It's an important
week for the future of transportation in Roanoke and southwest Virginia. As a
ten member group of state leaders, including a Roanoke delegate, work to bridge
the gap between starkly different bills. Both bills would bring passenger rail
service to the Star City.
The gas tax is the
major difference in both the house and senate versions of the transportation
bill. The house bill takes away the existing 17.5 cent gas tax while the senate
bill would actually increase the gas tax and allow provisions for it to rise
even more. Both sides agree on increasing the vehicle registration fee by
fifteen dollars a person.
Roanoke delegate Onzlee
Ware is one of the ten members that will decide the bill's fate. Ware and the
rest of the group will try to compromise further on a way to pay for the more
than $3- billion plan.
"If we don't work
together, we won't get a transportation bill and if we don't get a
transportation bill this session, I just don't believe we'll have the
opportunity as we have now in the future sessions regardless who the next
governor will be" Del. Ware.
The session is scheduled to officially end next weekend but Ware says getting the bill done could take a bit longer.