McCrory praises passage of DOT funding changes
RALEIGH (AP) — Gov. Pat McCrory praised legislative leaders Wednesday as an overhaul of how North Carolina transportation dollars get spent was sent to his desk after it received final approval by the General Assembly.
The House voted 105-7 in favor of Senate changes to the bill, which creates a new distribution method for transportation funds sought by McCrory that attempts to relieve congested roads more quickly and focus more on economic growth.
McCrory is expected to sign the bill into law. The Republican governor, Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham and House Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, announced in April their support for proposed changes to the current Highway Trust Fund formula.
Adopting the new formula “makes sense,” McCrory said in a video message released after Wednesday’s final vote. “More jobs makes sense and more transportation dollars make sense.”
The current trust fund formula distributes money equally among the state’s 14 transportation divisions. McCrory said during his gubernatorial campaigns that the formula punished metropolitan areas because large projects siphoned away most of their funds.
The formula approved Wednesday distributes 40 percent of trust fund and federal aid money to statewide projects and 30 percent each to regional and division projects. Potential projects will be ranked on a scoring system, with those with the top scores getting priority.
Transportation Secretary Tony Tata said this spring the reprioritizing would allow the state to do more with the $15 billion it anticipates spending over the next 10 years.
“Businesses like to go where states have their act together, have a strategy and a long term vision,” the governor says in the video, citing Tata, Berger and Tillis. “Thanks again for your hard work because now we have all three.”