As was pretty much expected, Governor “Gridlock” Kaine has promised to propose amendments to the compromise transportation plan that are all but certain to be rejected by the General Assembly, and veto the plan if they do during an interview on WTOP radio, and reported by the DC Examiner. I’m still not convinced this is anything more than bluff and bluster.
“The idea is to borrow - to issue $2.5 billion worth of bonds - but to pay off the bonds by taking money from the general fund that we use to pay for schools, health care and public safety,” Kaine said. “So that is a real problem.”
When asked by the program’s host whether it’s a deal-breaker, Kaine said: “It is. You know, I generally learn not to throw words around like veto and things like that, but I have said that part of the bill is, I think, just not responsible.”
What really isn’t responsible is demanding massive tax increases while the state has a budget surplus, and that using 0.002% of the general fund to pay for transportation bond service is somehow a bad thing because transportation is apparently not a “core responsibility” of the state. If transportation isn’t a core responsibility, how can he defend using the general fund to make payments to non-state entities in defiance of the Virginia Constitution?
After Republicans craft and pass a comprehensive plan during the Governor’s complete absence on the issue, if Kaine rises from his rocking chair and decides to trash this plan, he will have conclusively demonstrated that not only does he entirely lack leadership on Virginia’s most pressing issues, but is actively hostile to any solutions proposed by anyone other than his own malingering self. Where the heck has he been? And after everyone builds consensus in his absence, he’s going to trash it? That would be phenominally dumb.
But if he’s actually serious, I invite him to try blocking this first stab at a comprehensive solution to our transportation problems. Nothing will make our job in the Senate races this year easier.
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