Elephant Ears

This blog is dedicated to the political happenings in the Valley and Southwest Virginia. As the the name implies, this blog will have posts based on what is heard by this elephant's (GOPer's) ears. It is also a great treat to get while at the county fair or a carnival.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Scenario 3 - New Proposal

My 2 logical scenarios surrounding the budget battle both seem unlikely to happen. We have already seen a lot of discussion over whether my list of 11 GOPs could be gathered together to vote for a tax increase under the current proposal. I also cannot imagine the Senate agreeing to not raise taxes. We have to eventually pass a budget, so my guess is there will be a new proposal.

The cornerstone of the argument right now surrounds the budget surplus being in the general fund. The House Republicans think we should use a portion of that to fund the transportation improvements. Kaine and the Senate say the general fund should not be used for transportation because it could take away from education and other programs.

Our friend
Norm Leahy has pointed out education is much more a universal issue for people than transportation. It is also an issue that affects everyone, whereas transportation is largely a NOVA and Tidewater problem.

It seems to me that Kaine, along with his willing accomplices in the Senate, will propose a new budget that uses the $4.9 billion surplus on increased education funding; at the K-12 level, higher education (in fact, Virginia21 wants higher education funding brought to "base adequacy" by spending $377 million) and maybe even Kaine's proposed 4 year old program. This would then open up the $4 billion tax increase for the transportation funds the Senate and Kaine want.

I think this seems to be the most likely scenario because it will both reasonate with the entire state and will also open up the possibility of more downstate House GOPs.


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