Delegate Bob Marshall’s “I-66 Toll Update!”

Here is an I-66 Toll Update that Delegate Bob Marshall sent out in email yesterday.

THE MARSHALL MESSAGEI-66 Toll Update!

Opponents of I-66 tolls upset about location of Va. transportation board meeting to approve plan

Dear Friends,

On Monday I sent a letter to Secretary of Transportation, Aubrey Layne and the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) asking them to delay their vote yesterday to give preliminary approval to the I-66 Outside the Beltway tolls until they could meet in Northern Virginia and hear from concerned citizens.  (Check out the Fox5 story above.)  Unfortunately, they ignored my request.  The final CTB vote to go ahead with the tolls in the I-66 project will be on December 9th in Northern Virginia. If you live in Northern Virginia I encourage you to contact VDOT at transform66@vdot.virginia.gov with your concerns and plan to attend the meeting if at all possible.  If you don’t live in Northern Virginia this should still be an issue of concern to you since it will set a precedent that the Governor and unelected Board members can take a road that is already paid for and slap tolls on it in spite of massive citizen opposition.  

I have reviewed the Transform 66 website (www.transform66.org) and sent another letter today to Secretary Layne and Governor Terry McAuliffe encouraging them read VDOT’s own website because it conflicts with some of the statements they have made with regard to the Transform I-66 projects.

VDOT’s own 2012 and 2013 studies said:

  • tolls would be from 15-20 cents per mile;1
  • the conversion of existing I-66 lanes to toll lanes “do not assume that existing lanes would be tolled,” and  “were not analyzed;”2
  • that public support for tolls would have to be generated, and that questions remained about tolling existing lanes.3

Secretary Layne and Governor McAuliffe are undermining public trust for this project by failing to properly inform the public.  No I-66 Message Boards were used to alert drivers to potential tolls and they have provided no analysis nor justification for such tolls.

The 2014 VDOT I-66 survey of I-66 users mention tolls four times, but not the price of such tolls.  How can the Commonwealth Transportation Board vote to give authorization to this project without even know the costs of the potential tolls?

I fully support the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority prioritizing using the annual $315 million in funds they receive from the Northern Virginia taxes collected to widen I-66 inside the Beltway, expedite extending VRE to Gainesville/Haymarket, add additional parking at VRE and Metro parking lots and create 4,000-6,000 park and ride spaces in areas that do NOT take family farms.

Sincerely,

Delegate Bob Marshall

1  “The toll for the peak periods in the peak direction for Package 1 was set at 15 to 20 cents per mile (in 2007 dollars), depending on the demand in each segment. In the reverse-peak direction for the peak periods the toll was about 20 percent lower than the peak.”[page 3-25 I-66 Multimodal Study Final Report, June 8, 2012 http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/resources/NorthernVirginia/I-66_Multimodal_-_Final_Report.pdf
2  “ … Options that simply converted existing lanes to tolled lanes were not analyzed; rather it was assumed that any tolling option would require adding additional capacity.”
“… the tolling scenarios assessed for this high-level Tier 1 tolling analysis do not assume that existing lanes would be tolled, but rather that tolls would be applied to new roadway lanes, with the most likely scenario resulting from tolls applied as part of a HOT lanes system that allow 3+ occupant vehicles to avoid paying the toll. [Page 9-8,   Transportation Technical Report, I-66, http://www.vdot.virginia.gov/projects/resources/NorthernVirginia/I66_TransportationTechnicalReport_2013-02-25-ForWeb.pdf ]
3  “Policy issues with tolling existing capacity on an Interstate wold need to be addressed; Potential policy issues with tolling Dulles Airport users;  Public support for tolling existing capacity would need to be addressed.”   [page 1-4, I-66 Multimodal Study, Supplemental Report, August, 2013, http://www.virginiadot.org/VDOT/Projects/Northern_Virginia/asset_upload_file118_54324.pdf
I-66 Improvements Study, Finalized Survey, Southeastern Institute of Research.

WHEN DOES FANTASY BECOME INSANITY? — PART 1

imagination-boy

How do most of us use the hours we spend at ease? Don’t we imagine? We watch movies and TV shows, listen to the radio, read books and magazines, surf the net, and we fill in all the innumerable gaps between the pictures, the sounds, and the words with our imaginations. Thus, most of the world, those vast stretches of land, sea, and air beyond the reach of our footsteps we know through our imaginations. Because we can be anywhere in our imaginations, we think we can judge people we will never meet, know countries we have no intention of ever visiting, and understand subjects we have never studied.

Do we fully appreciate the power of our imaginations? How much thought do we give the matter, but doesn’t that power drive us to do many things we would not otherwise do? From our imaginations grows the world as we would wish it to be.  From our imaginations we learn desires for things we do not have, sometimes for things impossible.  We live in a world filled with images and words of every imagining. What does this do to us? Does it make the lords of our imaginations the rulers of our world?

In past times what men imagined became their gods. With the power of movies and TV shows, the radio, books and magazines, and the Internet, could our rulers make us imagine that they are our gods?

Who controls what we imagine? Who controls what our children imagine? Are we thoughtful consumers or a hapless victims?

Of The Posts To Come

imagination-girl

THE CONQUEST OF AMERICA FROM WITHIN

What follows is an email from Anna Nix on behalf of the Ken Cuccinelli campaign for governor.

cuccinelli

Cuccinelli: War on Coal is   a War on the Poor

The Andrea Tantaros Show

CUCCINELLI: “You know, when I   think about the people impacted by the President’s war on coal and how it’s   playing out in my race. My opponent, Terry McAuliffe said we need to move   past coal. He said he doesn’t want another coal plant built in Virginia when   he ran for governor last time, and so he’s all in with the president on these things, there’s never been any distance. And where it matters in Virginia, where it matters the most – it affects us all – but where it matters the most   is in the poorest parts of Virginia. So, we call it a war on coal because   they call it a war on coal. As you noted, [Daniel] Schrag, [President   Obama’s] White House adviser does that. But what it really is when it comes   to the people, it’s a war on the poor. That’s what it is. And because the   people hurt first and hurt worst are the poor in Virginia. Where we mine coal   in Virginia is in Appalachia. So you come with me to a pizza parlor down   there in Buchanan County in Appalachia you know what? That pizza parlor’s a   coal job. The coal mine closes, so does the pizza parlor. They don’t have a   lot of other options. And that is left out of the President’s remarks of   course this week, because he doesn’t care enough to try and achieve that   balance. The job destruction that what he’s describing will cause and the   loss of opportunity and job creation affects the poorest parts of America and   the poorest parts of Virginia the most. And that’s a real problem and it’s   something that people need to keep in mind.” (The Andrea Tantaros Show,   6/27/13)

###

Our secularized education system, our secularized government, and our secularized mass media our have thoroughly conditioned us separate Christianity from politics. Supposedly, mixing politics with religion leads to religious persecution by religious zealots. Nevertheless, we don’t actually separate religion from politics. We still have a great many people trying to force their religious practices onto their neighbors. That’s the reason Democrats can get away with their global warming agenda and their war on coal. Even after it has become self evident that global warming is a hoax, the true believers refuse to give up their holy war on carbon dioxide, that gas we exhale and plants need to thrive.

REJECTING TYRANNY

Delegate Bob Marshall sent this email out yesterday.

Reject Governor’s Amendments at April 3 Session

Dear Friends,

First of all, Happy Easter to you and your family! No matter how many difficulties we may experience in life or in the political arena, we can always rejoice in the knowledge that Our Lord has triumphed over death.  That is true victory and true hope!

Returning to the mundane:

PLEASE TAKE A MINUTE TO URGE YOUR DELEGATE AND SENATOR TO VOTE NO ON HB 2313 AND MEDICAID AMENDMENTS TO THE BUDGET-HB 1500.

The General Assembly “Veto Session” is this Wednesday, April 3.  As you may recall, the AG responded to my inquiry that the original Transportation Bill regional taxes (in HB 2313) and the Budget Bill language on Medicaid Expansion (in HB 1500) were unconstitutional.

TRANSPORTATION BILL:

Instead of offering separate amendments, Governor McDonnell has offered a “substitute” HB 2313 bill to address the constitutional problems with HB 2313 since the AG ruled that “special” taxes which apply to certain regions are not constitutional.  The Governor’s new bill mandates that all regions (not just Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads) will be subject to the extra taxes once the planning districts of which they are a part meet certain criteria: population of 1.5 million, not less than 1.2 million motor vehicles registered, and transit ridership of not less than 15 million per year.  The revenues will be deposited into separate “Funds” for the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority and the Hampton Roads Transportation Authority.

This ensures future automatic tax increases for the other Planning Districts without a separate vote of the General Assembly. I think such a policy, while perhaps legal, is not prudent.  Who can predict the needs of localities in ten or possibly 100 years?  Can Planning District boundary lines be reconfigured to collect taxes sooner?   Does this conflict with our constitutional   requirement that laws must take effect on July 1 of the year in which the   bill becomes law, yet these taxes might not start for some areas for twenty   or more years?

The NVTA and HRTA are to act as independent bodies of the state government and VDOT:  15.2-4839 2. The Authority is independent of any state or local entity, including the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB), but the Authority, VDOT and CTB shall consult with one another to avoid duplication of efforts and, at the option of the Authority, may combine efforts to complete specific projects.

The NVTA and HRTA will receive millions of our tax dollars, decide how they will be spent and can even invest in security instruments. The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) has been criticized by the federal Government Accountability Office (GAO) for cost-overruns and no-bid contracts.  Increasing the number of Authorities over which citizens have little ability to influence policy is a dangerous delegation of power in my opinion.

Here is a link to the Governor’s substitute transportation bill: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?131+ful+HB2313H5

MEDICAID EXPANSION:

The AG replied to my inquiry, affirming his earlier opinion to Delegate Ben Cline, that the General Assembly cannot delegate its power to expand Medicaid to a Commission which includes a few members of the General Assembly.  Governor McDonnell nevertheless declined to change the language affecting the delegation to a subgroup of the Assembly, so the same legal-constitutional problems the Attorney General pointed out are still present in the amended version.

The Governor has offered four new amendments to HB 1500 on Medicaid. Please urge your delegate and senator to reject them:

Amendment 22:  Adds up to five additional employees from other agency personnel for the Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) to fully comply with new provisions of health care reform.

Amendment 23:  Provides $870,000 from the general fund to cover the rest of a $1.67 Million contract to George Mason U which will mostly contract with the Center for Health Innovation. (Future budgets will surely add more funding.)

Amendment 24:  Strikes certain lines on pages 295-297 of the Budget intended to add specificity to Medicaid reforms, (not definitive in my opinion).

Amendment 25:  Creates a $3 Million Medicaid customer call center by allowing DMAS to contract with a vendor so individuals can apply for Medicaid by telephone, as required by the federal government by October 1, 2013.  $1.5 million comes from   Virginia.  Costs could increase depending upon the final contract and center workload.  More funding could be provided next year.

These amendments grease the skids for Medicaid expansion!  Here is a link to all of the Governor’s amendments to the Budget bill (HB 1500): http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?131+amd+HB1500AG

The Heritage Foundation estimates Medicaid expansion will cost Virginia an additional $902 Million through 2022, requiring massive tax increases or cutting (unlikely) other Virginia programs.

Harvard’s Malcolm Sparrow in 2009 testified before Congress that Medicaid bills continue to be paid to physicians after they die, to treat patients after death, to treat immigrants who have been deported.  He noted that the Credit Card Industry has a threshold of one-tenth of one percent for acceptable business fraud risk.  Medicaid losses from fraud range from 3-14%, not including billing errors!

It is folly to think that ten part-time members of the General Assembly meeting once a month for a few months can ensure Virginia will be able to exercise adequate oversight over expanding 400,000 new recipients to the current 1,000,000.

And, while some Assembly members believe Virginia can expand Medicaid, accept the three year 100% federal subsidy, and then opt out later, The U.S. Supreme Court did not rule states could leave Medicaid once enrolled nor is there an opt-out provision in the Affordable Care Act.

Please view this video of U.S. Senator Orin Hatch in which he states that Obamacare was designed to fail to usher in single-payer government-run healthcare.  See: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/hatch-obamacare-was-designed-become-single-payer-system

Republicans used to complain when Democrats proposed tax increases and expanded government programs.  Now Republicans are putting them to shame, leading the charge to saddle present and future taxpayers with greater financial burdens.

PLEASE TAKE A MINUTE TO URGE YOUR DELEGATE AND SENATOR TO VOTE AGAINST HB 2313 AND MEDICAID AMENDMENTS TO HB 1500.

Thank you,

Delegate Bob Marshall

Why are our leaders so relentless and dishonest in their determination to spend our money for us? Well, here is a thought for you. Are you confused  about what it means to love one’s neighbor? Are you silly enough to think our government can love your neighbors for you?

STOP! THINK! When we speak of the power of love, what are we talking about? When two or more people love each other, don’t each of these people think of their loved ones as they think of themselves? Therefore, they trust and support each other. In their cooperation, they form a body of people that is greater than the sum of its members.

What does it means to be a Christian? Don’t we follow the example of Jesus? What Jesus demonstrated with His life and His death was how to love. He did not sacrifice His principles. Neither did He force anyone else to sacrifice their life or property. He sacrificed Himself for us. For the sake our souls, He willingly suffered death in our place.

Jesus gave of Himself; that is what love about. If we are to love our neighbors — each other — we cannot use government power to steal the property of some “rich” neighbor and give it in phony “charity” to some “poor” neighbor. That is just thievery. To help the people we love, we must give of ourselves.

If our politicians want to “help” people, then we must insist they reach into their own pockets, not “other people’s” pockets. And we should set an example. If we want to help other people, then we should spend some of our own hard-earned money on honest charity. Otherwise, we will bankrupt our nation with all this so-called charity.