Fairfax Co. Chamber backs McDonnell’s transportation funding bill

The Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce has tossed its support to Gov. Bob McDonnell’s transportation funding plan, the largest organization in the Washington area so far to back the controversial proposal.

And the chamber’s support is, in fact, support, unlike the mixed message offered by the Prince William County Chamber last week.

“The Fairfax Chamber supports this fair and reasonable funding solution as a major step forward in getting Virginia ­­­— especially Northern Virginia — moving again,” chamber President Jim Corcoran said in a statement. “The Northern Virginia business community looks forward to engaging with members of the General Assembly as this solution moves through the legislative process — and seeing a long-term, sustainable funding solution as the outcome of this legislative session.”

McDonnell’s office issued a news release Tuesday claiming the support of six additional organizations: the Fairfax Chamber, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, Virginia Railroad Association, Norfolk Southern Corp. and CSX Transportation Inc. On Wednesday, another two joined the list — the Home Builders Association of Virginia and Virginia Regional Transit.

Their support brings the list to 28 groups, from the Hampton Roads and Greater Richmond chambers to the Virginia Asphalt Association.

Of course, McDonnell’s plan to raise $3.1 billion over five years for roads and transit still needs the support of a majority of the Virginia House and Senate, and his proposal to eliminate the state gas tax in favor of a higher sales tax, or to dip into the general fund for more transportation dollars, hasn’t garnered a great deal of love from Northern Virginia leaders.

The Fairfax Chamber’s full statement follows.

“With Northern Virginia continuing to top the list as one of the most congested regions in the nation, transportation issues are a major threat to the outstanding quality of life and rapid economic growth of the region that drives the success of the Commonwealth. We cannot wait any longer to develop a long-term, sustainable solution for transportation funding.

The Fairfax Chamber applauds and thanks Governor McDonnell for putting forth an innovative, sustainable transportation funding plan. This plan is an excellent first step in creating a long-term vision for Northern Virginia that will ensure we do not lose – but continue to enhance – our economic viability.

The Fairfax Chamber supports this fair and reasonable funding solution as a major step forward in getting Virginia — especially Northern Virginia — moving again. The Northern Virginia business community looks forward to engaging with members of the General Assembly as this solution moves through the legislative process — and seeing a long-term, sustainable funding solution as the outcome of this legislative session.”


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