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Votes

Bulova: Move in the Right Direction

Local leaders applaud General Assembly’s Transportation Funding Bill.

“This is a great step toward addressing the transportation challenges we face in Fairfax County and the Northern Virginia region.

The Transportation Bill passed yesterday fulfills the call made by mayors and chairs of the Urban Crescent (the Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads areas) for new, sustainable funding to address our critically under-funded transportation needs.

I applaud the efforts of Sen. Richard Saslaw, Sen. Janet Howell, Del. David Albo, Del. Vivian Watts and others for reaching agreement on a funding strategy that moves us in the right direction. I am especially pleased with the commitment of $300 million for the Silver Line, which will help to keep tolls in the Dulles Toll Road affordable for Northern Virginia motorists.

I appreciate Gov. McDonnell's leadership in making transportation funding the focus of this General Assembly Session. The successful result required compromise on both sides of the political aisle. The stars were aligned this session to make something happen but political courage and leadership were required on many fronts to pull it off.”

—Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova

“I applaud the General Assembly and the members of both political parties who came together in a difficult compromise to pass this incredibly important piece of legislation. Adequately providing for transportation infrastructure is without a doubt a core function of government, and one on which the economic future of the commonwealth depends. Northern Virginia, especially, is a vital economic hub for the commonwealth and our future success was put into doubt due to past inaction. This bill takes a big step forward in the right direction and helps ensure future prosperity for the region and the commonwealth.

Since I was elected to the Board of Supervisors, a priority of mine has been to see that more transportation funds came to Fairfax County to build the critical infrastructure we need for a new era of economic growth. Such growth means good jobs at good wages and local wealth creation. I have consistently advocated for raising money locally and keeping it here, and I am thrilled to see that the General Assembly has taken up that idea and passed a piece of legislation that will eventually provide $350 million annually that will be raised here and kept here for regional transportation projects.

Money in this bill will also help finish the Dulles Rail project, alleviate congested roads and ensure existing infrastructure is properly maintained. I've spoken with countless voters in town halls and neighborhood meetings, and one of the top concerns consistently raised has been the deteriorating condition of our roadways and increased congestion. With this bill, we're one step closer to significant improvement in these areas.

I would further note that this bill passed because Republicans and Democrats were able to come together in compromise, despite headwinds from elements in both parties. Fairfax legislators played key roles in the bill's passage, with Delegate David Albo, R-42, and Senator Janet Howell, D-32, serving on the 10-person conference committee that drew up the final, successful bill. Bipartisan cooperation is what gets things done, and that requires each side giving a little. Our friends in Washington, D.C., would do themselves well to look across the Potomac for tips on how elected officials can put people ahead of politics."

--Supervisor John Cook (R-Braddock)