The Virginia State Senate is scheduled on Tuesday to take up Gov. Bob McDonnell's transportation funding plan that passed the House of Delegates last week.
For the first time Gov. McDonnell says he is willing to compromise on his plan to eliminate the state's gas tax, an idea Senate Democrats are unhappy with because it would shift transportation funding to general revenues.
"I think we can talk about that," says McDonnell. "I think this is the best solution to be able to eliminate it."
What the governor still calls the "best solution" is still dead on arrival in the Senate.
"We will have to compromise. There's no way I'm voting for a total elimination of the gas tax. That's absolutely insane," says Democratic Sen. Chap Petersen, who represents parts of Fairfax and Loudoun Counties. He says Democrats are open to a mix of solutions for paying for transportation, but the gas tax will have to be part of it.
Petersen says his colleagues are now more open to working with the governor since an unrelated but controversial redistricting measure was dumped.
"It can't help but improve things around here," says Peterson. "I think when that redistricting bill happened, it cast a shadow over the session."
If the Senate passes the measure, it will have to be conferenced with the House bill. The legislative session ends in about 3 weeks.