What Are You Waiting for, Governor?

A bill that would repeal Abuser Fees has been sitting on the desk of Gov. Timothy M. Kaine since March 19 — a full week now — but the governor has not signed it yet. Del. Tim Hugo, R- Fairfax, author of the bill, is getting impatient.

HB 1243 would totally repeal the abusive driver fees and go into effect immediately upon receiving the governor’s signature. The measure also would refund motorists who had paid the fees, and would forgive any remaining fees.

Says Hugo in an e-mail missive today: “We worked extremely hard with members of the Governor’s administration to ensure their recommendations were incorporated. … It is now time for Governor Kaine to stop delaying and sign this important repeal into law.”

Has the governor developed cold feet about the repeal? Is he wondering what will replace the lost revenue? Or does he just have such a large pile of legislation on his desk that he can’t get to everything at once? Whatever the case, let’s repeal this dog and move on.

Update: The governor signed the bill on March 27. I guess he was just backlogged.

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  1. Groveton Avatar

    “Is he wondering what will replace the lost revenue?”.

    I hope so.

  2. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    well now.. the packyderms will say that the revenue was not “lost” because it was a tax increase that was not justified…

    at least.. that appears to be what their current game plan is… since the abuser fees went down….

    see .. they got his problem.. with the word “tax”…

    “fees” are okay .. but TAXES .. heaven forbid

    So.. if Kaine can figure out how to call an increase in the gas tax – a “user fee”… then the packyderms might acquiesce.


  3. Anonymous Avatar

    This reminds me of my wife’s story from Saudi Arabia.

    She found that even in the British compound store where whe shopped, (aside from local stuff from the souk) there was never any pork available.

    But the store did sell what was labeled as “penguin” which she said looked smelled and tasted suspiciously like pork.

    I guess bacon by any other name is penguin, and fees by any other name are taxes.

    You could also not get wine, she said, but Saudi Arabia is the worlds largest importer of varietal grape juice. With some yeast and a little patience…..


  4. Anonymous Avatar

    On the 13th of March in a release by the Governor’s office. Kaine listed HB 1243 as one of his achievements.


    How can you list this as an achievement if it is still sitting on your desk waiting to be signed.

  5. Anonymous Avatar

    Are we all that stupid?!

    How about a wild conspriracy theory about a concocted transportation funding legislation that bestowed taxing authority to an unelected entity that everyone “in the know” knew would be struck down with the intellectual Del. Marshall leading the way.

    Nobody in the GA or high offices of the Commonwealth’s governance could do a thorough legal review?

    It’s a load. Do nothing and sit in traffic. The limited credibility of the GOP in Virginia is going lower every minute.

    Oh wait a second…. This is what many actually wanted to happen along with the PEC and SELC crew.

    I admire the cleverness of the approach.

    A leadership crisis is here.

  6. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    but… but… our esteemed AG pronounced the plan as “good”…

    who you gonna believe if not the AG?

    seriously.. what they did – is use the existing regional authorities as models….

    That would include the VRE – PRTC Commission that give localities the right to charge their citizens with a 2% gas tax.. and for an unelected board to decide how to spend that money.

    TAs were also based on the way that current regional water/sewer authorities operate where – again – the unelected authority sets the fees and then decides how to spend the money..

    ditto for regional jails… waste management … etc…

    there is real concern than if citizens challenge the basis for these other authorities on the same basis that the TAs were rejected that hundreds of other authorities could be also ruled illegal.

    Then what?

  7. Anonymous Avatar

    Do nothing and sit in traffic.

    I love it.

    Some organizations have actually come out and said that “Congestion is our friend.”

    The GOP and such organizations are losing friends by the minute.

    I have a friend who is as conservative as Atilla the Hun. He was livid when a bridge widening proect was postponed because of some critter that lived under the bridge. Livid.

    “Hundreds of cars idling every morning because of environmental concerns”, he said, “are they freaking crazy?”

    Take it for what it’s worth.


  8. Anonymous Avatar

    Then what?

    Well, the people who were elected to do a job might have to do it, instead of hiding behind the boards.

    The water and sewer crisis in Marshall has been in a state of limbo for decades. “It’s not us, it’s the WSA (who is appointed by us)”.

    How many decades does this go on before responsibility lands where it belongs?


  9. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    Is it unconstitutional or unpopular?

    It’s very possible for a law to be perfectly constitutional and massively unpopular.

    What is disappointing is that the fiscal conservatives in Va has morphed into the “no mo tax, we have no ideas” party.

    Their solution is “no mo taxes” regardless of apparent needs – and that is a position that is going to get them thrown out of office in urban and urbanizing areas.

    The only thing that has saved them to date is gerrymandering which they are going to attempt to use to keep a hollow majority.

    I don’t think most folks want a tax&spend legislature but fiscal conservatism without ideas is knuckle-dragging conservatism and I just don’t think that is going to fly with may voters who live in urban and urbanizing areas in Va.

    Fiscal conservatism needs to be sophisticated and intelligent about balancing needs and taxes.

    Between the far righties and the ‘no mo taxes’ folks – the Republicans are on the verge of turning over Va to the Dems.

    and to me the proof of this.. is focusing on things like why Kaine won’t sign the bill – instead of what the packyderms are offering in place of that failed legislation.

    Where are the ideas?

    The Dems have ideas – raise the taxes.

    The packyderms are opposed but can’t bring themselves to put something – an alternative to meeting the needs – on the table.

  10. Anonymous Avatar

    Raise taxes. Won’t work because the D’s are just as tied to the developers as are the R’s.

    Unless and until Virginia law makers and Governors renounce “developer worship” as the state religion, nothing will improve — even if we raise taxes. Governor Bailies’ sales tax increase in the late 80s was supposed to fix transportation. It didn’t, but helped open more areas to development. The current round of tax/fee increases will do nothing either.

    Look at the Silver Line boondoggle. Billions could be spent to build a rail system that will ensure that 8 out of every 10 new trips to or from Tysons Corner would be by automobile.

    The GOP plays games and imposes fees, rather than raise taxes. The Democrats will raise taxes while lying through their teeth that higher taxes will make things better. What’s worse? Aren’t they equally wrong?

    Nothing will ever get better until things get much worse for the real estate industry. Will that happen?


  11. Anonymous Avatar

    The bill was signed on March 27th according to the Gov’s web site

  12. Anonymous Avatar

    “Fiscal conservatism needs to be sophisticated and intelligent about balancing needs and taxes.”

    So does more liberal fiscal policy. Just because you choose a different level of spending doesn’t mean you get to throw money around at everything. you still need to be sophisticated about balancing priorities.


  13. Anonymous Avatar

    “Nothing will ever get better until things get much worse for the real estate industry. Will that happen? “

    Smart investors and speculators are snapping up homes at forclosure auctions.

    The real estate industry is something like 25% of the economy. It is going to be hard for things to get better as long as housing keeps getting worse.


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