As the 2012 Virginia General Assembly session nears its schedule end date, but not its expected end date, the budget bills which include the money for Virginia’s Intercity Passenger Rail Operating and Capital Fund (IPROC) and the Commonwealth’s Regional Trains, are stalled in the Virginia Senate. Since the issues at hand are beyond just financial matters, it’s unsure how long the stalemate will continue.
“Virginia’s regional trains grew 79 percent over the last five years,” said Danny Plaugher, executive director of Friends of High Speed Rail. “The funding located in [General Assembly bills] Senate Bill (SB) 29, SB 30, and House Bill (HB) 30 is vital to the continued success that has made Virginia’s regional trains two of the top three best performing routes in Amtrak’s entire system.”
HB 30 and SB 30 include $26 million over the next two years for the sustained operation of Virginia’s regional trains; SB 29 includes an additional $57 million to capitalize IPROC for the operation of Virginia’s regional trains, invest in infrastructure improvements, and match potential federal rail funding. All $83 million is needed for the continued operation and expansion of the Commonwealth’s passenger trains which serve millions of Virginians every year.
According to Plaugher legislators can be contacted concerning the bills at the Senate for SB 29, SB 30, and HB 30 http://conview.state.va.us/whosmy.nsf/main?openform
Learn more about the legislative agenda at http://www.vhsr.com/GA2012