McDonnell passes the buck on transportation
January 23, 2012
The Washington Post editorializes, "Barring passage in the General Assembly of a major funding bill in the coming weeks -- a tough sell with Mr. McDonnell's active support and a near-impossibility without it -- the state's crumbling network of roads, rails and bridges is likely to keep deteriorating as congestion mounts. The governor's inability, or unwillingness, to deliver major, ongoing new funding for transportation, despite the extravagant promises he made as a candidate, is a major failure, one that is likely to haunt Virginia for years."
Progressive Point: Governor McDonnell's failure to fix our roads is negatively impacting the lives of all Virginians and damaging our economy. Investing in our crumbling transportation infrastructure would create jobs and spur Virginia's economy while ensuring Virginians spend less time and money stuck in traffic. Being a leader means making tough decisions. Unfortunately, Governor McDonnell has chosen to pass the buck on those decisions down the road.
Real solutions to our transportation funding crisis don't include diverting money from schools to roads or forcing a choice between kids and cars. Pass the Buck Bob's refusal to fix our roads and invest in mass transit is hurting the Commonwealth's economy and the daily lives of all Virginians. We deserve real solutions, but Bob McDonnell's transportation proposals are running on empty.
Get the Facts:
- McDonnell's transportation proposals would result in "decades of austerity for public education, universities, safety net programs and state troopers," and, even if enacted, would not meet Virginia's road maintenance needs. Previous failures to meet maintenance costs have resulted in $2.8 billion in construction budget shortfalls since 2005. (Roanoke Times, December 12, 2011)
- Virginia ranks 7th in the country in per capita income, but 47th in per capita spending on transportation. The reason for such a large imbalance is because the majority of Virginia's transportation funding comes from the fuel tax which currently sits at just 17 cents per gallon. However, the gas tax would be "35 cents today had it been indexed for inflation." (Bob Chase, president of the Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance, Daily Press, December 9, 2011)