The Virginia legislature on Feb. 25 gave preliminary approval for the creation of a transportation fund “lockbox” that would prevent transportation-related funds from being raided for other uses. Because it is a constitutional amendment the legislature must vote again in 2018 to pass the measure, after which it will face voter approval on the November 2018 ballot.

House Joint Resolution 693 (HJR 693) was introduced by Rep. Dave La-Rock (R- District 33). The Virginia House of Representatives gave initial approval on Feb. 6 with a vote of 78-16, after which the state Senate made amendments and passed the measure 24-16 on Feb. 24. The House once again approved the bill on Feb. 25, the final day of Virginia’s General Assembly session,  with a vote of 71-23.

If the legislature and voters approve HJR 693 in 2018, Virginia would become the fifth state to pass a transportation fund lockbox amendment since 2014. Lockboxes were on the ballot in Maryland and Wisconsin in 2014, and in Illinois and New Jersey in 2016. The four lockbox measures were passed with an average of 74 percent voter approval.

Want to learn more about past transportation fund lockboxes? Watch ARTBA-TIAC’s last webinar, “Campaigning for Transportation Fund Lockboxes”.

Visit ARTBA-TIAC’s “State Transportation Funding Legislation” page to see what other states are considering transportation funding legislation in 2017.