When the Granholm administration signed the driver responsibility fees law into effect in 2003, it was desperate for money to fill a budget hole. Enactment of these senseless fees was the answer to that shortfall.
In the 14 years since enactment, hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to pay the fees – on top of court costs and fines – and often have lost their driving privileges as a result of the law.
I voted for bipartisan legislation in the House to end these onerous driver responsibility fees by October 2018 and help get people out of the cloud of debt the fees have caused. Our legislation forgives outstanding debt and allows people who still owe fees until they are eliminated to use alternative methods of community service or participation in workforce development programs to fulfill their obligations.
Too many families have been placed in financial peril because of these fees, which do nothing to improve driving skills. Many people, unable to drive, have been forced to depend on public assistance to provide for their families. Others risk arrest or additional fees by driving to and from work illegally.
I am proud to have a hand in ending these senseless, punitive penalties and help families across Michigan once again take part in the state’s economic comeback.
Published in the Milford Times on November 9, 2017