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Government Affairs

General Assembly Update

March 10, 2008

General Assembly Extends Session; Transportation
Funding Fix Uncertain

The General Assembly has extended their session by three days in hopes of hammering out a budget compromise.

House and Senate budget conferees have agreed on using conservative revenue growth estimates as the foundation for building the budget; however, they remain deadlocked on issues of funding for new programs, bonding for new state construction, and how much money to take out of the Commonwealth’s “Rainy Day Fund.“

On the transportation funding front, legislators are still bickering over whether to try and fix the Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads regional funding packages now, or return for a special session.

Since the Supreme Court found the regional funding package unconstitutional, Northern Virginia is unable to collect almost $1 million a day in regional transportation funding.

The debate over a fix for transportation funding focuses around whether to attempt a statewide fix for transportation funding and the regional packages, or just fix the regional packages.

Some legislators want to fix the regional packages by simply allowing each local government in the region, at its discretion, to adopt new taxes and fees for transportation funding. Others want to insure a regional approach by having the General Assembly impose new taxes and fees on a regional level.