February 14, 2013The Honorable Frank Wagner The Honorable Thomas NormentThe Honorable John Watkins The Honorable Janet HowellThe Honorable Walter Stosch The Honorable Chris JonesThe Honorable David Albo The Honorable Beverly Sherwood
The Honorable John O’Bannon
The Honorable Onzlee WareDear Senators and Delegates:I want to applaud the Senate and House of Delegates for each passing meaningful
legislation to address Virginia’s long term transportation needs.
While there aresubstantive differences in the plans approved in the Senate and House of Delegates, Ibelieve that these competing plans provide a solid framework for further negotiations
that could enable us to resolve Virginia’s long term transportation needs this year.
Now is the time for compromise and consensus building. It is not the time to draw linesin the sand or take positions from which one cannot retreat. If all parties involved inthese negotiations keep an open mind and express willingness to compromise, I amconfident that an acceptable transportation agreement can be reached this year.Based on the plans adopted by the Senate and the House of Delegates, it is obviousthat any final transportation agreement must include two critical elements in order toobtain 21 votes in the Senate and 51 votes in the House of Delegates. These include:
First, an agreement must include ways to generate significant new revenue for highway construction and maintenance, most likely in the form of higher taxesand fees. For example, through a modest increase in the gas tax as proposed bythe Senate and an increase in vehicle registration fees as proposed by theGovernor, significant new revenue could be generated for transportation. This