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Expecting Richmond to Help Northern Virginia’s Traffic Gridlock?

After devoting five paragraphs to discussing Gov. Mark Warner’s (D) final, state, two-year $72.2 billion budget, the editorial in the December 30 Washington Examiner says, “If you're starting to get the feeling that Richmond doesn't really want to fix our transportation nightmare in Northern Virginia, you might be on to something.” The editorial then continues, “Neither the governor nor state lawmakers are forced to prioritize expenditures, and when comes to transportation, Governor-elect Tim Kaine, the House of Delegates and the state Senate are, as Jeff Shapiro of the Richmond Times-Dispatch put it, "headed toward the political equivalent of a multicar wreck." Virginia's archaic budget doesn't help. It's virtually impossible for part-time lawmakers to figure out which state programs are working and which ones are not. It's a lot easier to just fund everything rather than risk the inevitable political backlash that occurs when anyone dares utter the word "cut."

The Examiner editorial then quotes the authors of this study for the Virginia Institute for Public Policy (Adobe required): “A healthier approach to budgeting . . . would be to assume that no government program can get a free pass each year during the budget cycle.” The VIPP study is a well-recommend read for citizens hoping to make an impact on public spending in Virginia.