RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Two Senate floor amendments that would have offered alternative transportation funding streams have been rejected, leaving only a single House bill as Gov. Bob McDonnell's hope for a defining transportation reform legacy.
A proposal by Republican Sen. Steve Newman that would have replaced McDonnell's retail sales tax increase with a narrower 5.5 percent wholesale tax on fuel was rejected on an 18-22 vote.
A more ambitious amendment from fellow Republican Frank Wagner that would have set the fuel tax at 8 percent went down on a 7-28 vote.
Democrats called Wagner's bill "a step in the right direction" but criticized both for using general funds that cover services such as schools, health care and public safety for transportation. They also said neither Republican proposal would yield enough money.