UNFINISHED BUSINESS?

Lt. Gov Bill Bolling reminds us that the courts still have more to do to straighten out the mess created by that rotten transportation bill, HB3202.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 29, 2008

Contact: Randy Marcus
Phone: 804-786-2078
Cell: 804-814-7117
Email: randy.marcus@ltgov.virginia.gov

STATEMENT OF LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR BOLLING ON SUPREME COURT’S RULING ON NORTHERN VIRGINIA TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY

RICHMOND – Earlier today, the Supreme Court of Virginia issued an opinion declaring the Northern Virginia regional transportation plan approved by the General Assembly in 2007 to be unconstitutional. The court concluded that the plan violated the Constitution of Virginia because it authorized an unelected body – The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority – to impose a series of fee and tax increases in Northern Virginia localities to raise funds for transportation construction. In response to this decision, Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling issued the following statement:

“The Supreme Court of Virginia has concluded that it was not proper for the General Assembly to delegate its taxing authority to the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, an unelected body. I agree with the Supreme Court’s finding.

“The authority to tax is one of the most significant responsibilities of government and that responsibility cannot and should not be delegated to a body that is not directly responsible to the voters.

“I expressed these concerns when the Northern Virginia regional transportation plan was amended to remove the ability of localities to opt in or out of the plan by an affirmative vote of their local governing body. The Supreme Court has affirmed those concerns.

“We will also have to carefully review the Supreme Court’s opinion to determine what impact it will have on the Hampton Roads regional transportation plan. While there are differences in the manner in which fee and tax increases were imposed in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads, it is my belief the Supreme Court’s decision may also invalidate significant portions of the Hampton Roads regional transportation plan.

“Needless to say, transportation continues to be the most important issue facing Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads. Now that these provisions of the regional transportation plans approved by the General Assembly last year have been declared unconstitutional, the General Assembly will have to revisit the issue of providing adequate transportation funding to meet the needs of these important regions. I look forward to working with the members of the General Assembly to find the most responsible way to accomplish that goal.”

###

Randy Marcus
Chief of Staff
Office of Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling
804-786-2078
804-786-7514 (fax)
randy.marcus@ltgov.virginia.gov

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