Since Brian commented on the Virginia situation in his recent blog posting, I thought that I would build upon some of his comments. I definitely wanted to congratulate all of the bail bond agents in Virginia who worked so hard to move HB 728 through the House and into the Senate. While HB 728 eventually didn’t make it through the Senate, there are some very, very positive outcomes to this story…outcomes that maybe some don’t realize are actually pretty historic for the bail bond industry in their own right.
First, through their actions, Virginia bail bond agents literally decimated the Pretrial Service Agency statewide budget by a reduction of over 15 million dollars. Second, they passed a bill giving bail agents the right to view criminal histories thus making their underwriting decisions sounder. And lastly, you could say this was a victory as well: Virginia bail agents perfectly positioned HB 728 for a very good chance of passage next year.
As Brian mentioned in his blog, education has to be a key part of the next phase of efforts. Identifying key influencers such as Sheriffs and other law enforcement groups and educating them on the role the bail bond industry plays in getting defendants to court and keeping the number of crime victims down is absolutely imperative.
We will continue to provide our support to Virginia’s bail bond agents as they keep this fight alive. I look forward to your comments.
"The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese in the trap."