Friday, August 26, 2005

Baskerville Ahead of the Curve?

Last fall, Delegate and primary candidate for Lt. Governor, Viola Baskerville wrote to the Governor's Commission on Military Base Closings to invite the Commission to support several initiatives that she thought could enhance Virginia's ability to compete effectively with Florida, Texas and North Carolina in this round of the BRAC exercise. Among the bills which she proposed and later introduced was a bill to establish a Defense Infrastructure Fund. Infrastructure projects eligible for funding under her proposed legislation would have included those relating to encroachment (the issue re: Oceana), transportation and access, utilities, communications, housing, environment, and security. Although the Commission staff advised the Commission that everything that Delegate Baskerville recommended would be helpful to Virginia's BRAC case, the Commission failed to endorse any of the legislative actions she proposed.

One has to wonder if greater legislative support for military families and passage of her bill proposing a Defense Infrastructure Grant Fund would have enhanced Virginia's chances of success in the BRAC effort or made it less likely that the BRAC Commission would overrule the military on Oceana and other key recommendations.

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