News and Views

VBT : A Transportation Lockbox: What’s Inside?

For years, transportation was dramatically underfunded in Virginia, and securing transportation funding has been a major goal of Virginians for Better Transportation since its creation. In 2013, we worked to increase the portion funding for transportation. Then, in 2014, we established the SMART SCALE system to ensure the best use of limited tax dollars.

The next step is to pass a “transportation lockbox” bill—something many other states are considering as well. It’s essentially a law or amendment that protects the portion of the state budget set aside for transportation—limiting the General Assembly's ability to use highway dollars for other purposes.

Think of the lockbox as the third leg in the stool of transportation funding: First, we increased our funding, then we established a fair system for allotting funding, and now we are protecting that funding. With all three parts in place, we can consistently make a positive difference in transportation for Virginians.

So where does the lockbox stand in Virginia? Last year, the General Assembly passed an amendment to approve a lockbox to keep transportation funding used on transportation. If the amendment passes in the Assembly again this year, and is approved by voters, Virginia’s “historic raids on transportation funds” will finally be curbed.

UPDATE: The lockbox amendment was defeated in the 2018 General Assembly.

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