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Results tagged “Transportation”

November 19, 2013

The News & Advance reports, "The 2014 General Assembly will have, as one of its first orders of business, a bill seeking to repeal the state transportation taxes enacted in July. Del. Ben Cline, R-Rockbridge County, filed HB 3, which became public Monday, the first day to file bills for next year."

Progressive Point: Businesses and families alike know that investment is vital to the economic success of our communities--not passing the buck on fixing roads, refusing to find revenue to pay for it, and taking a cuts-only approach that stymies economic growth. However, conservatives like Del. Cline want to go back to the same failed policies that have not fixed our transportation problems for years.

We all know Virginia's roads and transportation system are still a mess and will need serious infrastructure investments in order to get better. Home front investments in our infrastructure put Virginians back to work and grow our economy. Last year, Virginia dropped from 10th to 33rd place in CNBC's ranking on state infrastructures and transportation because of failed cuts-only policies like those of Del. Cline. Virginia families deserve leaders that fight for us and for our priorities: investment in our economy, infrastructure, and future growth. The Richmond conservatives' cuts-only budget approach would continue to get us nowhere. 

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  • Del. Cline's bill would strip all new revenue from the new transportation law that is designed to raise $6 billion over five years for transportation projects. (Virginian-Pilot, November 19, 2013)
  • Last year, Virginia dropped from 10th to 33rd place in CNBC's ranking on state infrastructures and transportation, causing Virginia to lose it's position as the best state in the country to do business. "Infrastructure -- specifically the state's perpetually clogged highways -- has long been an issue in fast-growing Virginia, CNBC said." (Richmond Times-Dispatch, July 10, 2012)

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October 25, 2013

The News & Advance reports, "Very quietly this week, Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican candidate for governor, released his transportation plan. With one exception... it is more of the same we've seen from many Republicans in Richmond during the past decade. And that makes it a bad deal for the commonwealth, localities who would be harmed, the business community and residents... [A]s attorney general, Cuccinelli did his best to sabotage that plan at the last minute. Now he wants to 'devolve' the responsibilities of the state upon localities, all 'without imposing a statewide tax increase'? Pardon us if we don't buy this line yet again."

Progressive Point: We all know Virginia's roads and transportation system is still a mess. Fixing its failures means focusing on making--not waiting for--things to get better. However, earlier this year Ken Cuccinelli actively campaigned against the new transportation legislation he is now legally required to defend in his job as Attorney General. Now, Cuccinelli's "plan" to pass the buck on state transportation duties down to localities is no plan at all.

Businesses and families alike know that investment is vital to the economic success of our communities--not passing the buck on fixing roads, refusing to find revenue to pay for it, and taking a cuts-only approach that stymies economic growth. Last year, Virginia dropped from 10th to 33rd place in CNBC's ranking on state infrastructures and transportation because of failed policies like the one Cuccinelli is proposing. Virginia families deserve leaders that fight for us and for our priorities: investment in our economy, infrastructure, and future growth. Instead, Cuccinelli's record is a cuts-only budget approach that gets us nowhere.

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  • The center of Ken Cuccinelli's transportation plan is "devolution," or shucking state transportation duties down onto localities. "Since 2001, no county has embraced devolution for one reason: They do not trust Richmond to be there with the dollars when push comes to shove. Richmond doesn't have the best of reputations when it comes to such matters as unfunded mandates imposed on local governments and schools or reimbursing localities for lost tax revenue as when the General Assembly abolished the so-called car tax in the late 1990s." (News & Advance, October 25, 2013)

  • The Washington Post shared Ken Cuccinelli's own words in opposition to the 2013 transportation plan in an editorial, "Mr. Cuccinelli, a darling of the tea party and an unyielding conservative, opposed the [transportation] bill because it raises taxes. It's unfortunate, and irresponsible, that he attacked a bill that he now may be called on to defend. 'In these tough economic times,' he said, 'I do not believe Virginia's middle-class families can afford massive tax increases, and I cannot support legislation that would ask the taxpayers to shoulder an even heavier burden than they are already carrying, especially when the government proposes to do so little belt-tightening in other areas of the budget.'"

  • Last year, Virginia dropped from 10th to 33rd place in CNBC's ranking on state infrastructures and transportation, causing Virginia to lose it's position as the best state in the country to do business. "Infrastructure -- specifically the state's perpetually clogged highways -- has long been an issue in fast-growing Virginia, CNBC said." (Richmond Times-Dispatch, July 10, 2012)

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October 18, 2013

The Loudoun Times ;reports, "Attorney general and Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli last week reiterated his belief that there wouldn't be the current transportation funding reform law if it weren't for him... Cuccinelli bucked Republican leaders -- including Gov. Bob McDonnell and Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling -- by denouncing the transportation bill near the end of the 2013 General Assembly session. The attorney general ripped the proposal for the tax hikes involved, and he recently said he doubts the new revenue will go far in relieving congestion."

Progressive Point: Virginia voters know campaign rhetoric when they see it. Ken Cuccinelli saying anything other than he tried to torpedo this year's transportation bill is clearly playing politics and blatantly misrepresenting his record on the campaign trail. From our roads to our reproductive rights, trying to hide his record is the only thing Cuccinelli has been consistent about.

Earlier this year, Ken Cuccinelli actively campaigned against the transportation legislation he is now legally required to defend in his job as Attorney General.  Cuccinelli may want us to forget it, and his support for extreme measures to ban abortion and some forms of birth control, but Virginia voters aren't that easily confused. Virginia families deserve leaders that fight for us and for our priorities: investment in our economy, infrastructure, and future growth. Instead, Cuccinelli's record is a cuts-only budget approach while playing a hypocrite on TV.

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  • The Washington Post shares Ken Cuccinelli's own words in opposition to the transportation plan in an editorial, "Mr. Cuccinelli, a darling of the tea party and an unyielding conservative, opposed the [transportation] bill because it raises taxes. It's unfortunate, and irresponsible, that he attacked a bill that he now may be called on to defend. 'In these tough economic times,' he said, 'I do not believe Virginia's middle-class families can afford massive tax increases, and I cannot support legislation that would ask the taxpayers to shoulder an even heavier burden than they are already carrying, especially when the government proposes to do so little belt-tightening in other areas of the budget.'"

  • "Republican Ken Cuccinelli says if he's elected governor, he won't push for strategic bills that could be used to challenge the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v Wade decision that established abortion rights... We wondered whether every bill that Cuccinelli has backed granting personhood to fetuses has contained language saying the legislation is not intended to challenge high court rulings. We found two clear occasions when he supported such legislation during his career as a state senator from 2002 to 2009 and attorney general starting in 2010." (Richmond Times-Dispatch PolitiFact Virginia, August 10, 2013)

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March 18, 2013

The Washington Post opines, "VIRGINIA ATTORNEY GENERAL Ken Cuccinelli II, the presumptive Republican gubernatorial nominee, is the state's most prominent elected official to oppose the landmark transportation bill enacted by the General Assembly this year. Because of the bill's importance -- it would raise well over $1 billion annually for new roads and rails -- and because it has the backing of Gov. Robert F. McDonnell, a fellow Republican, Mr. Cuccinelli's stance has made waves. In fact, it is consistent with his opposition to every significant, politically viable effort to rescue the state's transportation fund for more than a decade... Mr Cuccinelli likes to tell people that whatever they think of his views, he's a straight shooter. The reality is that for years he has been peddling the fantasy that roads can be built for free."

Progressive Point: Virginia families deserve leaders that fight for us and for our priorities: investment in our economy, infrastructure, and future growth. Ken Cuccinelli's radical ideology leaves him with only one solution, no matter the problem--cuts to home front investments we value. That strategy won't rebuild our transportation system, improve our schools, or help families access low cost health care. Cuccinelli is attempting to score political points with right-wing extremists at the expense of working Virginia families.

Virginians have worked hard at their jobs, tightened their belts, and made difficult financial choices. The bipartisan transportation compromise will deliver what we need--investment in quickly crumbling infrastructure. Ken Cuccinelli's cuts-only campaign and threats to tank this compromise couldn't be more out of line with our families' and communities' priorities. Virginians know we can't cut ourselves into less traffic and better schools. Cuccinelli's ideology bears little resemblance to real solutions or our shared priorities.

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Women's Health: Cuccinelli has been an outspoken advocate for personhood legislation that could criminalize some forms of birth control. Personhood isopposed by a clear majority of Virginia voters, as evidenced by their rejection of personhood supporters Mitt Romney and George Allen.

In 2012, Cuccinelli intervened with the independent Board of Health, bullying members into approving abortion clinic regulations designed to shut down clinics. Health Commissioner Karen Remley resigned over the interferenceand The Washington Post called it "in keeping with Mr. Cuccinelli's crusading style."

Equality: Cuccinelli has done little to hide his animosity to Virginia's LGBT community, telling the Virginian Pilot, "homosexual acts..." are "intrinsically wrong. And I think in a natural law-based country it's appropriate to have policies that reflect that... They don't comport with natural law. I happen to think that it represents (to put it politely; I need my thesaurus to be polite) behavior that is not healthy to an individual and in aggregate is not healthy to society."

In 2010, "his most aggressive initiative on conservative social issues since taking office," Cuccinelli demanded state colleges and universities immediately rescind policies offering workplace protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation.

In another example of interference with independent boards and commissions, Cuccinelli has repeatedly pressured the Virginia Board of Juvenile Justice to eliminate protections for LGBT youth. The Board has thus far refused.

Climate Change: Cuccinelli, an extreme right-wing climate change denier, has used the power of his office to wage a "witch hunt" against UVA climate scientist Michael Mann. Even climate skeptics condemned Cuccinelli's suit, one saying "what Ken Cuccinelli is doing is going fishing for wrongdoing without an allegation of such wrongdoing." Cuccinelli's suit, a huge waste of taxpayer resources, has been repeatedly thrown out by Virginia courts, including the Virginia Supreme Court. The Washington Post editorialized, "IF VIRGINIA Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) needs examples of official waste and abuse as he runs for governor, he could cite the harassment that he conducted against climate scientist Michael E. Mann, a costly episode of government overreach that is finally over."

Health Care Grandstanding: As Attorney General, Cuccinelli sued the federal government over the Affordable Care Act. Cuccinelli refused to join the multi-state suit against the legislation, instead preferring to spend extra resources going it alone. While the multi-state suit progressed to the Supreme Court, Cuccinelli's solo attempt was unanimously dismissed by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. The Court found no standing for the suit. "Writing the majority opinion, Justice Diana Gribbon Motz suggested that if Cuccinelli's suit were allowed to proceed, it could lead to an onslaught of politicized and frivolous legal challenges."

Voting Rights: Further solidifying his adherence to an extreme, right-wing ideology, Cuccinelli "completely" agreed with a radio hosts' assessment that voter fraud was to blame for President Obama's reelection and more strict voter ID laws could have changed the outcome.

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March 8, 2013

The Washington Post reports, "SINCE WORLD WAR II, 10 of Virginia's 11 attorneys general have run for governor. Nine of those 10, Democrats and Republicans alike, resigned to do so, and for good reason: They were loath to politicize an office whose effectiveness and prestige depend on making legal judgments untainted by politics. Despite that wise precedent, Virginia's current attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli II (R), has refused to follow suit... An unfolding example is Mr. Cuccinelli's maneuvering over Virginia's landmark transportation bill, awaiting Gov. Robert F. McDonnell's signature after the General Assembly approved it last month with bipartisan support. Mr. Cuccinelli, a darling of the tea party and an unyielding conservative, opposed the bill because it raises taxes. It's unfortunate, and irresponsible, that he attacked a bill that he now may be called on to defend."

Progressive Point: Virginia's Attorney General should be focused on his job: protecting our families, advocating for consumers, and enforcing the law. But instead, Ken Cuccinelli is actively campaigning against transportation legislation he is legally required to defend in his job as Attorney General. It couldn't be any clearer that Cuccinelli's attempt to score political points with right-wing extremists is at the expense of working Virginia families.

Virginia needs a mainstream, pragmatic Attorney General devoted to the job and the goals of economic growth and justice. Ken Cuccinelli's campaign against the transportation bill makes it impossible for him to give his all to our families and communities. Speaking out and opposing the law of the land may serve his politics, but it's not serving our priorities.

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Women's Health: Cuccinelli has been an outspoken advocate for personhood legislation that could criminalize some forms of birth control. Personhood isopposed by a clear majority of Virginia voters, as evidenced by their rejection of personhood supporters Mitt Romney and George Allen.

In 2012, Cuccinelli intervened with the independent Board of Health, bullying members into approving abortion clinic regulations designed to shut down clinics. Health Commissioner Karen Remley resigned over the interferenceand The Washington Post called it "in keeping with Mr. Cuccinelli's crusading style."

Equality: Cuccinelli has done little to hide his animosity to Virginia's LGBT community, telling the Virginian Pilot, "homosexual acts..." are "intrinsically wrong. And I think in a natural law-based country it's appropriate to have policies that reflect that... They don't comport with natural law. I happen to think that it represents (to put it politely; I need my thesaurus to be polite) behavior that is not healthy to an individual and in aggregate is not healthy to society."

In 2010, "his most aggressive initiative on conservative social issues since taking office," Cuccinelli demanded state colleges and universities immediately rescind policies offering workplace protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation.

In another example of interference with independent boards and commissions, Cuccinelli has repeatedly pressured the Virginia Board of Juvenile Justice to eliminate protections for LGBT youth. The Board has thus far refused.

Climate Change: Cuccinelli, an extreme right-wing climate change denier, has used the power of his office to wage a "witch hunt" against UVA climate scientist Michael Mann. Even climate skeptics condemned Cuccinelli's suit, one saying "what Ken Cuccinelli is doing is going fishing for wrongdoing without an allegation of such wrongdoing." Cuccinelli's suit, a huge waste of taxpayer resources, has been repeatedly thrown out by Virginia courts, including the Virginia Supreme Court. The Washington Post editorialized, "IF VIRGINIA Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) needs examples of official waste and abuse as he runs for governor, he could cite the harassment that he conducted against climate scientist Michael E. Mann, a costly episode of government overreach that is finally over."

Health Care Grandstanding: As Attorney General, Cuccinelli sued the federal government over the Affordable Care Act. Cuccinelli refused to join the multi-state suit against the legislation, instead preferring to spend extra resources going it alone. While the multi-state suit progressed to the Supreme Court, Cuccinelli's solo attempt was unanimously dismissed by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. The Court found no standing for the suit. "Writing the majority opinion, Justice Diana Gribbon Motz suggested that if Cuccinelli's suit were allowed to proceed, it could lead to an onslaught of politicized and frivolous legal challenges."

Voting Rights: Further solidifying his adherence to an extreme, right-wing ideology, Cuccinelli "completely" agreed with a radio hosts' assessment that voter fraud was to blame for President Obama's reelection and more strict voter ID laws could have changed the outcome.

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February 5, 2013

The Progress-Index reports, "House and Senate Republicans proposed wholesale overhauls Monday to Gov. Bob McDonnell's legacy transportation funding initiative just one day ahead of a drop-dead legislative deadline... The [Del. S. Chris Jones, R-Suffolk]  amendment and [Sen. Stephen D. Newman, R-Lynchburg]'s Senate rewrite both face votes for final passage on Tuesday... Senate Democratic Leader Richard L. Saslaw said Newman's bill remains as unpalatable to his caucus as McDonnell's because both bills use money from the general fund, which covers such core state services as education and public safety, for transportation."

Progressive Point: Several transportation funding plans are floating around Capitol Square, but conservative lawmakers all agree on raiding school and community services budgets. They're pushing for cuts to home front investments in programs we value, including massive cuts to public safety programs that keep police and firefighters on the streets. We don't invest less in the things we value, and we value our children, our safety, and our Commonwealth's future. 

We cannot allow conservatives in Richmond to pretend that corporate tax loopholes are more important than the needs of Virginia families. Both conservative transportation plans would hit poor Virginia families the hardest while at the same time keeping tax giveaways and loopholes for campaign donors and big corporations. Any transportation plan that asks the poorest Virginians to pay more while cutting home front investments isn't a step forward for Virginia and only pushes us further in the wrong direction.

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  • "Virginia already has a regressive tax system, with the richest 1 percent paying a 5.2 percent effective tax rate, while the poorest Virginians (those making less than $19,000) pay 8.8 percent, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. Increasing the sales tax is only going to make that disparity worse, while making those who don't use the state's highways pay more for their upkeep." (ThinkProgress, January 14, 2013)

  • Virginia has not provided new funding for transportation since 1987. Within five years, "No state funds will be available for new highway construction projects; The state will be unable to provide the required matching funds to bring to Virginia all the federal transportation revenue it is otherwise eligible to receive; and Virginia won't have enough money to keep its existing roads, bridges and tunnels up to proper maintenance standards." (Richmond Times-Dispatch, June 8, 2012)

  • 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 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)

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January 25, 2013

The Commonwealth Institute reports, "The governor's proposal to address Virginia's transportation crisis has two major flaws under its hood. It derives more than two-thirds of its revenue from sources that are tentative, at best. And, even assuming the plan is approved as the governor envisions, it falls far short of what Virginia needs to repair and maintain existing roads, bridges and other infrastructure that businesses rely on to get their goods to market and that commuters need to get to work, school and other places."

Progressive Point: A transportation plan that asks the poorest Virginians to pay more while cutting home front investments isn't a step forward for Virginia. But Governor McDonnell is considering more massive spending cuts to the home front investments we value, including massive cuts to public safety programs that keep police and firefighters on the streets.

Budgets are moral documents that should reflect our priorities and our needs as a Commonwealth. Bob McDonnell's transportation plan would raise taxes on almost everything families buy, a high burden on low-income Virginians. Meanwhile, it still keeps the tax code rigged in favor of the wealthy and corporations. That's not the vision of Virginia we voted for -- and neither is cutting taxes for the sake of cutting and taking money out of working families' pockets.

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  •  
    • More than 60 percent of the funding comes from two sources that face extremely uncertain political futures

    • Even if the proposal were to pass, the estimated revenue falls over $800 million short of VDOT's two-year need. Take out the uncertain revenue, and the proposal would cover just 21 percent of the funding VDOT estimates it needs over the next two years.

  • 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 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)

  • "Virginia already has a regressive tax system, with the richest 1 percent paying a 5.2 percent effective tax rate, while the poorest Virginians (those making less than $19,000) pay 8.8 percent, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. Increasing the sales tax is only going to make that disparity worse, while making those who don't use the state's highways pay more for their upkeep." (ThinkProgress, January 14, 2013)

  • Virginia has not provided new funding for transportation since 1987. Within five years, "No state funds will be available for new highway construction projects; The state will be unable to provide the required matching funds to bring to Virginia all the federal transportation revenue it is otherwise eligible to receive; and Virginia won't have enough money to keep its existing roads, bridges and tunnels up to proper maintenance standards." (Richmond Times-Dispatch, June 8, 2012)

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January 15, 2013

ThinkProgress reports, "Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (R) was on Fox News today to discuss his new plan to shift the cost of highway construction from drivers to the poor, which he will accomplish by eliminating his state's gas tax and replacing it with an expanded and increased sales tax... the sales tax disproportionately affects those at the bottom of the income scale who are more likely to spend all or most of their income -- and by those who use mass transit, walk or bike."

Progressive Point: Virginians think we all deserve a shot at the American Dream, even if we didn't all get the same start in life. Governor McDonnell's transportation plan would hit poor Virginia families the hardest by raising taxes on everything we buy while at the same time keeping tax giveaways and loopholes for campaign donors and big corporations.

Virginia's greatness comes from everyone striving for a shot at the American Dream, not making it harder for struggling families to get by. Bob McDonnell's plan would put a higher burden on low-income Virginians--as well as walkers, bikers, and public transportation users, who would be just as responsible for paying for roads as drivers. A transportation plan that asks the poorest Virginians to pay more while cutting home front investments isn't a step forward for Virginia.

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  • 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 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)

  • "Virginia already has a regressive tax system, with the richest 1 percent paying a 5.2 percent effective tax rate, while the poorest Virginians (those making less than $19,000) pay 8.8 percent, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. Increasing the sales tax is only going to make that disparity worse, while making those who don't use the state's highways pay more for their upkeep." (ThinkProgress, January 14, 2013)

  • Virginia has not provided new funding for transportation since 1987. Within five years, "No state funds will be available for new highway construction projects; The state will be unable to provide the required matching funds to bring to Virginia all the federal transportation revenue it is otherwise eligible to receive; and Virginia won't have enough money to keep its existing roads, bridges and tunnels up to proper maintenance standards." (Richmond Times-Dispatch, June 8, 2012)

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January 8, 2013

The Washington Post reports, "Gov. Bob McDonnell plans to unveil his long-promised transportation funding reform package in Richmond less than a day before state lawmakers convene for their 2013 session... The only financial portion of the program he has discussed publicly would shift about $48 million from the General Fund by designating a sliver of the state sales tax for transportation use."

Progressive Point: Providing our children a good education and making sure Virginia has the transportation infrastructure to get people to work and goods to market are vital government functions. But, Virginia can't do both while Bob McDonnell insists on preserving giveaways and loopholes to campaign donors and big corporations. Now McDonnell wants to pull money out of K-12 education to deal with our transportation crisis. Cutting our home front investments in education hurts our families and puts our communities at risk.

We wouldn't be facing this unfair choice between schools and transportation if Bob McDonnell were willing to make sure everyone pays their fair share. Cutting investments in our communities kills jobs and slows economic growth. Forcing Virginia to choose which vital investments to keep is the wrong path.

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  • Almost a quarter of Virignia's state bridges are rated deficient or obsolete. A "recent Senate Finance Committee analysis concluded that congestion costs the state $3.7 billion annually in lost economic activity. Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads are among the more gridlocked regions in the nation." (Virginian-Pilot, January 8, 2013)

  • This year, Virginia dropped from 10th to 33rd place in CNBC's ranking on state infrastructures and transportation, causing Virginia to lose it's position as the best state in the country to do business. "Infrastructure -- specifically the state's perpetually clogged highways -- has long been an issue in fast-growing Virginia, CNBC said." (Richmond Times-Dispatch, July 10, 2012)

  • The president and CEO of Virginia's Chamber of Commerce called the lack of investment in infrastructure an "area of concern for business and policymakers" and that, "we have to find a formula that will provide the funding that will keep up with the fast-paced growth of Virginia's economy." (Richmond Times-Dispatch, July 10, 2012)

  • 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 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)

  • Virginia has not provided new funding for transportation since 1987. Within five years, "No state funds will be available for new highway construction projects; The state will be unable to provide the required matching funds to bring to Virginia all the federal transportation revenue it is otherwise eligible to receive; and Virginia won't have enough money to keep its existing roads, bridges and tunnels up to proper maintenance standards." (Richmond Times-Dispatch, June 8, 2012)

  • Governor McDonnell's own Secretary of Transportation has admitted that, "without additional revenue, all transportation money will be used to maintain existing roads, leaving none for new highway construction." (Richmond Times-Dispatch, May 23, 2012)

  • VirginiaFREE reports, "At a bare minimum, new money is required to meet basic maintenance needs, restore viability to the construction budget and ensure that Virginia is a viable partner with the private sector on (public-private transportation) projects." (Richmond Times-Dispatch, May 23, 2012)

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December 21, 2012

The Washington Post reports, "For nearly a decade, officials in Richmond have warned that funding for the state's transportation system is drying up, a victim of inflation, aging roads and rails, the improving fuel efficiency of vehicles and a per-gallon gasoline tax that has remained unchanged since 1986, its purchasing power shriveling to nothingness... Somehow, the official who has led Virginia's House of Delegates since 2003 missed all of it. In a speech the other day to the Fredericksburg Chamber of Commerce, House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) said he isn't sure there will be time in the 45-day legislative session that starts next month to deal with transportation funding."

Progressive Point: Virginia families and small businesses depend on a working transportation system. It shouldn't take extraordinary courage for our elected officials to make sure our roads and transit systems aren't crumbling. But politicians, like Speaker Bill Howell, are not only refusing to take action but won't even acknowledge the problem.

Virginians know that sitting for hours in traffic is bad for our families and bad for our economy. We work hard every day and our elected officials should do the same. Instead of putting forth so-called solutions that pass the buck or require untenable choices between schools and roads, we need real ideas to move us forward. Instead of focusing on an extreme ideological agenda, our representatives should do right by the Virginians who elected them get to work on delivering solutions.

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  • This year, Virginia dropped from 10th to 33rd place in CNBC's ranking on state infrastructures and transportation, causing Virginia to lose it's position as the best state in the country to do business. "Infrastructure -- specifically the state's perpetually clogged highways -- has long been an issue in fast-growing Virginia, CNBC said." (Richmond Times-Dispatch, July 10, 2012)

  • The president and CEO of Virginia's Chamber of Commerce called the lack of investment in infrastructure an "area of concern for business and policymakers" and that, "we have to find a formula that will provide the funding that will keep up with the fast-paced growth of Virginia's economy." (Richmond Times-Dispatch, July 10, 2012)

  • Instead of investing in our transportation infrastructure, Speaker Howell "has backed fanciful strategies, including selling naming rights for highways and bridges, and unworkable ones, such as shifting existing funds to transportation by raiding the rest of Virginia's budget -- for education, health care and public safety." (Washington Post, December 21, 2012)

  • Virginia has not provided new funding for transportation since 1987. Within five years, "No state funds will be available for new highway construction projects; The state will be unable to provide the required matching funds to bring to Virginia all the federal transportation revenue it is otherwise eligible to receive; and Virginia won't have enough money to keep its existing roads, bridges and tunnels up to proper maintenance standards." (Richmond Times-Dispatch, June 8, 2012)

  • Virginia's 2012 budget totaled nearly $4.8 billion. Of that, almost $1.3 billion was borrowed money. (Richmond Times-Dispatch, June 8, 2012)

  • Governor McDonnell's own Secretary of Transportation has admitted that, "without additional revenue, all transportation money will be used to maintain existing roads, leaving none for new highway construction." (Richmond Times-Dispatch, May 23, 2012)

  • VirginiaFREE reports, "At a bare minimum, new money is required to meet basic maintenance needs, restore viability to the construction budget and ensure that Virginia is a viable partner with the private sector on (public-private transportation) projects." (Richmond Times-Dispatch, May 23, 2012)

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July 12, 2012

The Daily Progress reports, "Virginia's business leaders have been warning it would happen: Failure to deal with transportation problems would damage the state's economy and its position as a great place for companies to locate... Transportation has been neglected for so long now that only a major infrastructure initiative can successfully address the state's myriad problems." Now, the Virginian-Pilot editorializes, "Gov. Bob McDonnell, chairman of the national Republican Governors Association, wrote to lawmakers this week that he remains undecided whether to expand Virginia's Medicaid program... He said he doesn't intend to call legislators into a special session to establish an exchange because he's still waiting for more details from federal officials. Besides, Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, has pledged to repeal the law if elected."

Progressive Point: Virginians are fed up with politicians focusing on political fights instead of delivering solutions. Our businesses and families have paid the price for Gov. McDonnell prioritizing his political ambitions over finding transportation solutions and investing in our infrastructure--and now his political games could cost hundreds of thousands of Virginians health care access. 

The bipartisan consensus is unanimous: McDonnell's refusal to deliver solutions on transportation and health care hurts us in the pocketbook. Now McDonnell has made his priorities crystal clear: he's willing to refuse health care coverage for 400,000 uninsured Virginians if it'll give him a leg up with Mitt Romney. The solutions Virginians need are right here in front of us, but Bob McDonnell won't act because his political ambition comes first. It's crystal clear: Bob McDonnell is Bob McDonnell's first priority, not Virginia families.

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  • Gov. McDonnell's failure to implement the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act would cost more than 400,000 uninsured Virginian's health care coverage that would be fully funded by the federal government for 3 years and and 90 percent funded thereafter. (Virginian-Pilot, July 12, 2012)

  • This year, Virginia dropped from 10th to 33rd place in CNBC's ranking on state infrastructures and transportation, causing Virginia to lose it's position as the best state in the country to do business. "Infrastructure -- specifically the state's perpetually clogged highways -- has long been an issue in fast-growing Virginia, CNBC said." (Richmond Times-Dispatch, July 10, 2012)

  • The president and CEO of Virginia's Chamber of Commerce called the lack of investment in infrastructure an "area of concern for business and policymakers" and that "We have to find a formula that will provide the funding that will keep up with the fast-paced growth of Virginia's economy." (Richmond Times-Dispatch, July 10, 2012)

  • Under the Affordable Care Act, Virginia has to decide, by Nov. 16, if it will set up its own state-based health care exchange or use an exchange established and operated by the federal government. (Richmond Times-Dispatch, June 29, 2012)

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July 11, 2012

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports, "Virginia is no longer the top state for business. The state fell to third place in CNBC's sixth annual listing of the best states in the nation in which to do business, the financial news cable network said Tuesday... The state's biggest drop came in the infrastructure and transportation category. With delayed highway improvements and a commute that is among the worst in the country, Virginia dipped to No. 33 in that category, down from 10th a year ago, CNBC said. Infrastructure -- specifically the state's perpetually clogged highways -- has long been an issue in fast-growing Virginia, CNBC said."

Progressive Point: The nation's business community is finally commenting on what Virginia families have known for years--failing to invest in our communities has had a negative effect on our economy. Fixing these failures means focusing on making--not waiting for--things to get better. But Bob McDonnell has only passed the buck on providing solutions.

The business community has finally noted the toll that failure to invest in our communities has taken in Virginia and joined the rising chorus of Virginians demanding solutions. Businesses and families alike know that investment is vital to the economic success of our communities--not passing the buck on fixing roads, refusing to find revenue to pay for it, and taking a cuts-only approach that stymies economic growth. Bob McDonnell hasn't listened to Virginia families' demands for solutions but perhaps now he'll listen to business. The consensus is unanimous that it's time to do something about Virginia's infrastructure.

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  • This year, Virginia dropped from 10th to 33rd place in CNBC's ranking on state infrastructures and transportation, causing Virginia to lose it's position as the best state in the country to do business. "Infrastructure -- specifically the state's perpetually clogged highways -- has long been an issue in fast-growing Virginia, CNBC said." (Richmond Times-Dispatch, July 10, 2012)

  • The president and CEO of Virginia's Chamber of Commerce called the lack of investment in infrastructure an "area of concern for business and policymakers" and that "We have to find a formula that will provide the funding that will keep up with the fast-paced growth of Virginia's economy." (Richmond Times-Dispatch, July 10, 2012)

  • Virginia has not provided new funding for transportation since 1987. Within five years, "No state funds will be available for new highway construction projects; The state will be unable to provide the required matching funds to bring to Virginia all the federal transportation revenue it is otherwise eligible to receive; and Virginia won't have enough money to keep its existing roads, bridges and tunnels up to proper maintenance standards." (Richmond Times-Dispatch, June 8, 2012)

  • Out of Virginia's 2012 nearly $4.8 billion transportation budget almost $1.3 billion of it is borrowed money. (Richmond Times-Dispatch, June 8, 2012)

  • Bob McDonnell's own Secretary of Transportation has admitted that, "without additional revenue, all transportation money will be used to maintain existing roads, leaving none for new highway construction." (Richmond Times-Dispatch, May 23, 2012)

  • VirginiaFREE reports, "At a bare minimum, new money is required to meet basic maintenance needs, restore viability to the construction budget and ensure that Virginia is a viable partner with the private sector on (public-private transportation) projects." (Richmond Times-Dispatch, May 23, 2012

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June 8, 2012

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports, "In what was described as an unprecedented coming-together, local government leaders from across the state's urban crescent agreed to develop a common policy to confront Virginia's looming transportation funding crisis... Meeting at the Henrico County Government Center, the group agreed to draft a resolution supporting General Assembly members who 'take all necessary and immediate action' to provide a comprehensive solution to the need for new money for transportation, even if that means unpopularly raising taxes."

Progressive Point: Virginia needs leaders that understand how to rebuild and improve our infrastructure. Cutting investment in our communities kills jobs for workers who keep our Commonwealth humming. Fewer breadwinners for Virginia families and customers for Virginia businesses means less hiring and fewer jobs everywhere.

Cutting investments in our schools, police, and roads means cutting more jobs. Bob McDonnell and the General Assembly have to stop giving special tax breaks to millionaires and big corporations that aren't hiring, and start putting Americans back to work. Richmond needs to focus on jobs and real transportation solutions and put Virginia back to work.

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  • Virginia has not provided new funding for transportation since 1987. Within five years, "No state funds will be available for new highway construction projects; The state will be unable to provide the required matching funds to bring to Virginia all the federal transportation revenue it is otherwise eligible to receive; and Virginia won't have enough money to keep its existing roads, bridges and tunnels up to proper maintenance standards." (Richmond Times-Dispatch, June 8, 2012)
  • Virginia has the country's third largest highway network at nearly 58,000 miles of roads. The Commonwealth would raise $50 million for transporation for every 1 cent Virginia's gasoline tax is raised. (Richmond Times-Dispatch, June 8, 2012)
  • Out of Virginia's 2012 nearly $4.8 billion transportation budget almost $1.3 billion of it is borrowed money. (Richmond Times-Dispatch, June 8, 2012)

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May 23, 2012

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports, "A pro-business legislative watchdog is generally happier with the first fully Republican General Assembly in years, but it's less than thrilled that lawmakers haven't boosted funding for highways or repealed several business taxes... Virginia FREE's report calls out legislators for failing to pass substantial and sustained transportation revenue, including higher taxes, while lamenting that old taxes on businesses were left on the books."

Progressive Point: Virginia families and small businesses depend on our network of roads and bridges to get us around. Unfortunately, the infrastructure we depend on every day is crumbling and the Commonwealth is running out of money to fix it. The President's plan to rebuild our roads and bridges will put Virginians back to work right away--and put money in their pockets. Too bad Bob McDonnell and his conservatives allies in the General Assembly are refusing to do their part.

Virginia's businesses know that fixing our infrastructure is a necessity to keep our economy growing. Keeping and increasing tax giveaways may be a good conservative political strategy, but it's leaving Virginia's families and businesses behind.

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  • Virginia's gasoline tax is not indexed to inflation and has not been increased in 27 years. (Richmond Times-Dispatch, May 23, 2012)

  • Even Bob McDonnell's own Secretary of Transportation has admitted that, "without additional revenue, all transportation money will be used to maintain existing roads, leaving none for new highway construction." (Richmond Times-Dispatch, May 23, 2012)

  • VirginiaFREE reports, "At a bare minimum, new money is required to meet basic maintenance needs, restore viability to the construction budget and ensure that Virginia is a viable partner with the private sector on (public-private transportation) projects." (Richmond Times-Dispatch, May 23, 2012)

  • 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)

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Bob McDonnell has run out of gas

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April 30, 2012

The Roanoke Times editorializes, "[S]tate leaders are most likely to swallow hard and raise road revenues right about now, while elections are but a distant anxiety for the 140 legislators, and Gov. Bob McDonnell is starting to wind up his term and contemplate his legacy. Instead, it appears that 2012's greatest achievement will be a law allowing the Virginia Department of Transportation to hawk naming rights for roads, an idea that's unlikely to underwrite more than a couple of turn lanes... McDonnell needs an image make-over, but don't count on it including stronger leadership on Virginia's transportation needs."

Progressive Point: Virginia families depend on the Commonwealth's transportation system to get to work, school, the grocery store, and more. We depend on our elected officials to fund and fix it when it's broken, but this year Governor McDonnell has shrunk from the task and passed the buck yet again.

In his final budget, Bob McDonnell failed to fix our roads, bridges, and infrastructure. Instead, he's buying fancy TV ads and leaving problems for the next governor to solve. Investing in transportation solutions is an investment in our families' and economy's future. But Bob McDonnell's transportation leadership failure has brought Virginia to an impasse. Virginia's families and businesses need leadership that will put our future in drive, but Bob McDonnell has run out of gas.

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  • 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 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)

  • Bob McDonnell is currently spending $400,000 from his PAC on TV ads following a drop in his approval rating in a poll last month. (The Roanoke Times, April 29, 2012)

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April 23, 2012

The Washington Post editorializes, "For decades regional planners have worked to extend Metrorail to Dulles International Airport, a critical transit link that would juice Northern Virginia's economy and bring first-world convenience to the Washington region's preeminent international hub. Now, incredible as it may seem, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, seven of whose nine members are newly elected and mostly novices at regional issues, may be poised to delay, and possibly scuttle, the project halfway to completion."

Progressive Point: Investing in Metro to Dulles Airport is a down payment on job creation and economic growth. Politicians in Richmond and Loudoun County are playing politics, threatening to stymie economic growth in order to advance their own partisan agendas. Investment in our infrastructure not only creates jobs now, it spurs economic growth to make sure we're still thriving in the years ahead. That means investing in Metro to Dulles now.

Conservatives dragging their feet on rail to Dulles are putting their political priorities above Virginia families. Job creation shouldn't be a partisan football. Virginians deserve real leaders who will stop playing politics with our future and start investing in infrastructure and creating jobs.

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  • Failure of the county to extend the Metro line would sacrifice more than $55 billion in potential economic activity, and some 40,000 jobs, by 2040, and its rate of growth would be 10 percent slower." (Washington Post, April 21, 2012)

  • "Extending the Silver Line into Loudoun would make the difference between the county continuing mainly as a bedroom community that exports workers into neighboring jurisdictions and transforming part of it into a employment magnet for highly educated and well-paid professionals." (Washington Post, April 21, 2012)

  • States that have cut the most spending over the past years have lost the most jobs. (Center for American Progress)

  • President Obama's stimulus saved or created millions of jobs. (Economic Policy Institute)

  • Failure of the Loundoun County Board of Supervisors to vote in favor of the Metro project would set the project back for one or two years or possibly kill the deal. Furthermore, the we would all lose out on currently extremely low constuction costs and interest rates. (Washington Post, April 21, 2012)

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Virginia's Governor: No-show Job Bob

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April 6, 2012

The Roanoke Times editorializes on the state government shifting road maintenance costs to counties, "We agree with probably every county government in Virginia that shifting responsibility for secondary road maintenance from the state to counties is a terrible idea. At least it is if the only thing that changes is who pays the bills.... Lawmakers find it appealing because it would allow them to remove a costly line-item from the state budget. They remain loathe to increase revenue. Counties hate it because it could be a hefty unfunded mandate that would force them to raise local taxes. If the state makes counties pay for road maintenance, counties at least would need to receive the money that now goes to Richmond for roads."

Progressive Point: It would be nice if we could all have no-show jobs: just collect our paychecks and not do the work. Gov. Bob McDonnell is taking the tax dollars we paid for transportation but not doing the job. We face big transportation challenges but McDonnell is handing off responsibility, forcing counties to do the work and foot the bill. Hard working Virginians wish they could all be so lucky.

Being the Governor comes with decision-makign responsibilities. But yet again, McDonnell is passing the buck on using the money he's collected from our taxes to repair our transportation infrastructure. Simply put, No-Show Bob isn't doing the job. None of us expect a free ride--we proudly do our jobs and fulfill our duties every day. Our Governor should be expected to do the same.

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  • 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 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)

  • Virginia loses $12.5 billion in revenue a year through credits and giveaways that receive little-to-no scrutiny and accountability. (JLARC)

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March 2, 2012

The Washington Post reports that Virginia State Senator Don McEachin said, in a recent statement, "This budget leaves gaping holes in the area of public education, transportation and the needs of Virginia families... Dollars for public education are below 2007 levels and the budget allows for 5 students more per classroom than SOQ [Standards of Quality] levels... We are taking monies out of our struggling public school system, the system that serves the vast majority of Virginia children and prepares them for the 21st century economy, and giving those dollars to wealthy private academies... We still await a longterm sustainable solution to the transportation crisis, not band-aid patches that simply steal funds from other critical needs... Finally, this budget throws 4,500 seniors out of nursing homes, reduces respite hours for caregivers and reduces salaries for first responders and teachers."

Progressive Point: Conservatives in Richmond continue to insist that a budget that leaves so many behind and fails to fix our urgent needs is good for Virginia. As we have highlighted throughout the week, the conservative budget is balanced on the backs of Virginia families. It fails to fund real transportation solutions. It cuts care for our seniors. It steals federal money designated to help Virginians get out of the housing crisis and tragically underfunds our students and schools.

We cannot allow conservatives in Richmond to pretend that corporate tax loopholes are more important than the needs of Virginia families. We cannot allow them to push a cuts-only approach that doesn't have real answers to our needs and leaves so many of our neighbors behind. Our representatives on both sides of the aisle must work together to find real and solvent solutions to our budget challenges. We can't accept a conservative budget that passes the buck. 

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  • 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)

  • "'I voted against the proposed budget because it did not fund education at the appropriate level,' he [State Senator Mark Herring] added... Herring noted that the budget on the table would have kept the average per-pupil funding in Virginia's schools to below 2007 levels, and that public education took a huge blow in the last two-year budget cycle with $1.6 billion in cuts." (Leesburg Today, February 25, 2012)

  • Virginia loses $12.5 billion in revenue a year through credits and giveaways that receive little-to-no scrutiny and accountability. (JLARC)

  • According to the Department of Justice, direct state payments in the National Mortgage Settlement were intended to provide "fund housing counselors, legal aid and other similar public programs determined by the state attorneys general." (Department of Justice February 9, 2012)

  • "Medicaid cuts will also have an impact on nursing homes, because 61 percent of those residents in the state are on Medicaid. The Virginia Health Care Association, which advocates for nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, is asking legislators for an additional $15 million a year, to restore $5 a day from the average of $13.22 that nursing homes lose on Medicaid residents. Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia would lose $371,000 a year in the governor's budget." (Virginian-Pilot, February 17, 2012)

  • "In his two-year budget, Gov. Bob McDonnell proposes cutting ['safety net' health services] by 2 percent starting July 1 and by 50 percent starting July 1, 2013." (Virginian-Pilot, February 17, 2012)

  • "The governor's budget also withholds inflation payments to Medicaid, the federal- and state-supported health care program for low-income Virginians. The flat reimbursements are expected to have an impact on hospitals, community health clinics and nursing homes, because of the large caseloads of Medicaid patients they serve. Those health agencies' officials say they already are losing money on Medicaid patients, because reimbursements don't cover costs." (Virginian-Pilot, February 17, 2012)
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March 1, 2012

(Today is the fourth part of a 4 part series on how the conservative state budget plans are out of touch--and at our expense.)

The Loudoun Times reports, "Virginia's crumbling roads will force lawmakers into 'uncharted territory' this spring, as they divvy up taxpayer dollars to develop a budget, a political science professor predicted Wednesday. Michael McDonald, of George Mason University in Fairfax, said the budget fight could envelop the evenly divided state Senate in partisan gridlock."

Progressive Point: Our roads are in trouble. Virginia needs a long-term, sustainable plan to fix our transportation crisis. But instead, Governor McDonnell and the rest of the conservative legislators in Richmond have only given us maxed out credit cards and more empty promises. Now the conservative State Senate's budget fails to address our transportation crisis at all--passing the buck for another two years.

Our parents and grandparents invested in and built us a system of roads and highways--failing to maintain that system endangers commerce and safety while dishonoring their memory. Over 3500 bridges in the Commonwealth are--right now--considered obsolete or structurally deficient. Their refusal to address these transportation challenges is not leadership and is putting us on the wrong path. Our representatives have to get Virginia moving in the right direction and start funding transportation solutions.

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  • 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)
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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)

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