Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw (D-Fairfax) says Gov. Bob McDonnell’s (R) plan to privatize Virginia’s liquor stores will not win approval in the Senate.
“I would say that right now it will not pass, nor is it even close, at least not right now in the Senate,” Saslaw said to reporters after the governor’s address to the General Assembly’s money committees Thursday.
Saslaw also said he doesn’t think the governor has enough support for the plan in the Republican-controlled House of Delegates.
McDonnell is pushing hard for the plan as a way to pay for Virginia’s much-needed transportation improvements.
But Saslaw said the proposal is based on fuzzy math.
“There’s no way you can make the numbers work without tripling the amount of booze that’s consumed in the state of Virginia,” he said. “I mean, that’s great. We’re gonna build roads by putting drunks out there driving these cars.”
A spokesman for the Republican Party of Virginia said in an e-mail statement late Thursday that Saslaw “has a transportation fever, and the only prescription is higher taxes.”
The governor plans to call legislators back for a special session, likely the week after the November elections, according to several sources. McDonnell advisers say they have yet to officially start “counting noses” to see if they have the votes necessary to pass the plan.