Lawmakers hope to develop new transportation plan

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by Jessica Sabbath

Legislators and Gov. Timothy M. Kaine will try to craft a new transportation funding plan this week.

Lawmakers were sent scrambling to create a solution after the Virginia Supreme Court ruled on Friday that taxing powers of the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority were unconstitutional. This year’s session is scheduled to wrap up at the end of this week.

The Associated Press reported that Kaine met with lawmakers this weekend, and they agreed to try to fix the plan this week.

Regional authorities in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads were major components of a transportation package passed last year by the General Assembly. Regional taxes would have raised an estimated $300 million and $200 million, respectively.

The transportation compromise took years to create. It would have raised about $1 billion a year for transportation projects around the state. The court’s decision would wipe out at least half of that.

Some lawmakers are certain they can develop an alternative plan this week, while others are convinced it will take a special session later this year to come up with a new plan.

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