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By Matt Kibbe
The short-term deal will assure long-term overspending
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Frank W. Wagner
Va. Gov. Bob McDonnell's transportation funding reform package was drastically rewritten Tuesday in a prickly meeting of the Senate Finance Committee, creating starkly opposing visions for overhauling highway financing system with just a dozen days left to broker a compromise.
The indestructible force met the immovable object last week: Grover Norquist, the anti-tax advocate who presides over Americans for Tax Reform, dared to take on Virginia Senate Minority Leader Richard L. Saslaw, Fairfax Democrat.
Despite virtually unchecked Republican power in Richmond, another conservative priority was shot down Monday as the GOP tries a pivot to budget issues amid significant backlash over high-profile women's health measures.
The General Assembly on Tuesday advanced bills that would infuse more money into Virginia's transportation system, while the Senate failed to approve a measure passed in the House that would make it easier to fire teachers.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's pledge for big solutions this year to Virginia's perpetual transportation problems has stalled in the House and Senate, with both chambers advancing significantly watered-down versions of his agenda despite Republicans' stronghold on the General Assembly.
Gov. Bob McDonnell's 2012 transportation agenda took a major stumble Wednesday as several of his top priorities were stripped from a Senate omnibus bill, which also includes a measure to index the state's gasoline tax to inflation that his office has not openly embraced.
Mr. Howell never appeared, and a jittery committee chose instead to have Mr. Wagner, Virginia Beach Republican, explain his amendment to Mr. Howell's bill, but not until Mr. Norment had scolded Mr. Jones for what he called a "demagoguery lecture."
Sen. Frank W. Wagner, Virginia Beach Republican, said Tuesday that he was "embarrassed" by the conditions of Virginia's deteriorating roads before the Senate approved its version of the bill.