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State House votes against funding port


RALEIGH, NC (WWAY) -- The international port in Southport hit a roadblock in the state House today. By a vote of 104 to 11, the North Carolina House of Representatives voted against using state money to fund the port.

Originally, the state budget included a line item to fund the "North Carolina Terminal," but no money was allocated. In the budget's following section, the state reserved the right to reallocate money not used by other Department of Environment and Natural Resources projects.

Rep. Frank Iler from Brunswick County saw this as a back door way to fund the controversial project. He voted to approve the amendment striking the port line item from the budget.

"I thought that was an underhanded way to not be accountable and not be transparent about what the study might cost and what the port might cost," Iler said. "I was not speaking for or against the port. I was speaking for accountability."

The organization "No Port Southport" issued this statement in response to the vote: "This is a major first step for the taxpayers of North Carolina in stopping an economically and environmentally ill-conceived project."

In January, the Southport Board of Aldermen voted 3 to 2, to rescind a 2006 resolution approving a Department of Transportation study. That means that the ports authority must go back to city leaders for negotiations involving any port project.

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an underhanded way not to be accountable? An underhanded way to ram something down the taxpayers throats?

Look at Senate Bill 1378. It would approve an additional $450,000,000 of state debt.

But it would do so not through a referendum vote, which in this economy might well fail to pass.

No, No. The Know All Senators would use Certificates of Participation.

These Certificates can be compared to the smoke and mirrors of a budget process.

They do not require our approval. They're sort of like a bank account overdraft which the Senators use with a vote.

They carry a higher interest rate than bonds approved in a referendum voting process.

Now why, one must ask, would the Senators, who face the challenge of writing a budget, and who have helped create the financial aramgeddon we citizens will face in the coming 3 years, use this mehtod to get something they want which we might not approve?

Think about that when you vote in November.