Virginia’s House’s Courts of Justice – Criminal Subcommittee passed HB 995, raising the required amount for the crime from $500 to $1000 to qualify for Grand Larceny. This along with numerous other proposed and passed bills add to Gov. Ralph Northam’s criminal justice initiative.
Supporters of the bill emphasized that felony convictions carry a lifetime of barriers that they hope to minimize. Felons are challenged forever with receiving loans for education, getting accepted to school, housing, and jobs. The Governor and supporters of the initiative no longer want to see one mistake to follow someone for the rest of their life. They hope that less felons will result in more contributing citizens in Virginia.
Gov. Northam used the example of a cellphone as to how easy it now is to receive a grand larceny charge. He said that “Stealing a cellphone shouldn’t create lifelong barriers to jobs or education.”
Those against the bill said that they expect higher theft in retail stores as a result of this bill. Ultimately the bill narrowly passed with a 4 to 3 vote.