by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Jenna Robinson’s latest Martin Center column focuses on N.C. legislation that deals with higher education.
The following … bills made the crossover deadline. Most were passed by the House.
H8 In-State Tuition Pilot Program: This bill would authorize the State Board of Community Colleges to launch a pilot program that extends in-state tuition rates to residents of four Georgia counties that border North Carolina. The bill’s fiscal note predicts that the program would cost $42,510 per year. The bill passed its second reading in the House on March 20.
H62 In-State Tuition/Members Served on USS NC: This bill would make service members who serve on the battleship USS North Carolina for at least 180 days eligible for in-state tuition at North Carolina colleges and universities. Republican Representatives Cleveland and Horn are the primary sponsors of the bill.
H241 Education Bond Act of 2019: This bill would allow voters to weigh in on $1.9 billion in new borrowing to fund education construction projects. Of that amount, $200 million would go to community colleges and $200 million for public universities. (The remainder goes to K-12 public schools.) The debt service on the bill would be more than $100 million each year for most of the 20 years the bond would be repaid.
H389/S296 ABC University Athletic Facility: This bill would let public colleges sell alcohol at athletic facilities. Colleges can already sell alcohol at on-campus hotels, restaurants, and golf courses, among other places, but this policy change would allow sales during athletic events. It passed a second reading in the House on April 16.
H664 My Future NC/Postsecondary Attainment Goal: This bill would establish an educational attainment goal for the state, based on the recommendations of the My Future NC Commission. It would direct the state to make “significant efforts to increase access to learning and improve the education of more North Carolinians so that, by the year 2030, at least 2,000,000 residents between the age of 25 and 44 will have completed a high-quality credential or postsecondary degree.”