SB 267 Tabled in Finance
Despite machinations of powerful WMATA and transportation lobbyists, Senator Mary Margaret Whipple's bill to support Tom Davis' federal metro money with a sales tax increase was tabled in House Finance today. This is the same bill which is drawing controversy over at NLS and in today's RTD and WaPo from Bill Leighty's truthiness in re: Mrs. Davis' vote. (She did vote for it).
But I find two other votes much more interesting. Today Delegate Tim Hugo voted "Nay" on the tabling, hoping to bring her to the full floor of the House (where he was sure to vote "yea"). In the Senate, after amending the bill to be enacted only if the federal money is secured, Senator Jay O'Brien voted for it.
O'Brien's vote is more interesting, in many ways, because I wouldn't imagine that capital improvements at Metro stations will do a dang thing for his constituents. If O'Brien voted for a bill to create a sales tax dedicated to widening the Fairfax County Parkway or Route 123, I wouldn't blink. But this almost seems like O'Brien is picking a transportation issue to step away from his fellow Senate conservatives so that he doesn't get branded as someone who refused to do anything for transportation.