2012 General Assembly Session: Transportation Limps Along

2012 General Assembly Session:  Transportation Limps Along

Arlington, Virginia — March 19, 2012 — In a statement issued today, Senator Barbara A. Favola (D- Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun) said that Governor McDonnell and Republican leaders continue to punt on transportation funding.

 

“Unfortunately, Grover Norquist carried the day on Transportation.  Although the Senate bill included a provision that indexed the gasoline tax to an increase in inflation, a small step in the right direction, those with influence over the Governor and key lawmakers did not support the provision.  It was removed from the final bill”.

 

Said Senator Favola, “An actual increase in the gasoline tax, something that I believe is sorely needed, was not even discussed by lawmakers, nor was any other reliable transportation funding source.  We have not raised the gasoline tax since 1986 and Virginia’s gas tax is lower than any of our surrounding neighbors.  Thus, we came up short again.  The Governor’s answer to this quandary is to sell naming rights to our roads and bridges and to push more maintenance responsibilities onto local governments.  Really?” she asks.

 

The only hope for funding construction projects rests with an increased reliance on Public Private Partnerships.  But these partnerships can remove the public from the scrutiny and accountability we as taxpayers deserve.  “In legislation before the Governor, unelected state agencies would be allowed to interfere in local land use planning and to ignore legitimate concerns raised by local governments regarding congestion, cost, and environmental impacts.  How can public goals be met if local governments and communities are not welcome in the process?” asks Senator Favola.

 

Senator Favola emphasized, “When our transportation challenges are greater than ever, when we need money to repave crumbling roads and to fund important infrastructure projects, when there is a greater demand for accountability and transparency, the state is heading backward instead of forward.”

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