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State Senate Passes Repeal of Abusive Driver Fees

By a 39-0 vote, with Ken Cuccinelli (R-Fairfax) not voting, the Virginia State Senate passed legislation yesterday to repeal the unpopular abusive driver fees that went into effect last July. Adding a sense of urgency, an emergency clause was added to the bill to ensure the repeal would go into effect immediately upon passage in the House of Delegates and signing by the governor instead of having to wait until July 1. The bi-partisan supported amendments to the bill also called for refunds of the fines paid by everyone under the abusive fee policy. Senate Bill 1 was sponsored by Sen. Edward Houck (D-Spotsylvania) with Northern Virginia Senators George Barker (D-Fairfax) and Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax) among the bill’s patrons. Among other things, the abusive driver law – put in last year’s transportation funding package – failed to produce the level of revenue anticipated, State Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple told a town meeting in Falls Church recently. She said she suspected that was because the police and courts were reluctant to enforce it. She added that it was also supposed to add to safety on the roads, but there was no evidence of that. She conceded the whole thing was just “a bad idea.”

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