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Va. bill seeks to cap toll, gov't costs by limiting unions

Tuesday - 1/17/2012, 9:46am  ET

WASHINGTON - Virginia lawmakers are considering a bill that would ban the forced use of unions in the state, which some say would keep costs on public projects like Dulles Rail from soaring even higher and help a larger segment of the unemployed.

"There are some who want to see union project labor agreements forced from the start of the contract," says Delegate Barbara Comstock, R-Fairfax. "We're very concerned that could increase the cost of the entire project hundreds of millions of dollars."

The Dulles Rail Project near Tysons Corner is estimated to cost $2.8 billion. Any further increases in cost would have to be absorbed by local governments and tolls on the Dulles Toll Road.

"You're hearing perhaps from some people who are probably more concerned about getting these jobs to union labor than they are to the 96 percent Virginia workers who are non-union," Comstock says.

There is already enough support to pass the legislation in the House, Comstock says.

WTOP's Hank Silverberg contributed to this report. Follow Hank and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)