RICHMOND, Va. - In a recent statement, Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell sounded guardedly optimistic about changes made by Gov. Timothy Kaine to the GOP Transportation Bill.
McDonnell believes that reform is needed in the state's transportation system to improve citizens' quality of life and protect the state's sterling reputation with businesses.
"When Republican leaders began meeting on transportation reforms last year, we knew the road to success would be a long one," McDonnell said. "Throughout the General Assembly session, Republican leaders, led by Speaker Bill Howell, worked tirelessly to advance the GOP compromise transportation plan. The GOP plan, as passed, represents the most significant improvements for transportation in Virginia in more than a generation.
"The next step in this process is the consideration of the Governor's amendments. An initial look would appear to demonstrate that some of his suggested changes are clarifying and helpful, while others will require a detailed analysis."
McDonnell said Kaine's amendments have maintained important reforms in land use decisions and the delivery of transportation services, and he has dropped his request for a large, statewide tax increase.
Also, Kaine added more bonds and surplus revenues to fund transportation and dropped his opposition tto the use of General Funds.
"The Governor has now lent his recommendations to the effort," McDonnell said. "Republicans will work to ensure that the bill in its final form will protect the reputation of Virginia as the best state in the Union in which to do business and raise a family."
Forbes magazine ranked Virginia as the state with the friendliest business climate last year.
"We make a weak pitch to bring businesses in without a comprehensive plan," McDonnell told LegalNewsline earlier this month.