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Government Affairs

General Assembly Update

March 4, 2008


Earlier this week, the Virginia Supreme Court invalidated the assessment of new taxes for transportation for Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads that the General Assembly authorized in 2007.

The Governor and General Assembly leaders have been talking about how to fix the funding for the two regional authorities with “a sense of urgency.“

The General Assembly session is scheduled to adjourn on Saturday, March 8th, so whether legislators can fix the problem before then or have to return for a “special session” is still unknown.

The House and Senate leadership have selected representatives to negotiate possible solutions. They are:

SENATE: Senator Richard Saslaw, D-Fairfax, the Senate Majority Leader; Sen. Yvonne B. Miller, D-Norfolk, Chairman of the Transportation Committee; and Sen. W. Roscoe Reynolds, D-Henry County.

HOUSE: Dels. H. Morgan Griffith, R-Salem, the House Majority Leader; Samuel A. Nixon Jr., R-Chesterfield, the Republican Caucus Chairman; and M. Kirkland Cox, R-Colonial Heights, the Republican Whip.

Two bills have already been introduced to address the regional funding problem. SB 729, introduced by Senator Saslaw, would allow localities in the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority to impose a 1/2 cent sales tax in those jurisdictions with the proceeds going to the Authority for transportation projects. SB 798, introduced by Senator Wagner would impose (by the General Assembly) those taxes and fees already adopted by the Hampton Roads Transportation Authority with the revenues going to transportation projects in the region.