GOP hit hard on road plan

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Most of the backlash against the transportation deal has focused on the stiff driver penalties, which range from $750 for driving on a suspended license to $3,000 for driving-related felonies.

The fees, which are imposed solely against Virginia drivers, were deemed unconstitutional in district courts in Henrico County and Richmond.

On Monday, a Circuit Court judge in Henrico County overturned the lower court’s ruling, saying the fees must be upheld “if there is any conceivable state of facts that could provide a rational basis” for the law, and the court is not responsible for judging “the wisdom, fairness or logic of legislative choices.”

Additional legal challenges are pending in Arlington, where a U.S. Navy veteran faces a reckless-driving charge and a $1,050 fee for driving 20 mph over the speed limit near the Pentagon, and in Roanoke, where an 81-year-old on a fixed income was cited on nearly identical charges.

Delegate Vincent F. Callahan Jr., Fairfax County Republican who is not seeking re-election, said this week the package will survive the legal storm. He also said voters may be able take some solace in the old adage: “People who love the law or good sausage should never watch either being made.”

“This is a classic example of sausage-making,” he said. “You don’t want to see it happen.”

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