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Nancy  Madsen
By Nancy Madsen December 2, 2012

Costs for crimes increased

Bob McDonnell said the state should earn more revenue from crime when he ran for governor in 2009.

So he pledged, in his public safety plan, he would "propose an increase to the mandatory statutory fee for conviction of crimes.”

McDonnell was talking about fees that defendants convicted of misdemeanors or felonies must pay when their cases require the work of a commonwealth's attorney or a municipal attorney.

The Republican said he would try to raise the $5 criminal court fee for a misdemeanor conviction to $15 and the $15 fee for a felony to $40. McDonnell noted that the felony charge had not increased in a decade and the misdemeanor fee had been unchanged for more than 40 years.

McDonnell said the added revenues should go to drug courts -- adjudication programs across Virginia in which non-violent drug offenders, instead of being incarcerated, are put under intensive supervision and substance abuse treatment.

State Sen. Ryan McDougle, R-Hanover, introduced a bill with the fees proposed by McDonnell in January 2010. The measure, projected to generate $632,500 a year in new revenues, was incorporated into the state budget and the higher fees remain in effect today.

We rate this a Promise Kept.

Our Sources

Bob McDonnell, "McDonnell Unveils Public Safety Plan,” August 2009.

Legislative Information System, "Summary of Budget Actions,” June 29, 2010.

LIS, Impact statement for Senate Bill 531, Jan. 27, 2010.

LIS, Additional Enactments for the 2010 Appropriations Act, available in the full-text search of the budget bill information, accessed Nov. 14, 2012.

Richmond Times-Dispatch, "Summing up the state budget: what amendments mean,” April 26, 2010.

The Virginian-Pilot, "McDonnell"s bid to restrict abortion funding is upheld,” April 22, 2010.

The Roanoke Times, "McDonnell amends 122 bills,” April 15, 2010.

The Virginian-Pilot, "Budget: done deal,” March 15, 2010.

The Roanoke Times, "Anti-predator groups may get funds,” March 4, 2010.

The Virginian-Pilot, "Actor supports funding fight against child porn,” March 4, 2010.

The Roanoke TImes, "Schools, health care top budget discussions,” Feb. 22, 2010.

Richmond Times-Dispatch, "Status of McDonnell bills,” Feb. 17, 2010.

Richmond Times-Dispatch, "General Assembly Briefs for Feb. 16,” Feb. 16, 2010.

Richmond Times-Dispatch, "Will fee increase pass muster with McDonnell?” Feb. 3, 2010.

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