Del. Karrie Delaney (D-67) and 14 other members of the Virginia General Assembly sent a letter Friday, Jan. 11, to state Transportation Secretary Shannon Valentine and other officials requesting toll relief for federal workers commuting without pay during the federal government’s shutdown.
“These residents are still going to work every day to ensure our nation’s operations continue, but they are not receiving a paycheck,” Delaney said. “They are trying to figure out how they are going to make ends meet, and here we have an opportunity to provide some relief from the tolls they incur during their commute.”
More than 34,000 workers in the commonwealth are affected by the three-week federal shutdown, caused by an impasse between Democrats and President Donald Trump over funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. In terms of federal workers, Virginia is the sixth-most affected state.
The letter requests that furloughed workers who can prove their employment status have their E-ZPass deactivated temporarily. It also seeks refunds for workers who pay highway tolls while working without pay during the shutdown.
“Those who are traveling the Greenway, I-66 and other tolled roads in Virginia to get to a job where they are not receiving a paycheck should not be further financially strained for simply fulfilling their duty as a public servant,” the letter says. “We cannot undo the financial burdens and hardships this federal shutdown has brought to the homes of thousands of Virginians, but we can help alleviate it.”