RALEIGH, N.C. - Gov. Mike Easley wants to get a two-month head start on about $722 million in building projects to create jobs and take advantage of low interest rates.
Easley announced Wednesday that he will ask the Council of State, a panel of elected executive branch officials, to give the go-ahead in January to a list of projects that includes new buildings on university campuses, new space in prisons and renovation of the N.C. Zoo's polar bear exhibit.
The projects could lead to 26,000 new jobs and would pump millions of dollars into the state's economy, Easley said. The legislature had previously approved the projects, which were scheduled to go before the Council of State in March.
"North Carolina is holding her own in job creation, but we are not immune from national economic trends, which means we have to take aggressive steps to minimize any hardships," Easley, a Democrat, said in a news release.
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