The Virginia Senate approved a transportation funding package Wednesday afternoon on a bipartisan vote, 26-14, after failing to pass such a bill earlier in the session.
The Senate version differs in a number of ways from what the House of Delegates passed, so the final details will need to be worked out in a conference committee.
Most notably, the Senate version does not adopt Gov. Robert F. McDonnell’s (R) proposal to eliminate the gas tax and replace it with an increased state sales tax. Instead, the Senate bill includes a higher gas tax.
In addition, the Senate version of the bill also would allow localities to implement a 1 percent local sales tax for transportation.
In a statement following the Senate vote, McDonnell said he is pleased that the legislation is moving forward, but reiterated his support for the principles he laid out in his original proposal.
“Achieving our collective goal will require finding common ground,” he said. “That common ground must include a significant commitment of the projected future growth in general fund revenues, greater reliance on sustainable revenue sources which grow with economic activity, as opposed to gasoline tax increases, and sufficient revenues to address maintenance crossover, construction, passenger rail and transit needs without over burdening our citizens and businesses with taxes.”