The latest salvo in the budgetary impasse in Richmond over funding new roads/transit for Northern Virginia is a plan being floated by some highly endangered NoVa Republicans. Under the plan, as reported by the Washington Post yesterday, lawmakers would raise about $500 million in new funds by assessing various fees on residents of northern Virginia, thus avoiding any statewide tax increase.
What should Democrats make of this?
Not much. The Curmudgeon is all for letting northern Virginians pay for their own transportation improvements. The problem is, we're already paying for them, without getting our money's worth. The GOP dominated legislature has been perfectly willing to fund projects in redder parts of the state with the geld collected up here.
Indeed, the Curmudgeon passed through Richmond twice in recent weeks, and one of the things we noticed is that they have a lot of brand-spanking new roads. How nice for them.
We're willing to pay higher fees than other denizens of the state for transportation projects, but only if the legislature matches those fees with a significant portion of general revenues, which, after all, come disproportionately from our neck of the woods.
Perhaps the solution is to make legislators meet for several weeks up here, say a couple weeks in Woodbridge and a couple weeks in Manassas. Since legislators would find it difficult to make their sessions, they wouldn get much done, but hey, that wouldn't be any different from what we have now, would it?
Of course, the only thing that will really work is to start throwing the bums out. Republicans in NoVa have good reason to worry, and it's nice to see they're running scared. Whether their House colleagues in the rest of the state care is another matter.