About 5 percent of the legislation awaiting approval in Virginia is for commemorative license plates. This fact alone is disgraceful and shows how much time is wasted in the General Assembly. But what is most disturbing is the subject matter of some of these plates. Here are two of the most worrying as published in the Washington Post:
HB 1416, sponsored by Del. Richard H. Black (R-Loudoun): Removes the prohibition on display of the organization’s logo on Sons of Confederate Veterans plates. (Logo includes the Confederate battle flag.)
HB 1406, sponsored by Del. Richard H. Black (R-Loudoun):
Authorizes plates bearing the legend “Choose Life.” After 1,000 registrations, $15 of the $25 fee would be paid to the locality in which the vehicle is registered and distributed to nongovernmental, nonprofit agencies that provide counseling and other services for expectant mothers committed to placing their children up for adoption.
So, after all the controversy and battles to remove the Confederate flag from public life, Virginia is ready to put it on license plates. And they are also about to endorse the right-to-life lobby by passing money to them through license plate fees.
Despite what any group might say, license plates are still government-issued items and I do not believe that the government should be in the business of putting controversial issues on them. The DMV won’t issue customized plates if a committee determines that what I have chosen is controversial… yet the General Assembly wants to produce “choose life” and Confederate flag plates?
All the license plate bills I read this morning were sponsored by Republicans. This General Assembly has for years creaked along, obstructed, debated, and wasted time. If it were Congress, the powers that be would blame the obstructionist Democrats, but Virginia’s General Assembly is far and away run by Republicans. Republicans who cannot manage to clear deficits and produce realistic budgets; but who waste 5% of the legislative agenda deciding what license plates they can sell.
Link to Washington Post story