WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

McDonnell's Transportation Funding Plan Meets Resistance

Play associated audio

By Tommie McNeil

Some Democrats in Virginia's state Senate are opposing a proposal from Gov. Bob McDonnell to fund road projects in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads.

It's part of McDonnell's new transportation funding plan, which also includes issuing more than $1 billion in direct bonds and accelerating nearly $2 billion in previously authorized transportation funds.

Some Democats say the plan will take money away from core services, including education.

The use and accelerated sale of bonds would speed up transportation improvements and fund 900 statewide projects.

But it was the governor's plan for Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia that lit a fuse.

"These are new proposals, not discussed before, are to allow .25 percent of the discretionary sales tax that's generated in Hampton Roads and generated in Northern Virginia, to be able to be retained in those regions and dedicated for road and transportation projects. That will generate about $150 million a year between those two regions," McDonnell says.

Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw, who calls the plan absurd, doesn't think it will receive much support.

"Why don't you just say we'll take...the income tax and spend it...because that's what you're doing...So it's a shell game. We're not going to do it. Tell him to raise the taxes," Saslaw says.

Some other Democrats say they like the governor's promotion of rail and barge use, but still disagree with reallocating general fund dollars.


'Tis The Season For Coming Attractions: What To Watch For At The Multiplex

NPR film critic Bob Mondello offers a selective preview of the likely blockbusters and Oscar contenders that Hollywood has in store for the end of the year.

Swapping The Street For The Orchard, City Dwellers Take Their Pick Of Fruit

Urban foragers don't just pick their meals from the trash; many eat only the finest, freshest produce — picked from city trees. The League of Urban Canners harvests fruit from trees to make jam.

Reconsidering The Pilgrims, Piety And America's Founding Principles

Conservatives who want to emphasize America's Christian roots embrace the story of the Pilgrims and the Mayflower Compact. But some historians say their role in the country's founding is overstated.

From Takeout To Breakups: Apps Can Deliver Anything, For A Price

Convenience is at an all-time premium — and a lot of smartphone apps promise to make many of the things we do every day easier. In a time-crunch or sheer laziness, how far will the apps take us?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.