11 Virginia Lawmakers Say They Would Oppose New Metro Funds - NBC4 Washington

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11 Virginia Lawmakers Say They Would Oppose New Metro Funds



    Riders Gear Up For Start of Major Metro Repair Plan

    Metro's SafeTrack maintenance work begins at midnight Saturday on the Orange and Silver lines in Northern Virginia. News 4's Mark Segraves talked to riders who are making changes to their commute to avoid the delays and service disruptions the yearlong repair and restoration work is expected to create. (Published Friday, June 3, 2016)

    With major Metro repairs set to start Saturday, 11 Virginia lawmakers say they would block any new funding devoted to the work.

    Eleven members of the Virginia House of Delegates signed a letter sent to WMATA Chairman Jack Evans on Wednesday.

    The delegates said they will not support any "new dedicated funding stream or tax increases" to fund the repairs expected to cost $60 million.

    "We cannot in good conscience ask Virginia taxpayers to bail out years of mismanagement, negligence and wasteful spending," the letter reads.

    The signatories include House Majority Caucus Chairman Timothy Hugo, House Majority Whip Jackson Miller, Del. David Albo and Del. James LeMunyon.

    Evans called the letter "ludicrous."

    "The fact of the matter is, Metro has a $300 million operating shortfall, an $18 billion capital shortfall and a $2.5 billion unfunded pension liability. And we have to address it some way," the chairman said.

    The letter comes just days after Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe threatened to withhold funding from Metro if safety did not improve.

    "You can threaten all you want," Evans said. "I say to the political leaders of the jurisdictions, my advice would be, get on board and be supportive. Threats are idle. They mean nothing to me."