Vienna Patch Reports on Delegate Keam's Town Hall Meeting
Del. Keam Discusses Transportation Bill
During a town hall meeting in Vienna on Saturday morning, Virginia Delegate Mark Keam talked about tenets of the proposed transportation legislation with constituents.
But he spent the majority of two hours on the proposed multi-billion dollar transportation legislation that could help fund as many as 900 road projects around the state.
Different versions of the bill have passed in both chambers of the General Assembly. The legislation will now go to a "conference" session, where differences in the two bills will be ironed out. Keam anticipates voting on a compromise bill before the legislative session ends on Feb. 26.
Gov. Bob McDonnell has expressed that this transportation legislation is one of his top priorities.
"Everyone knows these projects need to go forward," said Keam, whose 35th House district covers the Town of Vienna, and parts of Oakton, Tysons Corner, Wolf Trap, Dunn Loring and Fair Oaks.
But Keam explained the bill will do little to address major congestion problems in Fairfax County. Projects already underway to unclog the major highways in Fairfax County - like the HOT lanes project, the widening of Interstate 66 and the Dulles Metrorail - will not receive additional funding through this proposed bill.
"This plan doesn't necessarily help my district that much," Keam said. "This will help brand new projects that haven't existed before."
Howard Svigals, one of Keam's constituents who attended the town hall meeting, expressed concern that a compromise between the two bills could not be reached. He said he has seen it happen during six previous legislative sessions.
"There is a chance we don't have a bill," Svigals said. "I've just seen failure for multiple years."
Keam did not support the version of the transportation bill that passed in the House. He said his concerns about specific tenets of the legislation may be addressed during conferencing.
A record of bills that Keam has introduced can be accessed on his website, www.www.markkeam.com.