Public Comments for 01/19/2021 Transportation - Transportation Innovation and General Topics Subcommittee
HB1796 - License plates, special; removes fee for issuance to Va. National Guard retirees.
Last Name: Lowe Locality: Ruschlikon

Is Bitcoing going to one million dollars or zero? Check out the video below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6DmQxBlXms Bitcoin Infiltrates Corporate America https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cg10yYZjK94 The Feds are Creating a Liquidity Tsunami - Robert Kiyosaki, Kim Kiyosaki and Richard Duncan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJCm6MW6nok Inflation is going to eat away your savings, buy some bitcoins to preserve your purchasing power (and potentially even make money from it) Buy bitcoin here and save 10% from your trading fees at the world's biggest crypto exchange: https://bit.ly/31uRnnb If you are a US resident, you can buy bitcoin here: https://bit.ly/3r3oPvQ

Last Name: Twyman Locality: Virginia Beach

Please consider putting these bills into effect.

Last Name: Scipio Locality: Orange County,, Locust Grove

In favor of programs to better facilitate the development and progress of my community.

Last Name: Czaplicki Organization: Virginia National Guard Association, Inc. Locality: Fredericksburg

On behalf of the nearly 10,000 brave men and women serving the Virginia National Guard, I proudly support this legislation as it provides an essential benefit to those Virginians who have faithfully served the Commonwealth of Virginia for over 20 years.

HB1797 - License plates, special; fees for certain military declarations.
No Comments Available
HB1801 - Disposing of litter; penalty.
Last Name: Lowe Locality: Ruschlikon

Is Bitcoing going to one million dollars or zero? Check out the video below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6DmQxBlXms Bitcoin Infiltrates Corporate America https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cg10yYZjK94 The Feds are Creating a Liquidity Tsunami - Robert Kiyosaki, Kim Kiyosaki and Richard Duncan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJCm6MW6nok Inflation is going to eat away your savings, buy some bitcoins to preserve your purchasing power (and potentially even make money from it) Buy bitcoin here and save 10% from your trading fees at the world's biggest crypto exchange: https://bit.ly/31uRnnb If you are a US resident, you can buy bitcoin here: https://bit.ly/3r3oPvQ

Last Name: Mahaney Locality: Midlothian

H.B.1801--increasing the fine so substantially will place unmanageable burdens on the poor and struggling population. Community service (picking up litter) is a much better solution to the problem and individuals can perform it where transportation is not a burden. H.B. 2047 - the entire circumstances surrounding a crime need to be investigated - some may call for mental health assistance vs. incarceration. There must be discretion used. H.B. 2258 - another bureaucratic nightmare? another registry? Are they really effective? Studies would indicate they are not. H.B. 2303 - the disparate impact of current drug laws among communities of color needs to change. This has led to an severe mass incarceration problem. We have got to redirect our efforts as a society to rehabilitating and assisting unacceptable behaviors versus thinking additional laws (and subsequently incarceration) are the answer. Empirical studies have shown this to be a very ineffective way of deterring criminal behavior, all the while destroying families and perpetuating the problem. It's time for a paradigm shift.

HB1841 - Crosswalk design; Dept. of Transportation to convene work group to determine model policies.
Last Name: Lowe Locality: Ruschlikon

Is Bitcoing going to one million dollars or zero? Check out the video below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6DmQxBlXms Bitcoin Infiltrates Corporate America https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cg10yYZjK94 The Feds are Creating a Liquidity Tsunami - Robert Kiyosaki, Kim Kiyosaki and Richard Duncan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJCm6MW6nok Inflation is going to eat away your savings, buy some bitcoins to preserve your purchasing power (and potentially even make money from it) Buy bitcoin here and save 10% from your trading fees at the world's biggest crypto exchange: https://bit.ly/31uRnnb If you are a US resident, you can buy bitcoin here: https://bit.ly/3r3oPvQ

Last Name: Tyndall Organization: Sports Backers Locality: Petersburg

The walking and crash victim and survivor communities support the intention of this bill and its amended substitute that was passed in subcommittee. Pedestrian fatalities in Virginia were at al all time high in 2019 (126 people), and just three less in 2020 during the reduced driving of the pandemic. Serving on the VA DMV pedestrian safety task force, I have learned that many pedestrians killed are over 50 years old and are likely to move slower than average. Speeding is also on the rise, up 12.5 percent in 2020 continuing a multi-year trend. If we are to expect fast drivers to stop for pedestrians, they must be seen well in advance of crossing. The study will likely find that crosswalks in their various forms can be higher visibility than the traditional double line type without costing much more money as they are implemented across the Commonwealth.

Last Name: Mester Organization: City of Falls Church local government Locality: County of Fairfax

HB 1841: On behalf of City Council and continuing the dialog with the bill patron I share some thoughts with a goal to find a good way forward to address constituent safety concerns as well as the locality's design, safety guidelines and costs not covered in the state’s proposed budget. A few recommendations: • Refer this legislation for a one year data driven study, by VDOT, multi-modal industry research entities, users and localities, to determine best cyclist and pedestrian approach as other alternatives such as road diets, bump outs, and bike lanes can have a larger impact than just crosswalks • Ensure full state funding for any state mandated code change for maintaining crosswalks • If HB1841 proceeds, without a study or adequate state funding, then at minimum amend the language to “may”, “highly visible”, “major maintenance” and retain option for “brick material in historic and streetscape design districts when consistent with highly visible and color contrast standards”. Thanks you, Cindy Cindy L. Mester, ICMA-CM Deputy City Manager Pension Plan Administrator/ Risk Manager 300 Park Avenue, Suite 203E Falls Church, VA 22046 phone: 703-248-5042 (TTY 711) cell: 571-641-5586 fax: 703-248-5146 email: cmester@fallschurchva.gov

Last Name: Pullen Organization: City of Virginia Beach Locality: Virginia Beach

The City of Virginia Beach finds the language confusing, specifically referencing a “zebra pattern”. That is not an industry standard term. The City of Virginia Beach would be supportive of crosswalk designs only if they are in conformance with the federal MUTCD and Virginia State Addendum to the MUTCD, requirements. There is also high cost associated with this requirement when performing maintenance of the crosswalks. Phil Pullen, City Engineer and Phillip Koetter, Interim Director of Public Works

Last Name: Jordan Organization: City of Roanoke Locality: Richmond

HB 1841 -City of Roanoke Comments in Opposition • While we strongly are committed to actions that improve pedestrian safety, we do not believe this bill is the correct approach. It attempts to prescribe technical standards that are more appropriately dealt with in VDOT technical guidance and the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways (MUTCD). The MUTCD defines the standards used nationwide to install and maintain traffic control devices on all public streets, highways, bikeways, and private roads open to public traffic. • Crosswalks are typically designed and installed on the basis of engineering judgment using the MUTCD for information on the design aspects of crosswalk pavement markings, pedestrian signals, and signage. We believe this process has served us well and do not support changes to that process. • Roanoke has been using the ladder or continental stripe crosswalk in many but not all locations. We consider zebra to be the same but the diagram below from San Francisco Streets implies zebra is different. A more precise definition is needed. This is the type of thing the MUTCD is designed to address. • Additionally, The U.S. Department of Justice now requires the installation or upgrade of curb ramps to include truncated domes when certain maintenance or alteration activities occur to include resurfacing the street. While we comply with that mandate, this bill as we interpret it would also require the addition of curb ramps if they don't exist or an effort to upgrade or retrofit an existing ramp with domes. "Warning surface tiles" needs to be better defined as ADA requirements refer to "truncated domes". We assume we are talking about the same things. • Federal legislation also specifies that the truncated domes have to be of a contrasting color. We use red typically while VDOT uses yellow and we would suggest that on a concrete sidewalk, both colors provide sufficient contrast for a person with a vision impairment. We do not believe it is prudent to legislate the specific color. • There are 150 existing striped pedestrian crosswalks citywide - about 25% of which are zebra stripe high visibility installations and have red truncated domes at the sidewalk transition per ADA standard. To retrofit the remaining 75%, cost would be about $1000 each using the pre-formed burndown thermoplastic = total of approximately $112K. , Ongoing maintenance of all 150 crosswalks would be about $30K per year since the pre-formed thermoplastic only lasts about 5 years. • From Transportation's perspective, zebra stripe, high visibility crosswalks with ADA required truncated domes are both prudent investments to improve pedestrian safety. However, due to the potential cost of the curb ramps and domes, there is a risk that cities could decide to not install crosswalks.

Last Name: Ron Jordan Organization: Advantus Strategies Locality: Richmond

HB 1841 -City of Richmond Comments in Opposition • We believe crosswalks and other traffic controls are best designed and installed on the basis of engineering judgment using the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways (MUTCD) as a resource. The MUTCD defines the standards used nationwide to install and maintain traffic control devices on all public streets, highways, bikeways, and private roads open to public traffic. This process has served us well and do not support changes to that process. • The zebra style crosswalk is extremely expensive and difficult to place in the field as it is angled. The angled zebra pattern makes maintenance of traffic and other installation measurements more difficult and time consuming. We no longer use this style and when we do install a crosswalk for controlled crossing conditions it is the continental design. • By mandating more expensive styled crosswalks, it reduces the number of crosswalks that can be installed and maintained. We have a goal that we are STILL trying to achieve. We have uniformity goal with our 480+ signalized intersections and school zones to see the continental style crosswalk deployed. Funding has been the issue. • In many circumstances a two transverse only parallel lines for crosswalk is more than adequate on most of our city streets (e.g. uncontrolled intersections in Carver or the Fan or any two-lane intersection in the grid). • The continental costs approximately 2 times the cost of transverse only crosswalks. Zebra style crosswalks are more expensive to install than continental (4 times the cost of transverse) with fewer benefits. We reserve the more expensive continental style for our signalized intersections where there are the most conflicts between vehicles and people crossing the street as well as our school zones. • From an environmental perspective, the material used is thermoplastic. As more material is used, the thermoplastic ends up in the Chesapeake Bay due to runoff. The zebra style uses the most material versus transverse or continental. • We do not want to remove crosswalks but would have to make a decision if passed as read: do we upgrade or remove? Unfortunately, many would have to be removed due to costs. • Lastly, the American with Disabilities Act already mandates the curb ramps and detectable warning surfaces; therefore, we see no need for its inclusion in this bill. It is also important to note that the red DWS is more expensive than the yellow.

Last Name: Bateman Organization: Virginia First Cities Coalition Locality: City of Richmond

Virginia FIrst Cities Coalition surveyed our 16 member cities and overwhelmingly from those we heard from the sentiment was to oppose HB 1841. Our members are vitally concerned with pedestrian and motorist safety and are acutely aware of the FHWA standards that work best. Here are but a few of the reasons VFC member gave for opposition to HB1841: From an environmental perspective, the material used is thermoplastic.  As more material is used, the thermoplastic ends up in the Chesapeake Bay due to runoff.  The zebra style uses the most material versus transverse or continental. Zebra crosswalks are not compatible in old and historic districts (Norfolk). Every locality has the ability to use FHWA marking standards that are the most effective. The City of Norfolk, for example, has determined that their double pair bar type crosswalk is the most visible to motorists. Mandating a third type of crosswalk will lead to a confusing array of crosswalks (Portsmouth) This would consume costly maintenance fees for the City, especially when the requirement for the tactile warning is already in the ADA guidelines. (Charlottesville) Specifying one crosswalk type removes the ability to differentiate between control types or high/low volume crossings. High visibility crosswalks cost more to install and maintain. Further regulating a highly regulated design component would limit our ability to use engineering judgement in the design of crosswalks or detectable warning surfaces and will increase installation and maintenance costs. It might also be in direct conflict with future regulations should they change due to studies favoring or discouraging certain design features in the future. (Newport News) This bill is in direct conflict with the City of Richmond's Vision Zero (increasing pedestrian and motor vehicle safety) goals. By mandating more expensive styled crosswalks, it reduces the number of crosswalks that can be installed and maintained.  We have a goal that we are STILL trying to achieve. We have uniformity goal with our 480+ signalized intersections and school zones to see the continental style crosswalk deployed. Funding has been the issue. The continental costs approximately 2 times the cost of transverse only crosswalks.  Zebra style crosswalks are more expensive to install than continental (4 times the cost of transverse) with fewer benefits. Zebra crosswalks expose construction workers to more traffic (and thus less safe) when installing than are continental. Finally, the wear pattern on zebra style is uneven compared to transverse lines or continental due to the angle the vehicle tires striking the markings. For all these reasons (ENVIRONMENTAL, SAFETY, COST) we urge you --- PLEASE DO NOT pass HB1841

HB1846 - License restrictions for minors; prohibition on use of handheld personal communications devices.
Last Name: Lowe Locality: Ruschlikon

Is Bitcoing going to one million dollars or zero? Check out the video below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6DmQxBlXms Bitcoin Infiltrates Corporate America https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cg10yYZjK94 The Feds are Creating a Liquidity Tsunami - Robert Kiyosaki, Kim Kiyosaki and Richard Duncan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJCm6MW6nok Inflation is going to eat away your savings, buy some bitcoins to preserve your purchasing power (and potentially even make money from it) Buy bitcoin here and save 10% from your trading fees at the world's biggest crypto exchange: https://bit.ly/31uRnnb If you are a US resident, you can buy bitcoin here: https://bit.ly/3r3oPvQ

Last Name: Bruch Locality: Roanoke

Although I support this bill's goal, I believe that another amendment is necessary to exempt Amateur radio use bringing it in line with the new handheld law § 46.2-818.2. Encouraging the growth of Amateur Radio through our school clubs is prevalent through out Virginia, and those students pass their FCC examination should not have their federal licenses limited by the state. Having become licensed myself at age 12, and my 8 year old now studying for his license, banning the use of Amateur Radio in a mobile setting will only further hinder the service of Amateur Radio operators. There is also a strong federal interest in promoting amateur communications for disaster response which can and does involve those under the age of 18. Therefore, I respectfully ask that either this bill be AMMENDED to also exempt the use of Amateur Radio or OPPOSE this bill as currently written.

Last Name: Van Der Hyde Organization: Virginia Education Association Locality: Richmond

On behalf of the Virginia Education Association and our members, we request that you support HB1846. Student safety is an important issue for our members, and we support this language modernization in an effort to reflect the safety benefits of navigation technology.

Last Name: Fite Locality: Midlothian

I request that you support HB1846 for the teen drivers of Virginia. My father has submitted a comment as well, but as I have only recently turned 18, I wanted to bring my own voice to the table. I appreciate the effort of the original teen driving bill to protect young drivers such as myself from distractions while driving. Smart phones create far more distraction than there was in the past, which of course endangers the driver and others on the road. However, HB1846 will carve out one notable exception: the use of navigation. For most new drivers who do not know their way around, the use of GPS is a non negotiable part of driving. While it could be argued that paper maps and written directions work just as well, my counter is that they require the driver to take their eyes off the road, which makes them more dangerous than the use of GPS. Using only hands-free navigation assistance, young drivers will be able to keep their eyes on the road while also maintaining confidence in their ability to take a wrong turn if they must, knowing that the navigation will update and get them where they are going. This is especially helpful in situations with increased hazard, such as at night or in bad weather, when constant vigilance is even more crucial. The current Virginia code prohibits the use of telecommunications devices for navigation assistance: even just listening to voice queues. Even knowing this, all of my friends prefer to use navigation assistance anyway, because they know it makes them safer. Giving teens a law that they know they will break is a terrible introduction to adulthood and good citizenship. Please vote to support HB1846.

Last Name: Fite Locality: Midlothian

My daughter and I request that you support HB1846 for the parents and teen drivers of Virginia. Adults may not hold a handheld personal communications device while driving, and that is excellent public policy. Our policy for teens is stricter, and is also excellent: we forbid teen drivers from even using any such device, hands-free or not. HB1846 will maintain the stricter prohibition for restricted teen licenses. It will modernize our technology references to match the careful language adopted for adult licensees last year. And it will rightly carve out a single hands-free use that makes our young drivers safer behind the wheel: navigation assistance. Navigation assistance allows a teen to forego a late lane change or to miss a difficult exit ramp, knowing that active navigation assistance will restore their path. With navigation assistance, a teen never needs to take risks to keep up with the friend they are following. And navigation queues are far less distracting than holding and reading hand-written directions. The current Virginia code prohibits the use of telecommunications devices for navigation assistance: even just listening to voice queues. Sadly, every parent I asked told me that they advised their teen driver to use navigation assistance anyway because they believed it made them safer. That's a terrible introduction to adulthood, and we can fix it. Please vote to support HB1846.

HB1901 - Online Virginia Driver's Manual course; training school.
Last Name: Lowe Locality: Ruschlikon

Is Bitcoing going to one million dollars or zero? Check out the video below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6DmQxBlXms Bitcoin Infiltrates Corporate America https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cg10yYZjK94 The Feds are Creating a Liquidity Tsunami - Robert Kiyosaki, Kim Kiyosaki and Richard Duncan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJCm6MW6nok Inflation is going to eat away your savings, buy some bitcoins to preserve your purchasing power (and potentially even make money from it) Buy bitcoin here and save 10% from your trading fees at the world's biggest crypto exchange: https://bit.ly/31uRnnb If you are a US resident, you can buy bitcoin here: https://bit.ly/3r3oPvQ

Last Name: Chillon Organization: AAA Locality: Richmond

AAA supports HB 1901, we support allowing opportunities for online instruction of the Virginia’s Driver’s Manual course.

HB2069 - License plates, special; cost of plates for recipients of military decorations.
Last Name: Lowe Locality: Ruschlikon

Is Bitcoing going to one million dollars or zero? Check out the video below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6DmQxBlXms Bitcoin Infiltrates Corporate America https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cg10yYZjK94 The Feds are Creating a Liquidity Tsunami - Robert Kiyosaki, Kim Kiyosaki and Richard Duncan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJCm6MW6nok Inflation is going to eat away your savings, buy some bitcoins to preserve your purchasing power (and potentially even make money from it) Buy bitcoin here and save 10% from your trading fees at the world's biggest crypto exchange: https://bit.ly/31uRnnb If you are a US resident, you can buy bitcoin here: https://bit.ly/3r3oPvQ

Last Name: Twyman Locality: Virginia Beach

Please consider putting these bills into effect.

HB2138 - Identification privilege cards; authorizes DMV to issue, fee, confidentiality, penalties.
Last Name: Lowe Locality: Ruschlikon

Is Bitcoing going to one million dollars or zero? Check out the video below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6DmQxBlXms Bitcoin Infiltrates Corporate America https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cg10yYZjK94 The Feds are Creating a Liquidity Tsunami - Robert Kiyosaki, Kim Kiyosaki and Richard Duncan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJCm6MW6nok Inflation is going to eat away your savings, buy some bitcoins to preserve your purchasing power (and potentially even make money from it) Buy bitcoin here and save 10% from your trading fees at the world's biggest crypto exchange: https://bit.ly/31uRnnb If you are a US resident, you can buy bitcoin here: https://bit.ly/3r3oPvQ

Last Name: Alejandro Organization: self Locality: Fairfax

Support--HB 2138 Identification privilege cards; fee, confidentiality, penalties. I am a member of ACLU People Power Fairfax is an independent grassroots organization that advocates for equal justice for all members of the community, including undocumented immigrants, regardless of race or ethnicity. Our primary focus is to protect local immigrants by ending the County’s voluntary cooperation with ICE. Our efforts reflect the views of our members, not necessarily those of the ACLU Virginia affiliate. Please vote YES on this important bill. It is a necessary companion to the important legislation you passed last year to allow the issuance of driver privilege cards to applicants who do not meet the citizenship or legal status for a driver’s license. While this step was an improvement on the situation of immigrants in the Commonwealth, especially the undocumented, the issue of Commonwealth issued identification cards was not contemplated at the time. Not everyone who needs a form of identification is a driver. Legal identity is a fundamental human right, which enables individuals to access rights, benefits and responsibilities in their country of residence. We consider that the adoption of an identification card for our immigrants in the Commonwealth, with the appropriate measures regarding privacy and confidentiality, will go a long way in making them feel more secure, and go about their daily lives like Virginians normally do, free from fear of being deported. Thank you.

Last Name: Sarmiento Organization: Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights Locality: Alexandria, VA

The Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights supports HB2138, as it provides a walking permit to many undocumented Virginians who do not desire a driving privilege card.

Last Name: Oh Organization: NAKASEC Virginia Locality: Annandale

As an organization that works with undocumented Asian Americans, we support HB 2138 so that all residents in Virginia have the opportunity, should they meet the criteria, to have a form of identification.

Last Name: Ponciano Organization: DMIA Locality: Manassas

hello! My mom's name is Violeta, she's 68 years old, she's never driven a car in her life and she's an amazing mom and grandmother. I am a single mother and she helps me pick up my daughter from school, she needs a Virginia ID please.

HB2260 - Vehicle registration fees; imposes an additional fee to be deposited into Public Safety Trust Fund.
Last Name: Lowe Locality: Ruschlikon

Is Bitcoing going to one million dollars or zero? Check out the video below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6DmQxBlXms Bitcoin Infiltrates Corporate America https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cg10yYZjK94 The Feds are Creating a Liquidity Tsunami - Robert Kiyosaki, Kim Kiyosaki and Richard Duncan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJCm6MW6nok Inflation is going to eat away your savings, buy some bitcoins to preserve your purchasing power (and potentially even make money from it) Buy bitcoin here and save 10% from your trading fees at the world's biggest crypto exchange: https://bit.ly/31uRnnb If you are a US resident, you can buy bitcoin here: https://bit.ly/3r3oPvQ

Last Name: Scipio Locality: Orange County,, Locust Grove

In favor of programs to better facilitate the development and progress of my community.

HB2261 - License plates, special; removes fee for issuance to a member of the Virginia National Guard.
Last Name: Lowe Locality: Ruschlikon

Is Bitcoing going to one million dollars or zero? Check out the video below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6DmQxBlXms Bitcoin Infiltrates Corporate America https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cg10yYZjK94 The Feds are Creating a Liquidity Tsunami - Robert Kiyosaki, Kim Kiyosaki and Richard Duncan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJCm6MW6nok Inflation is going to eat away your savings, buy some bitcoins to preserve your purchasing power (and potentially even make money from it) Buy bitcoin here and save 10% from your trading fees at the world's biggest crypto exchange: https://bit.ly/31uRnnb If you are a US resident, you can buy bitcoin here: https://bit.ly/3r3oPvQ

Last Name: Ashton Organization: Joint Leadership Council Locality: Fredericksburg

HB2261 - As a member of the Fleet Reserve Association and a member of the Joint Leadership Council representing over 250,000 Veterans in the Commonwealth. We support this bill. BACKGROUND:  Virginia currently offers a 50% reduction in cost for National Guard members to register up to 2 vehicles in the Commonwealth if they register them using Guard plates. These plates contain a logo indicating National Guard membership.  Requested change would be 1 free license plate and registration per household.  Those who currently have 2 registrations would be allowed to keep their 2 plates but all new registration requests would be limited to a single registration.  Currently less than 20% of Guard members opt to get the plates. DISCUSSION:  Further reducing the cost of license plates for National Guard members would incentivize more members to obtain the National Guard plates, which would in turn further highlight their contributions and awareness of the Guard members in our communities.

Last Name: Twyman Locality: Virginia Beach

Please consider putting these bills into effect.

Last Name: Scipio Locality: Orange County,, Locust Grove

In favor of programs to better facilitate the development and progress of my community.

Last Name: Czaplicki Organization: Virginia National Guard Association Locality: Fredericksburg

On behalf of the nearly 10,000 brave men and women serving the Virginia National Guard, I proudly support this legislation as it provides an essential benefit to those Virginians who have answered their community's call. The Commonwealth of Virginia relies heavily on the “hometown Guard” to support local and regional emergencies. Having strategically placed local and regional Readiness Centers and facilities throughout Virginia allows emergency response capabilities to be readily accessible to emergency managers. However, this also requires that servicemembers be assigned to these locations based off the capabilities requested at each of these locations. Additionally, as servicemembers gain proficiency and receive promotions, they may be required to report to duty stations well outside their reasonable commuting distance. The National Guard compensates servicemembers for official travel during periods of Annual Training and State Active Duty, but does not compensate them for traveling as part of routine drill. Currently, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles authorizes actively serving Virginia National Guard servicemembers reduced vehicle registration fees at a discounted rate of 50 percent for up to two vehicles and issues specialty "Virginia National Guard" plates. The full benefit of the current policy is not realized by our servicemembers with only one vehicle. Increasing the vehicle registration discount from 50 percent to 100 percent provides significant value to servicemembers, particularly those required to travel longer distances to attend training events. This would reduce the total number of vehicles authorized the discount from two to one, making this a cost neutral change for the government. Thank you for your continued leadership and support of the Commonwealth's Guardian.

Last Name: Ashton Organization: Joint Leadership Council Locality: Fredericksburg

BACKGROUND:  Virginia currently offers a 50% reduction in cost for National Guard members to register up to 2 vehicles in the Commonwealth if they register them using Guard plates. These plates contain a logo indicating National Guard membership.  Requested change would be 1 free license plate and registration per household.  Those who currently have 2 registrations would be allowed to keep their 2 plates but all new registration requests would be limited to a single registration.  Currently less than 20% of Guard members opt to get the plates. DISCUSSION:  Further reducing the cost of license plates for National Guard members would incentivize more members to obtain the National Guard plates, which would in turn further highlight their contributions and awareness of the Guard members in our communities. RECOMMENDATION: That the Governor and General Assembly further reduce the cost of license plates to recognize the service and commitment of our National Guard members. As a representative of the Fleet Reserve Association with approximately 4500 members in the Commonwealth to the JLC, we support this initiative.

End of Comments