"This is consensus, and agreed on by thinkers and scholars from around the state," she said of the commission's proposals. "I think we'll be able to get something through the Legislature."
Staggers said she supports the concept of a $1 billion road bond, but prefers that it be done through a constitutional amendment as opposed to an action of the state Parkways Authority, as proposed by the commission.
She said she's also not sold on using Turnpike tolls to pay off the bond issue.
"If everybody across the state thinks it's a good idea to keep tolls on the Turnpike, you'd think they'd be just as enthusiastic about tolling a road or bridge that they want fixed in their area," she said.
Staggers noted that the Legislature in 2011 passed a package of DMV fee increases similar to the commission's recommendations by large margins in both houses. Tomblin, running in the special election for governor at the time, vetoed the bill.
Staggers said it's clear states such as West Virginia will have to come up with innovative ways to fund highway construction and maintenance, as federal funding declines.
"It becomes more and more important for us to figure out how to take care of ourselves as the federal dollars dry up," she said, adding, "This is the time to figure it out, because big brother's not going to take care of us anymore."
Senate Transportation Chairman Bob Beach, D-Monongalia, could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Both Staggers and Beach serve as legislative representatives on the Blue Ribbon Commission.
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.