While I plan to put up a transportation post next week, I was surprised with one bill that was introduced in the special session. Delegate Lacy Putney, Chairman of Appropriations and longest serving member, introduced HB 6012 which would increase the sales tax by 1/2 cent to be dedicated to transportation costs statewide. It would call for a referendum to be held in November. The bill hasn't been acted on in the House Rules committee.
I'm somewhat confused. Lacy was one of the behind the scene voices encouraging Ralph Smith to run against me based on my alleged support for transportation taxes. On the one hand it indicates that Lacy understands from the spending perspective that we need more revenue for transportation. Why introduce a bill however that is sure to excite the anti tax crowd in Botetourt and Bedford? An act like this would surely interest a Republican candidate to run against him. But as Max Smart would say, "not so fast"!
The more likely reason is this is the first indication that Lacy won't run for reelection. There were rumors in GOP circles that he would be allowed to serve one term as Chairman of App. if he agreed not to seek reelection. Maybe this is slap at the Speaker for forcing the deal on him. Looks like 2009 will bring a contest in House District 19 which is heavily conservative.