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Virginia Transportation Secretary Says State Can't Meet Basic Goals

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Virginia has cut transportation funding by more than $4 billion in the last year and a half. It's all but eliminated the funding it gives local jurisdictions for secondary roads. And it's laid off nearly 1,500 transportation employees.

At a meeting of Northern Virginia business leaders, Transportation Secretary Pierce Homer says his agency is in a full-blown crisis. "And the reason for that," says Homer, "Is that we are a business that is based on the sale of gasoline and new and used cars. It is not a healthy business model."

In Virginia, transportation is funded through taxes on gas and car sales. Both have plummeted in this recession. Secretary Homer says he'd like to start new projects, such as extending Metro's Orange line to Centreville. "But how do you do that," he asks, "In this environment where we're not taking care of what we already have?"

Homer warns Virginia may lose out on federal funding for new projects because it can't provide matching funds.

David Schultz reports...

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