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DMV Move to Rocky Mount

Department of Motor Vehicles - Relocation

May 2nd, 2019 at the General Assembly:

In a surprise move, the Wake County Caucus offered Amendment A33 to House Bill 966, The Appropriations Act better known as the “Budget Bill.” If approved, the amendment filed by Julie von Haefen (D) Wake, would remove over $9.3 million in funding for the DMV move to Rocky Mount and reallocate that money to the Maintenance Fund in the Division of Highways. von Haefen argued that the move would be detrimental to current employees while others argued that state offices should remain in the Raleigh community and the current location was in a low wealth Empowerment Zone in need of the jobs that would be lost. The Amendment was vigorously debated by both Republicans and Democrats who appeared divided on the issue. Rep. John Torbett (R) Gaston, Chair, Appropriations Transportation was the first to defend the DMV move by simply stating, “This horse has already left the barn.”

Rep. James D. Gailliard (D) Nash County passionately debated against the Amendment from the House floor stating, “This decision is a result of a thorough RFP process and is clearly detailed by the Deputy Chief Engineer in a previously published 2018 Relocation Study.” He continued, “After 12 potential sites, Rocky Mount was determined the most suitable location. The second location was over $3 million more and was only a 5 minute shorter commute time from the centroid address provided based on current employee demographics. This decision was then approved by House Committees, with input from the DMV, DOT, Department of Administration and a unanimous vote from the Council of State. This is just another effort by Wake County officials to reverse a well vetted process. When a Tier 1 County proves they can compete in an open RFP process against a Tier 3 County, we don’t need to move the finish line.”

In the end, the Amendment was defeated by a 63-52 vote with the Rocky Mount delegation, James Gailliard (D) Nash , Lisa Barnes (R) Nash/Franklin and Shelley Willingham (D) Edgecombe all voting against the Amendment and in support of the DMV move remaining fully funded. Neighboring county officials, Jean Farmer-Butterfield (D) Wilson, Raymond Smith (D) Wayne also voted with the Rocky Mount delegation.

After the voting session Gailliard said, “As we move forward, particularly following the next census, there will be increasing challenges with the Rural-Urban divide in NC. In the same way, large cities are voting in block, we must also have strong regional alliances supporting infrastructure, job creation, education, healthcare and workforce development.”

Representative James D. Gailliard

  • Committed to the People of Nash County-Rocky Mount

  • Progressive solutions for Rural Issues

  • Principles that foster Common Sense Legislation

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