WAMU 88.5 : News

McDonnell Hopes Virginia Senate Resurrects His Transportation Plan

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Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell says he senses "good will" in the Senate, and is calling on lawmakers to put politics aside and pass his plan to raise $3.1 billion for roads and rails over the next five years.

"I think the time for delays and finger pointing and excuses are over," he says. "This is the session where we need to get this done."

The governor was asked if Democrats are now willing to support his plan because a controversial redistricting bill they opposed has since been shelved.

"There are a lot of things out of the way now that have gotten people apparently more willing to vote," he says.

McDonnell chose a parking lot right next to the Dulles Toll Road as the site for a news conference, so he could tout his plan to raise $300 million for the Silver Line Metrorail project.

That will reduce the tolls by about 50 cents per trip for commuters on the Dulles Toll Road.

Under its current financing plan, about 75 percent of the cost of Phase II of the Silver Line will be paid by those tolls. But money for the SIilver Line is not the controversial part of the governor's plan. Some Senate Democrats are unhappy with the idea of eliminating the gas tax, and instead using a higher state sales tax to fund transportation, but McDonnell now says he's willing to compromise on the gas tax.

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