The Northern Virginia Daily's Political Depot

A service for our readers outside the Northern Shenandoah Valley... a sampling of The Daily's political coverage, plus unofficial, 'reporter's notebook' stuff. And occasional dry humor...

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Location: Strasburg, Virginia

Thursday, March 23, 2006

New Transportation Plans? Maybe...

Those following every jot and tittle of the Virginia General Assembly, the transportation plans in play are well known — the House budget bill, House Bill 30, and the Senate transportation tax package, Senate Bill 708.

But there could be new plans — with four-digit designations — in the offing. Senators have been hinting to that effect for some time, and Sen. Russ Potts, R-Winchester, said Thursday he expects to see one in the not too distant future.

"You're going to see new budget plans coming from the Governor and the Senate," Potts said, noting that it might look like a "conglomeration of the governor's plan" and the Senate's second draft.

While he's not one of the 11 conferees working on a compromise, Potts said he thinks the new Senate document will correct one of the major failings of the second draft, at least from a western Virginia perspective — funding for Interstate 81.

"I don't think that a plan should necesdictate dicate what projects" get funded and which ones don't, he said, but "I'm confident that I-81 at the end of the day will be treated very, very well."

If a new plan is out there, Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg, says he hasn't seen it. But "It would not surprise me to see the plan significantly changed."