Republican legislative leaders are lobbying the Democrat-dominated Council of State to block Gov. Bev Perdue's plan to lease the Dorothea Dix Hospital campus to the city of Raleigh for a park.
Senate leader Phil Berger's office issued a statement Tuesday blasting Perdue -- saying she is overstepping her bounds to create a legacy piece for her administration.
“I urge the Council of State to be the ‘adults in the room’ and reject her hasty plan to hand over a valuable state asset with little in return," Berger, an Eden Republican. "The decisions about the future of the Dorothea Dix campus and the location of DHHS should be made by our new governor and legislature after thoughtful consideration."
House Speaker Thom Tillis echoed the sentiment in a subsequent statement. "The Dorothea Dix campus is a historically valuable state asset, and the future of the property should be thoroughly vetted through the legislative process," the Cornelius Republican said. "Rather than rush this decision through the Council of State, we should work together to determine if this is the best path forward. If this proves to be a good idea today, then it will be a good idea weeks from now."
Perdue's aides argue the deal is far from rushed -- saying they've been looking at the property's future for years and launched a bid process for a new Department of Health and Human Services campus 11 months ago. They argue Perdue is still the state's chief executive and she will continue to do her job until Republican Pat McCrory takes office Jan. 5.
The power-dispute has been bubbling for months. In June, the N.C. House unanimously passed a bill to require legislative approval for the sale of the 300-acre Dix campus in Raleigh. The bill died in a Senate committee.
McCrory has yet to weigh in on the proposal.