Virginia House Passes Highway Reform Bill | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Virginia House Passes Highway Reform Bill

Play associated audio
Virginia highway reform bill passed the House, and now heads to the Senate.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/andrewbain/2475893475/
Virginia highway reform bill passed the House, and now heads to the Senate.

Six roller coaster weeks after Gov. Bob McDonnell proposed a major transportation funding overhaul, the Virginia's House of Delegates has approved a compromise measure to raise $3.5 billion over five years for roads and rails.

The House voted 60-40, with 25 Democrats providing key "yes" votes to send the measure to the state Senate. House minority leader David Toscano summed up the sentiment on both sides of the aisle, "it's not perfect, but better than not approving any new money for transportation."

"There are things that I don't like about this, but I am willing to support it because I do think that even though it doesn't solve every problem, it solves a lot of problems," says Toscano.

The bill replaces the 17-and-a-half cents-per-gallon gasoline tax drivers pay at the pump, with a 3.5 percent wholesale tax on gasoline and a 6 percent tax on diesel. The state sales tax would also increase to 5.3 percent, with that additional revenue earmarked for transportation.

Republican Del. David Albo of Fairfax says northern Virginia will eventually receive $350 million a year for its needs.

"The three funding sources are a .7 cent sales tax, a .25 percent fee when you sell a home, so on a $500,000 that's $1250, and a three percent hotel [tax]," says Albo.

The legislation also imposes a $100 registration free on hybrid and electric vehicles.

NPR

Desperate To Speak: How Emily Blunt Found Her Voice

The actress stars in the new film Into The Woods, in theaters Thursday. On screen she's a natural. But as a kid, she had a stutter so severe she could hardly say her own name.
NPR

A History Lesson On The Philippines, Stuffed In A Christmas Chicken

Rellenong manok is a deboned chicken filled with a jumble of ingredients. If it seems hard to pin down how this dish got all its fillings, it's because of the complexity of the Philippines' culture.
NPR

GOP Sens. Rubio, Paul Square Off Over Cuba Policy Shift

Rubio, appearing on ABC's This Week, lashed out at Paul, who has expressed support for opening trade with the island nation after a decades-long embargo.
NPR

Obama Calls North Korean Hack 'Cybervandalism'

On CNN's State of the Union, the president expanded on earlier remarks he made criticizing a decision by Sony Pictures to pull distribution of The Interview.

Leave a Comment

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