Virginians to General Assembly: Cut Spending… And Start with Transportation

Christopher Newport University’s Center for Public Policy asked Virginians how they thought the General Assembly should deal with the state’s revenue shortfall this year. The answers should warm the hearts of fiscal conservatives everywhere: 56 percent picked the response, “Cover the shortfall by reducing spending as much as needed but don’t raise taxes and don’t tap the Rainy Day Reserve Fund.”

Gov. Tim Kaine’s approach — “reduce spending on some programs but continue to fund most programs at their current level by tapping the Rainy Day Reserve Fund” — received only 31 percent positives.

And an audacious 9 percent responded, “Cover the budget shortfall with tax increases but don’t touch the Rainy Day Reserve Fund.”

And what programs would people cut?

55 percent picked “transportation” as their first or second choice.
41 percent chose, “social services to low-income Virginians”
27 percent “public safety”
18 percent “health care”
16 percent “education”
14 percent “all areas equally”
19 percent, don’t cut anything

Ladies and gentlemen of the legislature, you have your marching orders.

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  1. Anonymous Avatar

    Perhaps, those seeking cuts in transportation realize that transportation spending in Virginia is related to enriching well-placed landowners, rather than moving people and goods on an efficient, cost-effective and safe basis.

    BTW, speaking of transportation, the rumor mill strongly believes that the Federal Transit Administration will not agree to fund the current plan for Dulles Rail — too expensive for the benefits and the participation of the Big Dig company — Bechtel.

    Governor Kaine and company can then be expected, after whining about the loss to the big Tysons Corner landowners and campaign contributors, to develop a Plan B. I’d guess, without knowing, that this would be rail confined to the Dulles Toll Road median with stations only at those places where the landowners are willing to fund the full costs. No federal money would be involved. I suspect that this would be three intermediate stations — one, instead of three, at Tysons Corner; one in Reston; and one in Herndon.


  2. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    Pity they did not break up the “cut transportation first” by Region like they did for other stuff.

    It might have been interesting to see how TW/HR answered vs NoVa, Richmond, Charlottesville, and the I-81 Corridor down to Roanoke.

    re: Tysons Rail – it has that “odor” of twisting in the wind doesn’t it?

    Prediction: If it goes down.. the proponents are going to see if they can get funding from the HOT lanes tolls……

    chin-rubbing muse: Now that NoVa has their very own Transportation Authority and the ability to collect revenue and decide where it should be spent… will any of it go for Transit like Metro?

    I think this is the part that may not be fully appreciated and that is with a Transportation Authority, you do have quite a bit of Regional control as to what mix of modes, phasing, etc.. quite a bit more comprehensive beyond just money.

  3. Anonymous Avatar

    Are you sure you don’t have that list upside down or that you accidentally excluded the word not, as in And what programs would people [not] cut?

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