ATLANTA - North Carolina legislators neared passage yesterday of a revised 1993 capital budget but continued to be bogged down by the details of proposed bond legislation.
Dave Crotts, senior analyst and economist for the Legislative Fiscal Office, said that on Wednesday the Senate passed a $160 million capital budget for the fiscal year that began July 1. Late yesterday, the bill was under debate in the House of Representatives, he said, and details of possible revisions would likely not be worked out until today.
The Senate's new capital budget adds $52 million to a $108 million capital budget approved two weeks ago. In North Carolina, the state's capital budget for a given fiscal year is determined by the size of the previous yearend surplus. That surplus was recently recalculated to include $52 million more than originally expected in authorized but unexpected fiscal 1992 funds, Mr. Crotts explained.
In the Senate version of the budget, $40 million would be ear-marked for the state's depleted rainy-day fund, with the remaining $120 million divided among capital outlays for maintenance, the state's university system, and other projects.
Meanwhile, the leadership of the House of Representatives continued to come up empty-handed in attempts to find a bond bill acceptable to lawmakers in that chamber. The Senate, however, has approved legislation authorizing a total of $398 million of new general obligation debt, with $271 million for the state's university system and $127 million for community colleges.
Representatives are reluctant to pass a bond authorization, which would be presented to voters for their approval this fall, unless a funding source can be identified, Mr. Crotts said.
The $398 million of GO bonds approved by the Senate represents a paring down of about $800 million of bonds that had originally been considered by lawmakers.
Heading the list of this proposed debt was a record request for $300 million in state general obligation bonds from the University of North Carolina system, $240 million of GOs for community colleges, and over $100 million of GOs for water and sewer improvements.