RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Virginia is poised to soften penalties for people caught stealing smaller-dollar items after a compromise announced by Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam and Republican lawmakers.
The governor and Republican leaders outlined a deal Thursday that would raise the state’s felony theft threshold from $200 to $500.
Virginia has kept its felony bar at $200 since 1980 and is tied with New Jersey for the lowest in the country. Most other states have raised the dollar minimum for felony charges to keep pace with inflation.
Northam had pushed for raising the threshold to $1,000 while House Republicans had previously blocked efforts to raise the threshold by any amount. House Republicans said were willing to accept the $500 threshold in exchange for Northam’s support of legislation aimed at reforming the state’s restitution system.