Article from: www.thenewspaper.com/news/21/2156.asp
Text of the Lieutenant Governor's letter to members of the General Assembly:
January 3, 2008
I look forward to seeing you in Richmond next week and working with you during this year's legislative session to achieve our mutual goals.
One of the important issues we will consider this year is repeal or revision of the abusive driver fee legislation that was enacted by the General Assembly last year. I am writing to advise you of my belief that the abusive driver fee legislation should be repealed and to ask for your support of our efforts to accomplish this goal.
When the concept of abusive driver fees was first discussed several years ago, many of us felt it was a legitimate way to raise money for transportation construction. In addition, by applying these fees to the most serious traffic related offenses, we also felt it was a legitimate way to improve safety on Virginia's highways. This was also one of the things that the members of the General Assembly seemed to agree on, so it was appropriate to include this legislation in the 2007 transportation package.
Unfortunately, it has since become apparent that the legislation inadvertently applied the abusive driver fees to a number of less serious traffic related offenses, and the Governor's amendments, which exempted out of state drivers from the abusive driver fees, made the legislation terribly unpopular. Both of these problems with the legislation are unacceptable.
In addition, recent information provided by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission indicates that the abusive driver fees are not generating anywhere near the $60M a year we had been told they would generate. In fact, the fees only resulted in total collections of $2.8M through November 30th of 2007.
Given these considerations, it is my belief that the abusive driver fees should be repealed. While it may be possible to address some of the concerns that have been raised, such as those discussed above, through revisions to the 2007 legislation, I believe that would be a mistake. While this was the most noble of efforts, it simply has not worked out the way it was intended, and it has become terribly unpopular in the public eye. That is why I favor the total repeal of the abusive driver fees, as opposed to their modification.
I am pleased to report that Delegate Lacey Putney, Delegate Mark Cole and Senator Ken Cuccinelli have agreed to introduce legislation calling for repeal of the abusive driver fees. Other legislators will most likely introduce similar legislation. I encourage you to sign on as a co-patron of this legislation and give it your support during this year's legislative session.
Thank you for considering my views on this important issue. If you have any questions, or would like to share your feedback with me on this issue, please let me know.
Very Truly Yours,
WILLIAM T. BOLLING
Commonwealth of Virginia