Image by Elvert Barnes licensed under Creative Commons.

In the final day of its 2018 regular session, the Virginia General Assembly is set to vote on the fate of its bill, SB856, in support of dedicated funding and reform for Metro.

On Friday, March 9 a conference committee in Richmond is expected to approve a final proposal that includes Virginia’s share of the $500 million/year in long-term, dedicated funding that Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld has called for. The bill that comes out of Virginia's conference committee will go to the full General Assembly for a vote Saturday, March 10.

Earlier this week, the Maryland house approved HB 372 for $150 million of funding on a strongly bipartisan 98-40 vote, and the Maryland senate is expected to move before its crossover date on March 19. Advocates continue to push for Maryland to get its final number to $167 million, Maryland's share of $500 million under the current Metro funding formula.

The District of Columbia, which has a longer legislative season, is expected to act following Virginia and Maryland. Its share of $500 million is $178 million.

Meanwhile in Virginia, transit supporters are conducting a final push of outreach to Virginia legislators to express the importance of Virginia passing legislation funding at the $154 million/year level, which is Virginia's share under the current Metro funding formula.

If you're a Virginia resident supportive of dedicated funding for Metro, you can look up your representatives and their phone numbers here.

What to say: Advocates suggest calling to leave a short message emphasizing your support for Virginia's full $154 million and nothing less. Point out that if the Virginia doesn't get to a deal this session, it torpedoes the work across all three jurisdictions, and we don't expect the stars to ever be able to align across jurisdictions the way they are right now. If you can't bear the thought of picking up the phone, you can also use this email template.