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Government Affairs

General Assembly Update

June 30, 2008

The Special Session of the Virginia General Assembly called by Governor Kaine has adjourned until July 9, 2008.  Two very different transportation funding plans have been reported to the floor of the House of Delegates where they await action on July 9.

The first plan, Senate Bill 6009 which has passed the Senate and awaits House floor action, would raise more than $600 million a year in new revenues to address statewide transportation maintenance, construction and transit needs.  In addition, it would raise additional funds to address the transportation funding needs of Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia.  The regional plans would generate about $215 million per year in new funding for Hampton Roads and about $340 million per year in new funding for Northern Virginia.  The full text of this legislation can be found at SB 6009.

The second plan, HB 6055, which also awaits House floor action, only provides funding for Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia.  It contains no funding to address the state highway maintenance deficit or to increase state transit funding.  It also imposes very different tax burdens on the two regions with only $50 million of new taxes and fees imposed in Hampton Roads while more than $350 million of taxes and fees would be authorized in Northern Virginia.  The Hampton Roads region would receive up to $250 million in general funds that otherwise would be appropriated statewide while no additional general fund support would be provided to Northern Virginia.  The full text of this legislation can be found at HB 6055.

There is still time for the legislators to return to Richmond on July 9 and work together in a bipartisan manner to resolve Virginia’s transportation funding needs.

CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATOR…It is easier than ever!

The Voter Voice legislative contact system on the Virginians for Better Transportation web site has been updated with new messages to reflect the current situation. It is easy to send your legislator an e-mail by clicking on: Contact Your Legislators, then click on the “Take Action” button at the bottom of the web page. If this is the first time you are using the system you need to register and provide your home address and e-mail address. This registration process allows the system to identify your Delegate and Senator and makes it easy to send them one of a variety a pre-prepared e-mail messages (which you can edit as you wish). If you are a return user, simply enter your e-mail address and zip code in the “Quick Login” section.