"Thank you for your email. I appreciate you taking the time to bring your concerns directly to me.
Like most people, I believe law enforcement officers in Virginia do a great job protecting the citizens of the commonwealth, but we must always be weary of those with such authority to ensure our rights as citizens are preserved and protected.
As I am sure you are aware, I introduced SB 684, which was the Senate version to HB 1287. Although the bills were slightly different, they both sought to accomplish the same objective.
Both SB 684 and HB 1287 were "Passed by indefinitely (PBI) with a letter." The chairman of the Courts of Justice Committee and the chairman of Finance will send a letter to the Virginia Crime Commission requesting a review of the commonwealth's asset forfeiture law. The Crime Commission, a non-partisan body, will review the law during the interim and offer recommendations to improve the forfeiture process. This should be accomplished in time for me to introduce a new and improved bill next session.
While some have questioned my motives for voting to PBI HB1287, I want to make sure that we when we make changes to the law we get it right. I don't think it is unreasonable to delay making changes for one year to give the commission time to conduct a thorough review of our asset forfeiture law.
Additionally, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder recently announced sweeping changes to the federal asset forfeiture law. How will this affect the states? What changes will Virginia need to make in order to comply with federal law?
I am committed to strengthening protections for Virginia's citizens, but I want to be sure we get it right when we do it."
(I, Priscilla King, found links to the federal debate about this issue online yesterday, so this web site officially accepts the claim that our State Legislature stalled on HB 1287 while waiting to find out what the U.S. Congress is doing about it. Meanwhile, we should all drive carefully and conceal our assets.)