Trust Fund Protection Back on Front Burner

Giving some heft to the word “trust” in Virginia’s “Transportation Trust Fund” is back on the front burner with Governor-elect Kaine’s transportation town meetings. Here is a column I wrote for Bacon’s Rebellion about a year ago on the topic for a bit of background.

It became a high priority for many in the business community after the 2002 failed referendum votes, and as the Virginia Chamber’s lobbyist I spent three sessions working with others to try to coax it out of Senate Finance. (We got it out of Senate Privileges and Elections once, for a couple of glorious hours, then it was re-referred to Finance to die.) I think I stood up once or twice in Finance to speak for Kaine’s amendment version (and if I didn’t, let’s tell him I did!) But there was never any support from the Warner Administration. Now there will be from the Kaine Administration (as there would have been from a Kilgore Administration, I’m sure.)

There are problems with this idea. The financial community hates to see states substantially earmark funds, reducing flexibility in hard times. And there can be too many earmarks — but Virginia is hardly there. We have constitutional directives that lottery profits go to education and that criminal fines go to the Literary Fund. The “Rainy-Day” Revenue Reserve is constitutional, meaning the General Assembly can’t override it. This would be the largest protected pot of money, but if you read the previous proposals, there are safety valves built in.

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3 responses to “Trust Fund Protection Back on Front Burner”

  1. Will Vehrs Avatar

    Is all of this just to figure out what will be horse-traded in return for supporting a transportation lockbox?

  2. Anonymous Avatar

    Does anybody have the schedule for the town meetings?

  3. GS, NV Daily Avatar
    GS, NV Daily

    Straight from the e-mail

    Governor-Elect Tim Kaine’s Transportation Town Hall Tour **New Location Information Included**

    Monday, November 21
    What: Newport News Transportation Town Hall
    Where: The Mariner’s Museum
    Huntington Room
    100 Museum Drive
    Newport News, VA 23606
    When: 6:30 p.m.

    Tuesday, November 22
    What: Henrico Transportation Town Hall
    Where: Virginia Aviation Museum
    5701 Huntsman Road
    Richmond International Airport, VA 23250-2416
    When: 5:15 p.m.

    Tuesday, November 29
    What: Manassas Transportation Town Hall
    Where: Manassas Airport Main Terminal
    10400 Terminal Rd,
    Manassas, VA
    When: 6:30 p.m.

    Thursday, December 1
    What: Bristol Transportation Town Hall
    Where: Virginia Intermont College
    Trayer Theatre in the Fine Arts Center
    1013 Moore St
    Bristol, VA 24201
    When: 5:15 p.m.

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