Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates William J. Howell (R-Stafford) has announced that he intends to appoint Delegate Tom Rust (R-Herndon) as Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation.
Rust currently serves as the senior-most member of the committee.
“For more than 10 years, Tom has been a leader on transportation and economic development issues here in the Commonwealth. His experience and expertise on these issues make him uniquely qualified to serve as the Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation," Howell said.
"I look forward to formally appointing Tom as Chairman when the 2014 session of the General Assembly convenes,” Howell added.
In his years serving on the Transportation Committee, Rust has chaired the subcommittee on transportation policy. Rust was instrumental in working with Gov. Bob McDonnell to approve $300 million in funding for the Silver Line this year, as well as increasing funding for road repaving from $20 million last year to $40 million this year.
Rust said a big concern of his is keeping fees on the toll roads from increasing too much as well.
“Tom has been a tireless advocate for transportation solutions since he was first elected to the General Assembly," Howell said. "As Chairman of this important committee, Tom will continue to be a leader on Virginia’s efforts to find 21st-century solutions to our transportation challenges."
“This year’s landmark transportation reform package, which Tom proudly supported, will generate over $6 billion in new revenue for transportation projects. Tom will be a key leader in the General Assembly’s efforts to ensure that money is spent wisely and in a way that reduces congestion, increases safety and promotes economic development,” Howell continued.
As Speaker of the House of Delegates, Howell is responsible for appointing members to the various legislative committees. Howell says additional announcements will be made closer to the 2014 session.
“While I normally wait until closer to session to announce committee assignments, Tom’s record of service and understanding of this issue make him uniquely qualified to serve as Chairman and I did not want to delay his important work on this issue any longer than was necessary,” said Speaker Howell. “I look forward to working with Tom in the future.”
A few members of the Virginia Bicycling Federation responded favorably to the announcement on the group's website.
“Rust's Herndon district is along the W&OD Trail. He is a reasonable moderate who has responded favorably to input from his bicycling constituents," the group quoted from Allen Muchnick.Rust said he is honored by the appointment.
“As incoming Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, I will work hard to ensure that the money raised by the new landmark transportation funding and reform package is spent wisely, building the modern transportation system Virginia needs.”
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