LANSING — State Rep. Leslie Love (D-Detroit) testified on Wednesday in support of her  House Bill 5042 in front of the House Committee on Michigan Competitiveness. The bill would reinstate the community service option for individuals who would like to regain their Michigan driver’s license before forgiveness of driver responsibility fees takes effect on Oct. 1, 2018. The committee took extensive testimony on the bipartisan, nine-bill package, but it did not take a vote.

“The driver responsibility fee legislation was bad from the beginning, and we’re long overdue in ridding ourselves of this double tax,” Love said.

Driver responsibility fees were enacted in 2003 to help balance the state budget, but they have hit low- and middle-income drivers very hard, forcing some people to drive with a suspended license just to get to work. The fees perpetuate a cycle of poverty and serve as a barrier to employment.

“When enacted, DRF gave drivers who could not pay an option to do community service in lieu of payment. My bill will reinstate that option until DRF are forgiven in October 2018,” Love said.

The committee is expected to vote the bills out to the full House at its next regular meeting.