On February 21, a House Conference Committee released the conference report for the transportation bill, HB2313. The legislation was not posted online, however the House voted the 109 page bill out the following morning.
In my original post on the McDonnell’s tax hike betrayal, I quipped that…
Honestly, it may also be a situation of “We won’t know what’s in the bill till we pass it,” due to the rushed nature of the legislation.
Sadly I may not have been very far from the truth. Over the last week and a half, Governor McDonnell has launched an aggressive effort to defend the transportation bill to irate party activists, even using PAC money to run online ad campaigns.
However, comments last weekend on WRVA’s Ask the Governor were very revealing.
“I’m still conducting a legal and constitutional and review of the bill. We haven’t even gotten the bill yet. It’s over 100 pages.” (14 min mark)
“It is 100 pages. It will undergo review, legal review and constitutional review by the attorney general’s office, policy review by my office. …It’s only been five days since the session is over. We just got it. We’ve gotten over 900 bills to review.” (23 min mark)
Really governor? You are fighting hard for a bill you haven’t fully reviewed yet? If you don’t even know what is in it, why should we support it? Maybe you should review it before you try forcing others to support it. If your office hasn’t reviewed the bill, how can you be sure it doesn’t do more harm than good? Are there unknown taxes or fees in the bill? You don’t know. You haven’t reviewed it. Are there small dangerous provisions? Same answer. Will it actually solve the structural problems with our transportation problem, or just throw more money at it? You don’t know. You haven’t actually reviewed it.
Drafting a 100+ page bill and voting on it overnight, is something Americans hate about politicians. Besides Obamacare, the Tea Party was born out of a response to the federal government quickly passing massive bills that they hadn’t read. Quickly passing large legislation is a recipe for helping lobbyists, not good governance.
Governor, with all due respect, please don’t tell us to support a bill you have yet to review. Some people have taken the time to review it and determined it was the largest tax hike in VA history that is probably unconstitutional. Until you actually review the bill, your comments on the legislation are about as informed as Nancy Pelosi’s were about Obamacare.