Oh, never mind. I guess we just did:
Virginia transit funding approvedIn fact, my sentiments on this subject are best expressed by House Minority Leader Ward L. Armstrong (D-Martinsville), who said the deal was "the best we could do, given the political parameters." Diesel fuel taxes will rise, as will fees on car purchases. Not good. And jobs will be lost here in Southwest Virginia as a result.
By Seth McLaughlin, The Washington Times
Richmond -- The General Assembly yesterday passed a landmark transportation bill that pumps millions of additional dollars into road and rail projects across Virginia and marks the largest infusion of new state money for transportation since 1986.
"We worked together in a bipartisan fashion to bring a positive change for the people of Virginia," said House Majority Leader H. Morgan Griffith, Salem Republican. (link)
But we dodged a major bullet:
● Bonds will be issued so that necessary funds can be acquired to bring about needed repairs, a healthy approach in a healthy state (when done prudently) to governance.
● The massive budget surplus will be utilized for the construction and repair of roads. If we can't get it back in the form of a refund, this will have to do.
● Moneys in the general fund (from insurance receipts) will be permanently allocated to transportation.
● Taxes will be levied on those who need their roads fixed (and those who screamed the loudest for new taxes) - in Northern Virginia and in Hampton Roads, especially ... ahem ... Norfolk.
● Southwest Virginia will see no appreciable tax increase - other than that cited above.
And most importantly:
● Those who pushed Warner II, a second massive tax increase that was intended by cynical statists here in Virginia to be passed for no other purpose than to expand the size and scope of government, were sent home reeling in defeat after having shed considerable quantities of blood, having been given an intense ass-kickin'. Hopefully, they've learned from this and won't try to pull the wool over the eyes of the voting electorate again.
Our expression of profound gratitude, once again, goes to those stalwart conservatives in the House of Delegates - including my very own representative in Richmond, Annie B - who held the line against overwhelming odds and seemingly insurmountable pressure, and defeated a powerful, well-organized, well-funded, well-connected, and committed foe. The Washington Post (along with a majority of Virginia's leading newspapers), Governor Kaine, the Democratic Party, an array of prestigious politicians in Washington, both senators here in Southwest Virginia, Phil Puckett and Roscoe Reynolds, and an influential ring of liberal Republicans here in the state (to their everlasting shame) were crushed, utterly, by Morgan Griffith and his band of fearless, tireless delegates - who refused to be cowed into submission - and who never failed to remember who it was they were sent to Richmond to represent.
Thanks, guys. Job well done.