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Transportation Funding: Senate Committee Passes Amended Proposal

The Virginia House and Senate will have to come together on a comprehensive package quickly.

A Senate Finance Committee passed a transportation plan for Virginia on Tuesday that varied from Gov. Bob McDonnell's proposed transportation funding proposal. 

The Senate Finance Committee plan differs from McDonnell's proposal in key ways— for example, it raises the gas tax instead of eliminating it. (see the summary of the HB 2313 substitute in the media box at right for additional details.)

The plan, which was not itself a bill but does move the discussions forward,passed on a 9 - 6 vote with bipartisan support. 

Manassas and Manassas Park Sen. Charles J. Colgan is a longtime member of the Senate Finance Committee, but voting information wasn't available on Tuesday.

Sen. Janet Howell, who represents fellow Northern Virginia areas of Falls Church, McLean, Tysons Corner, Reston and surrounding areas, is also on the Senate Finance Committee. 

In an email to Patch, Sen. Howell said she voted in favor of the bill, along with all Senate democrats on the Finance Committee.

"The bill has a combination of revenue increases that apply statewide as well as locally," she wrote. She also noted that the $300 million included for Phase 2 of the Metrorail Silver Line was an important consideration. 

“This morning, another step was taken towards passage of a comprehensive long-term transportation funding plan for the Commonwealth," Gov. Bob McDonnell said in a statement released Tuesday afternoon.

"It is imperative that we find a solution now to solve the Commonwealth’s growing transportation needs. We are on the brink of getting such a plan passed. Now, both chambers and both parties need to come together to craft a final plan that can pass both the House and Senate, and that I will sign. That plan must be fiscally responsible and balanced."

Gov. McDonnell was in Fairfax County Monday drumming up support for his transportation plan Follow the link for more information.

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