Monday, July 23, 2007

Virginia “Civil Remedial Fees” Legislation Shocks Citizens

A weird bill quietly passed by the Virginia Legislature and signed by the Governor has created uproar throughout the state. Its stated purpose is to finance new roads by imposing record-breaking fees and points on citizens cited for traffic violations. These fees only apply to Virginia residents and are in addition to the normal penalties. They are so severe that the state is paid in the form of three annual payments..

This site provides an explanation and listing of the fees.

For example any form of reckless driving requires that an additional fee of $350 per year be accessed for each of three years. If a suspended license is involved the law requires a fee of $1000 for each of the three years. This is in addition to the current penalties. I repeat that it only applies to residents of Virginia.

The first public reaction was a rush to find out who voted for the bill. I was shocked to see that my representative, whom I have supported in the past, was one of those who did. There is now a call for a special session for total repeal. The following site is active in the recall.

There is also rage directed to the numerous law firms who track down unresponsive traffic violators under contract to the state. Because a large portion of the poorer citizens will face jail because they just can’t pay fines of this magnitude the law will be a multi-million dollar bonanza for these firms. A member of the legislation who owns such a firm introduced the bill. Read this

and this:

Most infuriating is the blatant arrogance of those who pushed a bill of this magnitude through at the last minute. It has both Republican and Democratic support but is largely a Republican bill. The Democratic Governor signed it.

This site lists the voting records. It should be useful for the November elections.

To experience the full fury of the Virginia Internet users on this subject do a Google Search on “Virginia Civil Remedial Fees”. I got 728,000 hits. Not everyone is against it but defenders are hard to find. At last I did find a defender-the governor who signed it

So the battle to limit the ever-growing power of government continues. Maybe we still have some rebellious drive left in us. What do you think Tom Jefferson?