Transportation Budget Rolled Out

Gov. Warner announced today that the budget he’ll submit tomorrow will include $625 million in general funds for transportation.

$339 million will go to one-time project funding–completing federal earmarked projects, matching new federal earmarks, and Port of Virginia improvements.

$229 million will go to previously approved transportation bonds.

$57 million will go to public transportation capital projects.

Is it ok to use general funds for tranportation? A lot of folks seemed to think that was a terrible idea during the gubernatorial campaign.

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4 responses to “Transportation Budget Rolled Out”

  1. Anonymous Avatar

    Almost half of what he is talking about comes from the tax on insurance premiums, the on-again, off-again dedicated source for transportation. It is good that it is on again, but if you count that as part of last year’s allocation (which is was), it is a bit funky to count it twice.

    Of course, the Senate voted to spend it on transportation last year, too, so when does it stop being a General Fund and become part of the Special Fund?

    I do like his idea to take the one-time GF money and use it to provide the state match for all those federal earmarks in the new federal bill. And since he has tied the dollars to specific local projects (pork, in some cases, really good stuff in others) it will be hard for the GA to mess with it.

  2. Will,

    I think most people had a problem with using the general fund to create that “consistent stream of revenue” that’s needed for transportation. Doing so would force transportation and education dollars to compete, especially during lean years. I don’t think anyone minds using general fund “surplus” dollars to make one-time investments in our transportation. Well, I don’t mind. Maybe someone does.

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  4. Jim Bacon Avatar

    Anonymous 2:22, It sounds like the rhetorical trick noted in the earlier post regarding increased clean-up-the-bay funding. Take funds that were previously obligated to a program, roll them into a package where you’re adding a bit of new money, and take credit for the entire sum. Most people don’t read past the headline and lede paragraph. They’ll never absorb the fine print.

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