On February 23, Republicans and Democrats joined together to pass the first new significant sustainable transportation funding and reform bill in Virginia in 27 years.
For a summary of HB2313, click here.
Jack Hornbeck, President and CEO of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, said, “The Chamber is pleased by the passage of a comprehensive transportation funding plan. Transportation funding has been the Chamber’s top legislative priority for many years, and this plan, a necessary compromise, will help ensure the region’s mobility and economic growth. We applaud Governor McDonnell for his leadership on this historic legislation. We also thank the entire Hampton Roads General Assembly delegation who worked to develop a bi-partisan funding plan that finally allows the Commonwealth to address its failing transportation infrastructure. The Chamber had insisted that our elected officials view the transportation crisis with urgency and work in a bipartisan manner in crafting a solution. The business community was united on the need for action on this critical issue.”
This new legislation will result in $3.5 billion in new transportation funding over the next five years, an estimated 35% reduction in the tax on gas at the pump and the strengthening of Virginia's economic competitiveness. As a result of this plan, thousands of construction and maintenance projects around the state will be funded, from widening I-64 between Newport News and Williamsburg, reconstructive paving on I-264 and I-64, and advancing the Silver Line, bringing Amtrak service to Roanoke. (View a full list of projects that will be funded by this bill here.) Thousands of new jobs will be created. Before this vote it was projected that by the year 2018 we would have been transferring $500 million meant for construction just to fund simple maintenance projects. There would have been virtually no new money available for new construction projects. Now, this problem has been solved for the foreseeable future.