If what Steve Contorno (Washington Examiner) hears is correct, Democrats in the State Senate could be so wedded to Frank Wagner’s tax hike that they’ll refuse to support something too close to McDonnell’s tax hike, while Republicans who backed the latter may not like anything to close to the former:
“As long as the [final bill] resembles the Senate plan, we will have a transportation bill this year,” said Senate Minority Leader Dick Saslaw, D-Springfield. “If it varies too widely, we likely will not.”
Senate Democrats allowed $50 million a year to come from the general fund, but that came reluctantly. House Minority Leader David Toscano, D-Charlottesville, said it’s unlikely they’ll budge on that.
Those kinds of lines in the sand are already threatening a compromise as representatives from both parties begin to meet behind closed doors to find a solution that can pass both chambers.
“If we’re going to start ruling out things almost from the beginning,” said House Majority Leader Kirk Cox, R-Colonial Heights, “we’re going to have a lot of trouble getting there.”
The House version takes a lot more road money out of the general fund (pursuant to McDonnell’s tax hike).
My guess is the Republicans are so desperate for anything that they can claim well help “transportation” (remember, all three statewide Republican officeholders are backing different tax hikes) that they’ll agree to anything – meaning the Democrats can probably squeeze as much from the taxpayers as they wish.
Still, there may be some hope that political gridlock can leave the taxpayers unscathed.
Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal