Virginia’s Civil Remedial Fees, which took effect on July 1, 2007, have prompted a public backlash not anticipated by state legislators — all 140 of whom are up for re-election this fall. The New York Times reports that angry drivers have been making their opinions known through a flood of phone calls and emails to lawmakers, and threatening to cast votes against those responsible for the new system of remedial fees — fees that can range as high as $3,000 per offense, and apply only to Virginia residents. Many legislators have asked Governor Tim Kaine to convene a special session of the legislature, so members can return to Richmond and vote to dismantle the law before the coming election. So far, the governor has declined, arguing that the discussion can wait until January, and that the state needs the projected revenue the fees will generate. Civil Remedial Fees were designed to generate $65 million in revenue each year. Though it has been estimated that a one cent-per-gallon fuel tax could raise as much as $50 million per year, implementing the tax would require the alteration of a transportation financing bill, something many politicians believe would create a significant administrative burden.
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