Mount Vernon Column: Reining in Predatory Towing

Mount Vernon Column: Reining in Predatory Towing


Aside from the snowstorm of the century, this week brought the start of consideration of legislation and initial work on our state budget.

Four of my bills were acted on this week. This included my legislation to ban the use of spotters by tow companies. Spotters’ sole job is to call in and initiate tows before unwary consumers even realize they are illegally parked. The bill also required written authorization from property owners for each tow and confirmed that predatory towing victims can sue towing companies for violations of local ordinances. My bill was referred to the Joint Commission on Transportation Accountability to be studied outside of session and acted on next session.

My resolution to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) cleared committee. The ERA is necessary to ensure equal rights for women by ensuring that discrimination and legal classifications based on sex are given that same judicial scrutiny as race, religion and national origin. My resolution was reported by the Privileges and Elections Committee on a bipartisan 7-6 vote and goes to the floor this week.

We also presented our budget requests to the Finance Committee this week. My amendments included a $130,000 to fund the removal of a derelict barge in Belmont Bay, $2 million to study the extension of the Blue Line to Prince William County, $50,000 to fund well water tests for homes near coal ash ponds in Dumfries, $50,000 to fund computer recycling for students in low income families, about $600,000 to fund two vacant Fairfax County judgeships, and $600,000 to fund the gap in compensation for court-appointed counsel. I also proposed language to prohibit the expenditure of taxpayer dollars for partisan redistricting litigation.

Our Mt. Vernon and Lee District Town Halls have been rescheduled to Feb. 20 at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. In the meantime, you can read other articles I write and watch two 30-minute interviews regarding my legislative agenda from Public Television and Comcast Cable interviews on my online newsletter, The Dixie Pig, at

Also, over 500 constituents have responded to my constituent survey – please keep the responses coming in by responding online at

Finally, as the snow melts, you are likely to find curb damage or other problems related to snow removal. As always, if you need any help with state government services or have any feedback, please drop me a note at or call my staff at 571-249-4484.

It is an honor to serve as your state senator.