LANSING — On Wednesday, the Senate Committee on Michigan Competiveness unanimously passed House Bill 5042 sponsored by State Rep. Leslie Love (D-Detroit). Rep. Love’s legislation is part of a nine-bill package to forgive $637.1 million in driver responsibility fees affecting more than 300,000 Michigan drivers.

“This was an ill-conceived plan from the beginning, and it has really hit people from my district very hard, many of whom are already suffering from the highest auto insurance rates in the country,” said Rep. Love. “Previously, the program gave drivers who could not pay fees for certain violations an option to do community service in lieu of payment, but this provision was only temporary. My bill will reinstate that option until those fees are forgiven in October of this year.”

HB 5042 would reinstate the community service option for individuals who would like to earn their Michigan Driver’s License prior to when forgiveness takes effect on October 1, 2018.

“The driver responsibility fee program was initially enacted to balance the state budget. Unfortunately it did so on the backs of low- and middle-income drivers,” said Rep. Love. “These fees perpetuated a cycle of poverty, preventing those who needed to work from being able to drive to do so. I look forward to seeing this package move forward so this burden can be removed from the people of my district.”