89.1 WEMU

Driver Fee Forgiveness Hits A Roadblock

Oct 19, 2017

Parking Tickets
Credit Rachel Knickmeyer / flickr.com

Bills to forgive Michigan’s controversial driver responsibility fees have cleared a state House committee.  But, they’ve hit a roadblock.  They’re opposed by Governor Rick Snyder’s Treasury department.

The fees are paid by people convicted of traffic offenses on top of their fines.  They were adopted by the Legislature in 2003 to help keep the budget balanced during the recession.  

Most of the fees will never be collected, but they still generate $80 million a year for the state.  But, House Speaker Tom Leonard says balancing the budget is no reason to continue charging fees that he considers unfair. 

“The Number One issue for me with this is ensuring that the 350,000 people that are currently without a driver’s license can get one back.”

A state Treasury spokesman says the Snyder administration is trying to come up with a deal to get rid of the fees while keeping the budget balanced. 

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— Rick Pluta is the Managing Editor and Reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at 734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org