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Bill Nixing Dix Park Deal Passes Senate

Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh
Dave DeWitt
Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh

Lawmakers have passed a bill that would scrap a lease deal signed by the state and the city of Raleigh to create a destination park on the old Dix hospital campus.

Senators passed the measure 29-to-21, with several Wake County Republican senators voting against it.

Democratic Senator Josh Stein told his colleagues that those who say they want to void the lease in order to provide funding for mental health costs aren't being honest.

"So to say that this is about mental health is a farce," says Stein. "It isn't about mental health. This is about a lease that you didn't like, because it was signed by a governor you didn't like, with a city you don't like. That's what this is about."

The bill also says the city can only lease portions of the Dix property that include a flood plain and a former landfill. The measure now goes to the House.

Jessica Jones covers both the legislature in Raleigh and politics across the state. Before her current assignment, Jessica was given the responsibility to open up WUNC's first Greensboro Bureau at the Triad Stage in 2009. She's a seasoned public radio reporter who's covered everything from education to immigration, and she's a regular contributor to NPR's news programs. Jessica started her career in journalism in Egypt, where she freelanced for international print and radio outlets. After stints in Washington, D.C. with Voice of America and NPR, Jessica joined the staff of WUNC in 1999. She is a graduate of Yale University.
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