VIRGINIA

McDonnell reduces fine for texting and driving in Virginia

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Bob McDonnell is adding exceptions to a bill that would ban the use of unmanned surveillance drone aircraft in Virginia and he's reducing fines for a new law that would ban texting while driving.

They are part of scores of amendments he's offering to legislation the General Assembly passed in its 2013 session ahead of a Monday midnight deadline. Among the larger issues are amendments to his marquee transportation funding reforms and conditions for expanding Medicaid in Virginia.

McDonnell's amendments keep in place a broad ban on government use of spy drones with exceptions for search-and-rescue operations.

His amendment to the texting-while-driving ban makes it a primary offense, but it brings the fines more into line with existing offenses such as reckless driving.

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