The General Assembly passed the legislation this session over the objection of Democrats, who called the measure an unnecessary burden on voters. McDonnell pushed back on that idea Tuesday.
“I thought the bill did properly balance the ballot security and honest election requirement with any civil liberty or impediment-to-voting concerns,” McDonnell said during his radio interview. “And the fact that there’s a free ID, just like we had last year. And we’re going to have a sustained voter education campaign. I think that will be implemented just fine.”
The governor also touted his own record as a voting rights advocate, pointing out that he has restored the rights of more ex-felons than any of his predecessors. He pushed for the automatic restoration of those rights during the legislative session, but the idea failed to advance.
Transportation was the marquee issue for the term-limited McDonnell, who urged action in his final session on an issue that has long stymied the state.
Key to the legislation’s passage was additional funding for two of the commonwealth’s most congested areas, Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads. But on Friday, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) raised concerns about the constitutionality of the regional funding proposals.
On Tuesday, administration officials said the proposed changes should allow the bill to “move forward without any sort of jeopardy from any sort of legal challenges” and that the administration worked closely with the attorney general in crafting them.
McDonnell said the changes mark a new emphasis on criteria, not specific districts. In his amendments, the governor proposes using thresholds for population, transit trips and registered vehicles to justify creating regional funding districts. While the criteria currently apply only to Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads, administration officials said other districts could qualify in the future.
The governor also wants to lower the annual registration fee for hybrid vehicles. McDonnell has proposed a $64 fee, as opposed to the $100 approved by the General Assembly. The figure more accurately captures hybrid drivers’ fair share of road maintenance and construction costs, officials said.
McDonnell also amended the motor vehicle sales tax component of the transportation legislation after hearing from car dealers. The General Assembly passed an increase from 3 percent to 4.3 percent, but McDonnell proposed an increase from 3 percent to 4.15 percent.
Laura Vozzella contributed to this report.