RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Bob McDonnell's transportation funding bill has cleared its first hurdle in the General Assembly, but it still has a long way to go.
The Senate Transportation Committee on Wednesday advanced the five-year, $3.1 billion funding package to the Finance Committee.
The bill would eliminate the state's 17.5-cent per gallon gas tax and replace it with a sale tax increase of less than a penny on the dollar.
The package also includes other funding mechanisms, such as a new $100 fee on alternative fuel vehicles.
Democratic Sen. Dave Marsden of Fairfax County questioned whether Virginians would really see a 17.5-cent decrease in prices at the pump after the gas tax is eliminated.
Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton said the administration believes competition will drive the price down.