Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Legislative Jockeying on Road Funding

Legislators are careening toward "the political equivalent of a multicar wreck," suggests Jeff Schapiro at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in his latest report on the maneuvering that's taking place in advance of the 2006 General Assembly session. In the latest developments:
  • Gov.-Elect Tim Kaine "repeated that he will not back higher taxes for roads and mass transit unless lawmakers put transportation funds off-limits to other cash-hungry programs.:
  • Kaine also said he is "prepared to stand up to his major contributors in the real estate industry on his pledge to pair road building with land-use planning."


  • The gap widened between the state Senate, which wants to keep preserve the option of an increase in the gasoline tax, and the House. Del. L. Preston Bryant Jr., R-Lynchburg, said a fuel-tax increase is "not a practical or a political possibility."
  • Transportation options under consideration by the House include: "directing a portion of the growing surplus to highways and mass transit, and selling leasing rights -- perhaps for billions of dollars -- to private companies that would operate and maintain major roads."


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