Cuccinelli asked if proposed fees would violate Virginia constitution
Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William)has written a letter to Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, asking him to weigh in on whether it would be unconstitutional for the General Asssembly to embed fee increases into the budget this year.
The "one subject" rule has become a perennial point of contention in budgeting, as lawmakers argue over whether it is legitimate to assume revenues in the budget without separate legislation approving tax or fee increases.
Marshall notes that the House and Senate conferees have had some discussions about agreeing to raise $76 million in fees from car registration fees, recordation fees and fees to reinstate driver's licenses, including those fees in the budget bill rather than separate legislation.
"Since raising funds whether by taxes or fees is one purpose, and appropriating money is a separate and distinct purpose, would including a provision for raising $76 million in fees to be spent as part of the Appropriations bill, violate the one object rule of the Virginia Constitution if the Governor signed that bill into law?" Marshall wrote to Cuccinelli, in a letter dated Monday.
Noting the ongoing budget process, Marshall writes that an "expedited answer would be most appreciated and useful."
We have already seen Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling weigh in on the ongoing fee dispute. His letter came after several hundred people attended a rally organized by Americans for Prosperty in Capital Square urging the General Assembly to reject the Senate's fee proposals. Will the attorney general now weigh in from a legal perspective now as well?
March 9, 2010; 3:02 PM ET
Categories: Ken Cuccinelli , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman
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