Va. governor praises bipartisan transportation bill

Mar 01, 2013
Va. governor praises bipartisan transportation bill

A bipartisan transportation bill is sitting on Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s desk awaiting his signature.

The bill, which passed on the last day of the general assembly here in Richmond, raises about $880 million a year for road maintenance, highway construction and mass transit.

The bill includes increasing the state's sale tax from 5 to 5.3 percent,  increasing motor vehicle sales tax from 3 percent to 4.3 percent and imposing a $100 registration fee on alternative fuel vehicles and hybrids.

McDonnell said in a statement shortly after the bill’s passage that the legislation was “the first sustainable long-term transportation funding plan in 27 years” and praised the bipartisan effort to get it through both the House of Delegates and state senate.

“This is a compromise bill. It had to be. Neither party controls Richmond outright. The House is Republican, the Senate is split 20-20, and the Lieutenant Governor cannot vote on transportation funding.  On an issue like transportation funding, regional differences and needs are just as important as partisan affiliation. If we were ever going to fix this problem, and improve our citizens’ quality of life, a compromise had to be fashioned.

The governor can sign the plan, or amend or veto it.