Legislative negotiators have reached a transportation funding reform compromise that could get full House and Senate votes by week’s end. The plan would replace Virginia’s 17 1/2 cents-per-gallon gasoline tax with a 3.5 percent wholesale gasoline tax, boost sales taxes from 5 percent to 5.3 percent, levy a $100 fee on hybrid cars and shift about $200 million a year in sales taxes to highway use in five years.
An education bill passed by the Virginia House of Delegates on yesterday is heading to the governor’s desk. Governor Bob McDonnell is expected to sign the legislation he supported to create the Opportunity Educational Institution aimed at rescuing chronically failing schools. The governor says the passage of the bill sends a message that the status quo is not acceptable in those schools.
Governor McDonnell’s plan for education reform is taking a big step. The House of Delegates approved legislation yesterday that allows the state to takeover schools that repeatedly underachieve. McDonnell has already said there were a handful of schools that qualify for state take-over, which won’t happen until next year.