RICHMOND -- Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is standing by the transportation plan that passed on a bipartisan vote over the weekend, giving McDonnell a cornerstone victory for his administration while simultaneously putting him in the political doghouse with the conservative wing of his own party.
McDonnell told WMAL's Mornings On The Mall program Wednesday the $3.5 billion plan will help the state stay vibrant and competitive.
"Here's the bottom line: we cannot let the road structure of this state collapse," McDonnell told WMAL. "Northern Virginia is the most congested region of the country. It's inhibiting our ability to create jobs. It hurts the quality of life. To to all of my friends, I would say that this is something that needed to be fixed, that needed to be addressed," he added.
McDonnell says the bill was passed with bipartisan support. He adds that a good portion of the revenue for the bill will be generated from general funds.
"That means making transportation a core priority and that means not spending money in other areas in the future," he said.
Virginia's lack of a dedicated funding program for transportation has been a thorn in the side of lawmakers for decades, but conservatives, including Attorney General (and GOP Gubernatorial nominee) Ken Cuccinelli say the plan is far too aggressive in increasing taxes.
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