At the Virginia Governor’s Transportation Conference, Governor Glenn Youngkin touted a mix of federal and state investment in Virginia’s transportation infrastructure in ports, roads, rail, and air infrastructure, and said he’d defend Virginia’s right-to-work laws.
“This year we will have a record level of support for our Commonwealth and the Commonwealth Transportation Fund. That $9 billion includes $3.5 billion in surface transportation capital construction projects; $3.3 billion in keeping and maintaining our highways and our bridges and our tunnels at best-in-class standards; $1.1 billion in keeping rail and transit moving forward; $1 billion in allocation of funds for the regional transportation needs,” he said Thursday.
“It’s an extraordinary amount of capital flowing into such an important part of Virginia’s future,” Youngkin said. “Basically, we have a statewide construction project.”
Virginia has received funding both from the general assembly and from federal actions including the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill.
In addition to highlighting existing funding, Youngkin said he’d ask for more budget funding for aviation in Virginia.
“Earlier this year, we initiated the Virginia Air Transportation System Plan to reimagine, to completely reimagine our aviation systems in the commonweath,” he said. “Our December budget will incorporate funding to build on this system plan, turning it into a comprehensive airport-driven economic development strategy.”
Towards the end of his speech, Youngkin said that although Virginia already has a good labor force, access to labor is threatened by labor regulations.
“However, creeping regulations that dictate who can and can’t work on a project based solely on union affiliation not only carries significant cost implications, but also discriminate against the 95 percent of Virginia’s workers who are not members of a union,” he said. “Let me be clear: we are a right-to-work state, and I fully intend to stay that way and protect the rights that are ensured by that designation. And so we are being vigilant and we will continue to be vigilant against schemes such as project labor agreements.”
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