Dix Lease, School Building Bills Survive in General Assembly

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a new weekly feature each Monday on Raleigh Public Record. Drew St. Claire and the rest of the Record news team will track bills making their way through the North Carolina General Assembly. The weekly news column will also keep tabs on members of the Wake County delegation.

The big news last week at the General Assembly was crossover. May 16 was the deadline for bills to pass either the House or the Senate, or they die for the session. A couple important bills with direct impact on Raleigh made the crossover deadline.

Dix Lease Survives Crossover
The controversial bill aimed at revoking the Dorothea Dix property lease is one of the bills to survive last week’s crossover. It passed the Senate with 29 ayes and 21 noes and has since passed its first reading in the House. All of the senators who represent Wake County, Republicans and Democrats alike, voted against the bill. The fate of the 300-plus acre property in central Raleigh should be decided in the coming months.
Text of the bill’s third reading.

Nine Counties May Soon Be Responsible for School Construction, Maintenance
Just barely making the crossover is SB 236, which would, in short, make nine North Carolina counties responsible for the building and upkeep of their schools. These counties would consult local school boards on matters of design, expansion, renovation, and the like in constructing and maintaining schools. Passing 33 to 15, with two excused absences, the bill just barely made the crossover cutoff day.

Wake Democratic senators Dane Blue and Josh Stein voted against. Wake Republicans, such as primary sponsor Neal Hunt, voted for it.
Text of the bill’s third reading.

Bill Would to Limit City’s Ability to Control Zoning, Aesthetics
A bill proposed by the House could give cities less of a say in where buildings go up and how they look. HB 150, sponsored in part by Wake County Republican Nelson Dollar, would prevent local government from being too particular with the location and physical properties of many buildings. Historic sites are among the exceptions.

The bill passed the House 98 to 18, with two excused absences and two members not voting. All Wake County representatives voted with their party except for Republican Tom Murry. The bill has since been jumping from committee to committee in the Senate.
Text of the bill’s fourth edition.

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