Lawmaker votes for repeal, debt forgiveness
State Rep. Jason Wentworth today voted in favor of a package of bills that brings an end to ineffective driver responsibility fees and forgives all outstanding debt associated with them.
Wentworth, of Clare, said he voted to end the fees because they never accomplished – nor were they intended to – better driving skills for people forced to pay them.
“This was a bad law that was enacted only to resolve a budget shortfall in 2003 that was caused by reckless spending of taxpayer money,” Wentworth said. “People who were forced to pay the fees also often lost their jobs since they had no transportation, and turned to public assistance to care for their families.”
Under the legislation passed by the House today, the fees will be eliminated on Oct. 1, 2018, and all debt will be forgiven.
The legislation also creates a grace period from enactment of the bill thorough Dec. 31 that enables them to get their driver’s licenses back without paying a $125 restoration fee. People on monthly payment plans will receive immediate forgiveness, and others may participate in workplace development training programs to regain their driver’s licenses prior to Oct. 1.
The bills now go to the governor for consideration.