NC Budget and Tax Center

Difficult to discern coherent economic strategy in the Connect NC Bond Act

The Connect NC Bond Act does not appear to be driven by a single coherent vision of how to use state investments to support economic growth. As can be seen below, the House and Senate versions put out over the last month have varied enormously over the total size of the bond and the type of projects to be funded. Concerns over cutting taxes while going farther into debt aside, the bond act shows that there is no single guiding star by which the legislature is sailing.

BOND PROPOSAL - pie charts2-LAND

To be fair, some of this is just the legislative process in action. When you’re making a multi-billion dollar sausage, there’s going to be lots of back and forth on the ingredients. Still, while the bond bill outlines how important investments are to our economic future, it reveals relatively little consensus on what those investments are or how to make them.

Here are a few of the major changes to the bill compared to what the House presented last month (For a complete breakdown of how the bond package has changed, see the document below):

  • Total package decreased from $2.85 to $2 billion
  • Removed $500 million for local school construction
  • Removed $400 million for transportation infrastructure
  • Removed $215 million for state building and courthouse improvements
  • Increased UNC system allocation from $890 to $980 million
  • Increased water/sewer grants and loans to local governments from $75 to $309 million
  • Increased Community College allocation from $300 to $350 million

A few other illustrative examples of how much the plan has changed:

  • State Parks were allocated roughly $135 million in the House’s version from August. At the beginning of this week, the Senate eliminated all of these projects except for $45 million for the NC Zoo. The final version put the wider range of projects back in, but brought the total down to $100 million.
  • Community College funding started at $300 million, increased to $400 million early this week, then settled half-way between. Under the hood, though more changes were happening as the two chambers had different plans for how to share those funds out to specific campuses.
  • UNC campuses are set to receive a larger share of the final package, but there have been numerous changes to the specific projects that will be funded

Connect NC Bond Act Proposal 2015 – Detailed Comparison of Projects by NC Policy Watch

Check Also

Expanding Medicaid is not just the right thing to do, it’s smart economics

As Governor Cooper pressures legislative leaders to join ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

Gov. Roy Cooper signed the controversial “Death by Distribution” bill into law last week. Under the [...]

Van der Vaart: supporter of Trump, critic of regulation, was in charge during some of the state [...]

North Carolina voting rights groups and Democrats were compared to the legendary Pied Piper at the s [...]

More than 10 pollution sources, including two Superfund sites, are within a mile of the new Aberdeen [...]

Linger long enough in Raleigh’s legislative lagoon and you’ll find there are three kinds of lawmaker [...]

There’s an old adage in the law that’s often used to describe situations in which a judge jails some [...]

The right-wing wallflowers of The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday, with an almost palpable sense [...]

The post Hofeller: The GOP’s “Michelangelo of the gerrymander” appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]