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Va. Lawmakers Kill Bill Rasing Penalty for Drivers Who Hit LEOs

Andrew's law will have to wait another year.

The House Appropriations Committee refused to hear the bill Jan. 30. That action means the bill will not become law this year. Delegate Will Morefield informed the Fox family of the action after being notified by the committee chairman.

"Regretfully, I informed the Fox family that HB 1148 will not be heard in the House. I was informed by the Appropriations Committee that after careful consideration they have decided not to hear the bill due to the estimated fiscal impact,' Morefield said.

He said Andrew's law was one of dozens the committee refused to hear because of the projected fiscal impact on the Commonwealth. "Unfortunately the Commonwealth simply does not have the funding available at this time,' Morefield said.

A senate committee passed their version of the bill last week and advanced it to the full senate. Morefield said that bill will not be heard by the house appropriations committee if it makes it out of the senate.

"The legislative process can be very frustrating for those involved and I encouraged the Fox family to not give up and be persistent in their effort. The likelihood of Andrew's Law becoming law will increase as the fiscal state of the Commonwealth continues to improve,' Morefield said.

Andrew's Law is named for the late Andrew Fox, a Virginia State Trooper who was killed while directing traffic at the Va. State Fair.

The woman who ran over Trooper Fox was charged with misdemeanor reckless driving and after entering a plea of no contest was fined $1,000.and given a 12 month suspended sentence. The bill introduced by Puckett and Morefield would have made reckless driving resulting in the death of a police officer, firefighter, EMS worker or highway worker a felony.

It would have required the suspension of a driver's license for one year and a minimum mandatory fine of $2,500. Members of the Fox family testified before the senate committee that heard the bill.

Copyright 2014 - Floyd Press, Va.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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