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Virginia Politics
Posted at 03:11 PM ET, 12/13/2011

Democrats call on McDonnell to fund transportation without taking money from other core services

Brian Moran, chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia, called on Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) Tuesday to find money for the state’s clogged roads without taking money away from core services such as education, public safety and health care.
Virginia State Democratic Party Chairman Brian Moran, right, helps deliver petitions to the State Board of Elections at the Capitol in Richmond Dec. 2. (By Steve Helber/Associated Press)

“Virginia will not remain competitive in a global economy if we continue to slash funding for public education, public safety and other core services,’’ Moran said. “It is critical for the governor to restore funding to these key priorities, but instead he is searching for new ways to raid them in order to pay for roads. The general fund is not a piggy bank for politicians who want to avoid making tough decisions.”

McDonnell said last week that he wants to increase the amount of money Virginia spends on transportation by increasing the percentage of year-end surpluses that are spent on transportation, spending the first 1 percent in revenue growth over 5 percent each year on transportation, and increase how much of the sales tax goes to transportation.

“Here’s the problem. The governor is calling for setting priorities within existing resources and making government live within its means,” said McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin. “We say that clearly, everyday. Brian Moran is calling for tax hikes and more and more government spending. But he doesn’t have the courage to just say that. Until he can, he isn’t offering anything to this conversation.” 

Similar proposals have been considered in the past but have been rejected by Senate Democrats, who accuse McDonnell of diverting money from education and other core services. He may have more success next year with a General Assembly controlled by Republicans.

 Moran said McDonnell should come up with a comprehensive plan on transportation instead of “moving money from one pile to another.’’

McDonnell will unveil his first two-year budget Monday.

By  |  03:11 PM ET, 12/13/2011

 
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