mitchell to Fort Fisher.
At the local level, $309 million will help county and municipal governments fund critical improvements to their water and sewer systems – helping retain and recruit new industries and commerce to the state.
The plan will not raise taxes. This will be the first state bond referendum since 2000. In fact, we are paying off our state debt ahead of schedule and have the capacity to repay the bonds without any additional tax revenue needed from our citizens.
We are working together to build a better North Carolina, to connect our people and our assets for tomorrow and future generations.
For details on the bonds, visit our website at www.voteyestoinvest.com Let’s pull together as a state.