Amendments proposed to historic Virginia transportation bill

Nick Iannelli, wtop.com

FAIRFAX, Va. — A bitter fight ensued as a historic transportation package passed through Virginia’s legislature. Now, there are concerns about implementing the measure.

The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority is sending a letter to Gov. McDonnell, formally asking for amendments to the multi-billion dollar package.

“We need reassurance that we’re going to have the authority to spend the money the way people in northern Virginia want us to spend the money,” says Chairman Martin Nohe.

“That is to say that we don’t become simply a bureaucratic entity that holds onto the money until someone in Richmond decides how it’s spent.”

Panel members’ chief concern appears to be local governments potentially losing control of their power to spend money generated by the bill.

The letter reads in part, “We urge you to submit amendments that will correct these problems and allow our region to move forward. We look forward to working with the Commonwealth to begin to implement new transportation capacity improvements.”

Nohe says the board is not asking for major changes, simply a change to certain language to reassure localities the state will not exercise undue power.

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