Look Who’s Defending Abuser Fees!

I missed this when it was first reported, but I’m reminded of it by a communication from the Virginia Club for Growth:

Yesterday, the Senate Courts of Justice Committee voted to block an emergency clause on, SB 1, the repeal of the abusive driver fees, sponsored by Democrat Ed Houck. The emergency clause would have made the bill effective upon Governor Kaine’s signature, instead of January 1, 2009, which is when legislation without the clause becomes active.

Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw told the Washington Post he voted against the emergency clause because he didn’t think enough votes would be in the House of Delegates for its passage. Other Democrats who voted against the clause include Senators Marsh, Howell, Lucas, Edwards, Reynolds, Puller and Deeds.

The seven Republicans on the Courts of Justice Committee all voted for the emergency clause. They include Senators Stolle, Quayle, Norment, Cuccinelli, Obenshain, McDougle and Hurt.

I know I’m late blogging this, but after bashing Republicans for instigating and supporting Abuser Fees, I felt I had to tell the rest of the story. Looks like the main reason the Dems opposed the fees was so they could flail Republicans at election time. But when it comes to actually parting with the revenue, they just can’t bring themselves to do it.

Update: According to an anonymous comment on this post, this legislative maneuver may not be what it seems, and I may have totally misinterpreted its significance. Read the comment and decide for yourself.

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  1. Anonymous Avatar

    Looks like you fell for an old legislative ploy that tricked a few neophyte legislators in the past.

    If you add an emergency clause to a bill, it takes a supermajority to pass. If a bill’s opponent wanted to kill a bill , he’d propose the emergency clause knowing that the bill wouldn’t get the required vote on the floor of either house. Then he’d have killed the bill without leaving his fingerprints.

    This was so obvious in the abuser fee case it didn’t take too much for the Democrats to figure it out. They defeated the emergency clause so the bill would have a chance to pass….Thought you were sharper than that…my bad.

  2. Jim Bacon Avatar

    Anonymous 12:27, Having no experience whatsoever with the legislative process, I had no idea that things worked in the way you described. Thanks for the clarification.

  3. Anon 12:27 Avatar
    Anon 12:27

    Well, it was a fairly transparent and amatuerish attempt by the Republicans to kill the bill.

    But here’s the rest of the drill:

    The bill passes both houses in its current form. Then, Governor Kaine attaches a governor’s amendment providing for an emergency. If it is accepted by both houses by a simple majority..Bingo, the
    bill is then effective on passage with no further action necessary.

    Feel free to denounce the Republicans for their cynical and clumsy performance…As someone once said “No wonder it took them 150 years to gain power and such a short time to show why it took them so long.”

  4. Tom Paine Avatar

    Anonymous 12:27 has it figured. It was just an attempt by the Republican senators to kill the bill while seeming to support it. A rather shameful exhibition. When will they stop playing games?

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