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NC House tentatively approves transportation bill

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

Gov. Pat McCrory's effort to direct more money to high-impact transportation projects has received initial approval from the North Carolina House.

The House granted tentative approval on a 96-22 vote Wednesday. The proposal ends a system of dividing funding equally among the state's 14 transportation divisions and instead places it in competitive pools at the state, regional and local levels. The system places a greater emphasis on ranking formulas that will be developed later.

The Department of Transportation has to publicly report about developments in the formulas.

Supporters argue the bill takes political weight out of transportation decisions and directs money more effectively. Opponents worry the new model will overlook rural areas and emphasize toll roads.

The bill will return for a final vote then head to the Senate.

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