By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor
A Virginia House panel has endorsed Gov. Bob McDonnell?s $4 billion transportation plan.
The House Appropriations Committee voted 17-5 to advance the plan to the House floor for consideration. If approved there, it would move to the Senate where the governor recently announced that nearly half of the chamber is jointly sponsoring his bill.
Unveiled in December 2010, the plan includes borrowing about $3 billion during the next three years. Another $1 billion in available cash would be used to pay for up to 900 projects.
McDonnell said in a statement that the proposal ?will dramatically speed up the construction of new roads and bridges, ease congestion, and increase job creation and economic development efforts statewide.?
Critics of the plan have focused on the amount of new debt that the state would take on. At the same time, many detractors acknowledge that something needs to be done about the state?s transportation system.
One component of the governor?s transportation agenda has already advanced from the House. The proposed constitutional amendment is sought to protect the state?s transportation fund.
Sponsored by Delegate Glenn Oder, R-Newport News, the bill would protect the fund from transfers to the general fund.
To view other legislative activities of interest for Virginia, click here.
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