Wentworth votes to end driver responsibility fees

October 19, 2017

State Rep. Jason Wentworth today voted for bipartisan legislation in the House Michigan Competitiveness Committee that eliminates driver responsibility fees by October 2018, provides alternative methods by which to pay fees until then and forgives debt after elimination.

State Rep. Jason Wentworth, right, of Clare, during today’s House Michigan Competitiveness Committee meeting in Lansing. The committee approved legislation to end driver responsibility fees in October 2018 and forgive outstanding debt.

State Rep. Jason Wentworth, right, of Clare, during today’s House Michigan Competitiveness Committee meeting in Lansing. The committee approved legislation to end driver responsibility fees in October 2018 and forgive outstanding debt.

Wentworth, of Clare, said he supports bringing to an end the unfair fees that were established by a previous administration in 2003 as part of a money grab to patch a hole in the state budget. He said the fees were punitive in nature and did nothing to improve the driving habits of those forced to pay them.

“The 2003 law was a bad law, and I am happy to have a hand in bringing it to a common-sense conclusion that lifts this burdensome fee from the backs of people caught up in this Catch 22,” said Wentworth, who serves on the committee. “We have had people drop out of the workforce because they lost their driving privileges, while others have driven illegally to and from work just to make ends meet. Ending driver responsibility fees will give people a fresh start.”

Wentworth said people who are paying the fees will be offered alternative ways to meet their obligations until the fees are eliminated and debt forgiven on Oct. 1, 2018.

“The legislation allows people to participate in community service, which improves their neighborhoods,” Wentworth said. “Another means by which to fulfill obligations is to participate in workforce training, preparing them for jobs once they return to the job market.”

The bills now go to the full House for consideration.

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