Virginia drivers know that improvements to our transportation system have been long overdue. The people of Northern Virginia and my neighbors in Hampton Roads know all too well what it feels like to sit in traffic as a consequence of the state not meeting its transportation needs. Businesses feel the pain of outdated infrastructure and gridlock. Fostering a strong business climate in our Commonwealth starts with an efficient transportation network.
Since I was elected to the Senate in 2007, I have worked diligently to help find a sustainable source of revenue to fix our transportation crisis without shortchanging key investments in education, law enforcement, and public health. For years, progress in this area has stalled in the General Assembly, but persistence has finally paid off.
This year I was part of the bi-partisan effort in the Senate to reach a transportation compromise that will put the Commonwealth on a path to address the chronic congestion on our roadways. Working with Governor McDonnell, I joined a coalition of Democrats and Republicans from across Virginia to pass a comprehensive transportation bill that will increase the level of sustainable funding for our roadways, make investments in mass transit options, and direct transportation money to the regions of the state with the highest traffic levels (Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia).
With so much of our economy dependent on the military, which relies upon easy movement throughout the Commonwealth, Virginia stood to lose thousands of jobs without a solution to our transportation problems. Additionally, if our transportation infrastructure continued to crumble, businesses and talented professionals considering the Commonwealth will look elsewhere. While the bill was not perfect, we were able to meet in the middle, a fact that should give citizens confidence that the Virginia way is alive and well.
Virginia businesses pay the price for clogged roadways and an efficient transportation system is vital to attracting new businesses to our Commonwealth. Transportation is also a quality of life issue. Endless rush hour gridlock means more time in the car and less time with your family. The transportation compromise is designed to help businesses thrive, ensure we can adequately support our military installments, and make it a little easier to get to that Little League game or dance recital on time.
As Lieutenant Governor I will continue working to make our transportation system more efficient. Crumbling roads and bridges not only make our traffic problems worse, they are dangerous for drivers. Maintaining Virginia's infrastructure will continue to be a priority of mine because it not only helps commuters get to where they need to go, it will create jobs across our Commonwealth.