- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 15, 2017

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia House Republicans have rejected an effort by Gov. Terry McAuliffe to raise the felony theft threshold from $200 to $500.

A GOP-controlled House panel killed the legislation Wednesday, which the Democratic governor had made one of his top legislative priorities.

GOP Del. Rob Bell said the measure was misguided and that criminals do not need a cost of living adjustment. Bell said increasing the threshold could undermine Virginia’s low crime rate.

But supporters of increasing the nearly 40-year-old threshold needed to be updated because the cost of goods had gone up and Virginia was too often saddling young people caught stealing with felony records.

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