North Carolina Senate gives initial OK to $2B bond proposal

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- What's being billed as a consensus $2 billion borrowing proposal between North Carolina legislative leaders has received strong initial support from the Senate.

Senators voted 46-2 Wednesday for the debt package, in which more than $1.3 billion would be set aside for construction on 14 University of North Carolina campuses and for all community colleges.

The borrowing would not occur unless a majority of voters agree in a referendum, expected to be in mid-March.  It would make the first statewide bond question on the ballot since 2000.

Sen. Kathy Harrington of Gastonia says the proposal incorporates requests of Senate Finance Committee members and the House, where Speaker Tim Moore says he's also on board.

A final Senate vote will be Thursday. The House also must vote on the agreed-to changes.