- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 2, 2003

RICHMOND The House Transportation Committee yesterday approved a bill in a 13-4 vote that would allow motorists to display the pro-life message "Choose Life" on their license plates.
The American Civil Liberties Union has threatened to file suit if the measure becomes law, claiming it is unconstitutional because it backs a side in a political argument.
The full House will vote on the bill Tuesday.
"I believe in motherhood, I believe in children and I think the people of Virginia believe in them, too," said Delegate Richard H. Black, Loudoun County Republican and primary sponsor of the bill.
Aimee Perron, legislative director for Virginia ACLU, told committee members that a federal judge in South Carolina ruled that state's "Choose Life" plate was unconstitutional. The ACLU said Virginia should not be weighing in on either side of the abortion issue.
Proceeds from sales of the plate would go to adoption-related agencies, provided the agencies do not advocate or administer abortions.

The House yesterday gave preliminary approval to a bill that would repeal Virginia's inheritance tax and scheduled a roll-call vote on it for tomorrow.
The measure calls for fully repealing the posthumous tax on estates worth more than $1 million by 2005. It would have no effect on the current budget but would remove about $136 million in revenue from future budgets.
"When you die, you should not have to pay on your way out," said Delegate Christopher B. Saxman, Staunton Republican.
Supporters of the bill said the repeal would prevent many inheritors of small businesses from leaving the state because of affordability.

Three pro-life bills sailed through the House with little debate yesterday.
Delegates also passed a bill that would require that parents be notified when a minor obtains services from publicly funded clinics.
One of the bills would make it a felony to partially deliver a fetus and then kill it. The measure is similar to legislation vetoed last year by Gov. Mark R. Warner, a Democrat, banning a rarely used late-term procedure that pro-life advocates call "partial-birth abortion."
The House passed the bill in a 72-27 vote.
Legislation that would require parental consent when an unmarried girl 17 or younger seeks an abortion passed in a 70-29 vote.
Also, a bill that would remove a woman's mental health from consideration as a condition that would allow an abortion after the second trimester passed in a vote of 70-28.

A bill that would have allowed localities to install cameras to catch red-light runners without having to seek specific approval from the General Assembly died in a tie vote in a House committee Friday.
This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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