Rep. Bill Owens, D-Camden, has introduced a bill to limit North Carolina's bonding authority to $138.5 million — or just 11% of what the state issued last year — in fiscal 2012 and 2013.

The bill, which was referred to the House Finance Committee, proposes capping state debt for those two years at two-thirds of the value of outstanding debt paid off in the two-year period that will end June 30.

North Carolina issued $1.3 billion of bonds last year and $1 billion in 2009.

The bill also would require $100 million of the bonds to be issued for state infrastructure repairs and renovations, $23.5 million for a highway patrol training facility and $15 million for an expansion project at Elizabeth City State University.

The Legislature's annual session began Jan. 26 and is scheduled to run through early June.

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