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Transportation funding in low gear page 2
Virginia legislators try to find common ground on financing better transportation

Date published: 1/24/2013


In the Senate, there could be more conflict between the McDonnell bill--sponsored by Sens. Steve Newman, Jeff McWaters and Stafford's Richard Stuart--and Sen. John Watkins' bill, which was filed earlier than all the others.

Other senior senators, including Sen. Dick Saslaw, also have transportation bills.

Things are also more complicated in the Senate because the body is split 20-20, and Democrats have vowed not to vote for a Republican transportation bill after Republicans pushed through a surprise redistricting plan on Monday.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Senate version of McDonnell's bill passed through the Senate Transportation Committee on its way to Finance. Sen. Dave Marsden, a Democrat, tried to kill it with a "pass by indefinitely" motion. It failed.

Marsden said his opposition to McDonnell's bill was that it didn't do enough to fix the state's transportation funding problem.

Other bills, he said, would be better.

Wagner declined to talk about Senate Democrats, but said transportation is "the No. 1 problem we face in Virginia."

"I think this is the year we have everybody with their oars in the water," he said.

He and other senators said they're focused on crafting a bill in the next week that can pass the Senate.

"We've got veal, we've got venison, we've got pork, we've got beef, we're ready to make some sausage now," Wagner said.

After a bill passes the Senate, he added, then they'll have to make more sausage to reach a compromise with the House and whatever bill it approves next week.

Chelyen Davis: 540/368-5028
Email: cdavis@freelancestar.com

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