- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 13, 2019

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A plan for state government to borrow money so school districts and the University of North Carolina and community college systems can replace aging buildings and expand has received preliminary approval in the state House.

The proposal championed by GOP House Speaker Tim Moore for a $1.9 billion bond referendum on the March 2020 ballot passed Wednesday by an overwhelming margin.

One final House vote is needed Thursday before it goes to the Senate, where Republicans are cool to issuing new debt. That chamber approved an alternative that earmarks additional tax revenues for public education construction.

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper favors a bond package like Moore but last week pitched a $3.9 billion referendum, with $800 million for water infrastructure projects. Moore says the governor’s borrowing amount is too much.

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