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"I think there's going to be a comprehensive effort to try to make some headway on transpo this year, and I think in a bipartisan way," Reeves said, adding that he expects to see other bills on indexing the gas tax and devoting a portion of the general fund to transportation.
Part of the debate will be over tolls, specifically McDonnell's proposals to toll I-95 south of Richmond.
The two organizations that represent local governments --the Virginia Association of Counties and the Virginia Municipal League--said recently that they oppose the current tolling plan.
The VML said the state shouldn't toll existing roads "as a method to fund ongoing transportation obligations."
VACo's 2013 legislative program proposes to require General Assembly approval for tolling interstates, which currently isn't required.
Howell said that while he thinks tolls are a good way to finance "megaprojects" such as express lanes on I-95 to Stafford County, he feels that tolling existing roads is "a different situation."
While tolls are user fees and generate needed revenue, Stuart said, no one likes to stop and pay a toll.
"There certainly have to be better ways to do it than that," he said.
Chelyen Davis: 540/368-5028