Rep. Bellino testifies on bill package to end driver responsibility fees

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Legislator says fees do nothing to improve driving skills

 

State Rep. Joe Bellino today testified before the House Michigan Competitiveness Committee on his bill, part of a sweeping bipartisan legislative package, to end driver responsibility fees by October 2018.

Bellino, of Monroe, told the committee the threat of having to pay driver responsibility fees is no deterrent to people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol.

“Absolutely nobody at any of my meetings has ever said they didn’t drive while impaired because they were concerned they would have to pay driver responsibility fees,” said Bellino, who is a recovering drug abuser and alcoholic. “These fees have no deterrent impact on people who are going to drive regardless.”

Bellino’s bill prohibits driver responsibility fees from being assessed after Oct. 1, 2018. An earlier reform phased out the fees as of October 2019. The law enacting driver responsibility fees took place in 2003, and Bellino said it was nothing more than a money grab to fill a hole in the budget.

The committee continues to consider the legislative package

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The driver responsibility fees bills are House Bills 5040-5046, 5079-5080.