No enhanced misdemeanors, either.
I sat in on the House Courts of Justice Committee Meeting yesterday afternoon, and the chair, Delegate David Albo had an interesting comment. He said basically there is no money
for anything this year, so any bills which come to them that have a financial impact would die in committee, without even being sent to a sub-committee for further action.
As an example, he mentioned that any bills that create a new felony would receive no action. He further explained that if the financial impact statement was not zero, but could be shown to be a trivial amount or if the financial impact statement was simply a wrong assessment, then maybe they could work something out.
But to my untrained ears, it sure sounded like he said there would be no brand new felony crimes coming out of the GA this year. Apparently it costs money to create a new felony crime, although I'm not exactly sure why.
Any such bill would affect local jail populations, at least in some localities. That would implicate this code section, § 30-19.1:4: Increase in terms of imprisonment or commitment; fiscal impact statements; appropriations for operating costs.
In addition, the Chairman also referred to this 2009 Budget Amendment:
A. For any fiscal impact statement prepared by the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission pursuant to § 30-19.1:4, Code of Virginia, for which the commission does not have sufficient information to project the impact, the commission shall assign a minimum fiscal impact of $50,000 to the bill and this amount shall be printed on the face of each such bill, but shall not be codified. The provisions of § 30-19.1:4, paragraph H. shall be applicable to any such bill.What this means if that, even if they cannot decide what the specific cost would be for such a bill, for fiscal impact purposes, it would cost at least $50,000.