Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling issued this statement today after Senate passage of the transportation funding bill:
“I commend the members of the Senate and House of Delegates for coming together to forge a historic agreement to address Virginia’s long term transportation funding needs. The votes they cast today were not easy votes, but they were important votes for the future of our state. It shows what can happen when we work together, are willing to compromise, and keep our focus on solving problems and getting things done.
“Building a transportation system for the 21st century is the most important issue facing Virginia today. Every region of our state has its own unique transportation needs, and a solution to this issue has eluded us for far too long. The legislation approved by the General Assembly today will ultimately generate $860 million a year to meet critical highway maintenance and construction needs in every part of our state. It will truly enable us to start building a transportation system for the 21st century.
“Needless to say, this was not a perfect bill. Each of us would have addressed this issue in different ways if left to our own devices. This legislation represented a compromise of many competing viewpoints. No one was happy with every aspect of this legislation, but I commend those members who supported the bill for not letting the pursuit of the perfect prevent us from accomplishing the good. What we did today was good for Virginia. It is a historic accomplishment.
“I want to personally thank Governor McDonnell for the leadership he provided in putting this issue on the front burner during his final legislative session. It would have been easy for the Governor to have avoided tackling this difficult issue, but he knows how important it is to our efforts to build a better Virginia and provide more opportunity for our people. I feel confident in saying that this historic agreement would not have been possible without the Governor’s steadfast support.
“I also want to thank the leadership of the General Assembly for helping usher this legislation through the Senate and House of Delegates. There are 140 members of the General Assembly, and they all have an equal vote and their own ideas on how to solve the critical issues facing our state. The General Assembly’s leadership worked hard to pull these competing views together into a compromise that could receive majority support. Special thanks go to Speaker Howell, Senator Norment and those legislators who served on the Conference Committee that produced the final agreement.
“Passage of this legislation will enable us to enhance the economic competitiveness of our state and improve the quality of life of our citizens. It is an accomplishment we can all be very proud of.”