Virginia DMV Refunding 2,700 Drivers After Excess Charges

People at windows of DMV

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles is refunding drivers after a misreading of the law led the agency to wrongly charge more than 2,700 truck drivers with highway use fees.

“[The] DMV discovered that an interpretation of the 2020 highway use fee legislation led to the system being programmed in a way that included some lighter trucks in a category with cars that are subject to the highway use fee,” Jessica Cowardin, a spokesperson for the Virginia DMV told The Center Square.

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Pennsylvania Leaves Local Taxpayers Footing Bill for Stormwater Management

A Pennsylvania state senator is raising the alarm over millions of dollars the commonwealth owes to local municipalities for unpaid stormwater management fees.

The state Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee held a hearing to discuss the commonwealth’s refusal to pay required fees to more than 2,500 municipalities to manage stormwater run-off.

Local officials told lawmakers last week state and federal laws require municipalities to manage the runoff, but only the U.S. government covers its portion of the cost.

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State Department to Waive Fees for Immigrants Denied Visas During Travel Ban to Reapply

The State Department will waive fees for immigrants seeking visas to come to the U.S. if they were previously denied one because of the Trump administration’s travel ban, according to a Wednesday announcement.

“An IV applicant who is the beneficiary of a valid immigration petition may submit another visa application after being refused and in most circumstances they are required to pay again the relevant application fees,” according to a Federal Register rule published Wednesday. “The Department exempts from such fees only those IV applicants who are applying again after being refused” a visa under the travel ban.

The ban prevented immigration from Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen. President Joe Biden issued an executive order repealing the ban on his first day in office in January 2021.

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Tennessee Should Collect, Connect Data on Court Fines and Fees Statewide: Report

Tennessee Supreme Court building

As Tennessee lawmakers continue to examine reforms in the criminal justice system, two recently released reports showed that the state is not collecting the proper data to evaluate the fines and fees collected from its court system.

Non-profit policy think tank Think Tennessee found that, despite a 2019 law requiring all courts to create a payment plan system for those who financially will have issues paying court fees, the law has been implemented inconsistently throughout the state.

“For Tennesseans who face an endless cycle of penalties due to an inability to pay court debt, the county where they live could determine whether they have access to a payment plan that could help them break free,” Think Tennessee wrote. “Moreover, court fines and fees have a disproportionate impact on people who are low-income, Black and/or rural, and the financial hardship they experience may lead to increased recidivism with more significant impacts for communities as a whole.

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36 States Sue Google over Alleged Anticompetitive Practices in Play Store

Google Play Store on Android

State attorneys general of 36 states and the District of Columbia filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google on Wednesday alleging the company engaged in anticompetitive practices in its Play Store for Android.

The complaint argues Google holds and unlawfully maintains a monopoly in the market of “Android app distribution,” using anticompetitive tactics such as blocking competitors from accessing the Play Store, discouraging the creation of competing app stores, and acquiring smaller app developers. The complaint also alleges Google charges app developers up to a 30% commission when customers purchase their products through the Google Play Store.

“Google has taken steps to close the ecosystem from competition and insert itself as the middleman between app developers and consumers,” the plaintiffs argue.

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DeWine Signs $8.3B, Two-Year Ohio Transportation Budget

Highway with cars

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine praised the $8.3 billion state transportation budget he signed into law despite it missing the increased vehicle fees and massive cuts for public transportation he proposed.

The two-year budget, House Bill 74, provides money for road and bridge construction and maintenance, as well as other transportation priorities established by the committees in the House and Senate, along with DeWine.

“The budget ensures that we can continue to maintain and invest in Ohio’s roadways,” DeWine said Wednesday. “Ohio’s transportation system continues to be a critical part of our economy, moving materials and people safely across our state. This budget advances our commitment to invest in state and locally-maintained roadways.”

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Half-a-Million Low-Income Ohioans With Suspended Licences Could Be Eligible for Relief With New Program

For many low-income Ohioans who have lost their drivers licenses for minor or unintentional offenses, there is no greater frustration than paying your debt to society, only to be denied your ability to drive legally because you can’t afford a government fee. Thankfully, relief is in sight for thousands of these…

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