In the last hours of committee debates, the Senate approved language in the budget that authorizes the Manufacturing Solutions Center to make direct purchases with earned income from testing fees etc. The provision which will be added to the N.C. General Statutes authorizes the center to make purchases, including specialized equipment, without going through State Purchasing and Contracts. The N.C. Textile Technology Center already has this authority. The directors of the centers—Dan St. Louis and Sam Buff—insist that making purchases direct from market sources saves thousands of dollars. Language in the provisions require the centers to follow specified procedures and reporting.
Sen. Jerry Tillman, a longtime ally of the job-producing centers, introduced an amendment that assured the provision was included in the Senate budget.