Virginians back Gov. Bob McDonnellâ€™s plan to repeal the gas tax and raise the sales tax to pay for transportation by a 2-1 margin, according to a new Virginia survey from the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University.
â€œThe governorâ€™s transportation plan has public support, and this is the first time in a very long time that Virginians have supported any kind of transportation plan,â€ said Dr. Quentin Kidd, director of the Wason Center.
While they support the gas tax/sales tax swap McDonnell proposed to the current session of the General Assembly, voters oppose moving money from other parts of the state budget to pay for transportation. And when asked about new taxes or tolls for transportation separately, voters oppose every one. They also said funding transportation is a state responsibility to be paid by everyone, not regionally.
The survey of 1,015 registered voters covered a range of issues. Here are some other highlights:
· After the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, Virginians strongly oppose arming school officials but strongly support stationing armed police in schools.
· By almost a 4-1 margin, they want the General Assembly to close the â€œgun show loophole.â€
· By a 5-1 margin, they believe texting while driving should be a reckless driving offense.
· More support than oppose repealing the requirement imposed by the 2012 General Assembly that women undergo an ultrasound procedure before having an abortion.
· They oppose lifting the ban on uranium mining.
· They would require public schools to allow home-schooled students to participate in sports and other extracurricular activities.
· They oppose legalizing marijuana for recreational use, but strongly support legalizing it for medical purposes.
The poll was conducted Jan. 14-20. The margin of error is +/- 3.1%.