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Government Affairs

General Assembly Update

February 13, 2008


The House and Senate have both voted to repeal the “abusive driver” fees passed by the General Assembly in 2007. The repeal of those revenues will result in a downward revision of the VDOT Six-Year Improvement Plan by over $60 million a year. We are continuing to work to find sources of new revenue to replace that loss.

Yesterday the Senate Finance Committee passed two bills that would provide new revenues for transportation. Those bills go on to the full Senate for a vote today.

SB 713, introduced by Senator Richard Saslaw (D-Fairfax), would increase the gas tax one cent a year for five years. That would provide over $750 million in additional highway maintenance over the next six years. The money would go to highway maintenance. The bill passed out of the Senate Finance Committee by a vote of 12-3. Senators Colgan, Houck, Howell, Saslaw, Quayle, Hanger, Watkins, Miller, Y.B., Marsh, Lucas, Whipple, and Reynolds voted in favor of the bill. Senators Wampler, Stosch, and Stolle voted against the bill. Senator Norment did not vote.

SB 597, introduced by Senator Norment (R-Williamsburg), would add historical horse racing, or instant racing, to the types of horse racing on which pari-mutuel wagering is permitted in Virginia. Fifty percent of the proceeds would go to transportation. The value of that revenue stream depends on the market for such wagering. Best estimates are that over $70 million a year would be generated for transportation. Senators Colgan, Wampler, Stosch, Houck, Howell, Saslaw, Stolle, Quayle, Norment, Watkins, Miller, Y.B., Marsh, Lucas, and Reynolds voted in favor of the bill. Senators Hanger and Whipple voted against the bill.

It is important to contact your Senator and let them know you support a sustainable revenue stream to replace the lost revenues from the repeal of the “abusive driver” fees.

Contact information for your Senator can be found by clicking on their name on this listing: Senator Contact Information

If you are not sure who your Senator is click on Who’s My Senator