Friday, February 29, 2008

HB 3202 Authorities Unconstitutional

It is being largely reported the the authority portion of 2007's transportation bill has been ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. I am certainly not suprised. Having voted for the bill while in the Senate, I can say it is probably one of the worst votes I ever cast. While I haven't read the details of the opinion, presumeably it leaves only the $3.0B in debt to fill a few potholes over the next couple of years. I really hated the debt portion of the bill. What is left is merely putting off truely dealing with the transportation needs of this state.

What happens next? My bet is the Governor calls a special session as soon as the budget is complete. At least he would be smart to do so! That way he can point back to the GOP for letting the bill fall apart. It would also set up the 2009 races as ones centered on transportation.

Fallout? Probably the largest injuries go out to the House Leadership and Attorney General McDonnell. For the AG to pull together Republicans in both houses to cobble together this bill then have it determined unconstitutional? It would seem he took a hit on this. He will be forced to take the lead on crafting a new alternative going into 2009. We'll see if that happens!


D.J. McGuire said...

"Having voted for the bill while in the Senate, I can say it is probably one of the worst votes I ever cast."

That took a lot of courage to say. I commend you for it.

Scott White said...

Mr. Bell;

It took a lot of courage to say what you said and I applaud your openness and honesty. Thank you!

Spank That Donkey said...

Senator Bell:
In retrospect the entire Senate GOP Leadership went astray in 2005, 2006, and 2007 is pressing for tax increases for Transportation.

This was the course plotted however, and we have lost control of the Senate as a result. The House which resisted the tax increases still has it's majority.

The entire Senate GOP Leadership is at fault, and not necessarily you. As I am sure the issue of being a "Team Player" was insisted upon by said Leadership.