WaPo reports today that the Virginia state police handed out 27 HOV tickets during a crackdown initiative on Thursday, including one $1,000 fourth-time offender citation. If you’re the gambling sort be aware, the fines are based on number of violations in the preceding five years. First time, $150, second time $250. Then $500 then $1000. If it makes you feel any better the money goes into the State Literary Fund, which, according to the article “provides money for schools.”
Interestingly, it’s a little more involved that that. The Literary Fund is mandated by the Virginia constitution and sets a low-water mark for it – 80 million – and anything above that can be disbursed by the General Assembly for various school purposes. The amount below that is controlled exclusively by the Board of Education, subject to the limitations of law that have been set up over the years. The BoE can make loans and investments with it, but Virginia isn’t obligated to back those loans up with anything beyond what’s in the fund.
The BoE seems to be cautious with how they make those loans; the list of what’s been lent out and what’s on the back burner can be found here and there’s a lot more things deferred than paid out. Also interesting, at least to a gadget nerd like me, is one of the limitations on what a borrower can use these funds for: no “Loose technology equipment” but “Technology infrastructure and built-in equipment” is okay. I wonder if this is why these somewhat silly “electronic classrooms” that have become in vogue over the years are so common – is there a funding disparity for stuff based on whether you screw it into a rack in the closet or not?