A bill to require the more than 40,000 people on Michigan's sex offender registry to pay an annual fee is igniting a debate over who should bear the costs for operating the system that tracks offenders.
The bill recently approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee would require offenders who are not in prison to pay an annual $50 fee instead of a one-time $50 registration fee.
Republican Sen. Rick Jones of Grand ledge says sex offenders should be required to pay because "they put themselves on this registry by their actions."
But the American Civil Liberties Union says the fee is an overly burdensome cost for offenders who already struggle to find jobs and housing.
The state says it costs about $600,000 each year to operate the sex offender database.