LANSING — State Rep. Sylvia Santana (D-Detroit) testified this morning in front of the House Committee on Michigan Competitiveness in favor of her House Bill 5041, part of a legislative package that would eliminate driver responsibility fees. The committee took testimony on the nine bills in the package and will likely vote on them next week.
“I understand that drivers who break the law have to be held accountable, but for too many people, driver responsibility fees became a cycle of punishment that is impossible to escape,” Santana said. “We need to give low-income drivers more flexibility when it comes to paying for their infractions, and that’s what this bill package does.”
HB 5041 amends the Michigan Vehicle Code to require the Department of Treasury — in consultation with the Department of Health and Human Services, the Unemployment Insurance Agency, Michigan Works! Agencies and the Department of Corrections — to create a program to educate people who were assessed driver responsibility fees about the repeal of the fees. The bill appropriates $1 million to fund the program.
“Drivers who had to pay responsibility fees would rightly be suspicious about a letter from the state, and they might disregard a notice telling them that the fees are no longer in effect,” Santana said. “My bill allows for a coordinated effort to reach these drivers, and I’m proud to be a part of this package of legislation that will end driver responsibility fees once and for all.”