driver responsibility fees

AdeptDrivers / Creative Commons

Last week, Gov. Snyder signed legislation ending the state’s much-hated Driver Responsibility Fees (DRFs). 

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette (left) and Special Counsel Todd Flood, along with Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton and the Flint Water Investigative Team have been investigating the Flint water crisis for most of the year
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

State Attorney General Bill Schuette faced questions this week over whether the state's inquiry into Michigan State University's handling of the Larry Nassar scandal is truly independent. In a newly released letter regarding his appointment of Bill Forsyth to lead the investigation, Schuette says Forsyth will "serve under my direction and at my pleasure."

This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss Schuette's role in the investigation.

The Michigan State Capitol
Aunt owwee / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan drivers will get a tax cut, and those who owe extra fees assessed for certain traffic infractions will see them waived under bills approved by the Legislature.

The House and Senate overwhelmingly passed the legislation Wednesday after Gov. Rick Snyder and legislative leaders reached a deal. Snyder will soon sign the tax reduction and debt forgiveness plans into law.

The bills gradually raise Michigan's personal tax exemption to $4,900 by 2021 — $600 higher than under current law. That's roughly a $25 tax cut per person, or $100 for a family of four.

Traffic lights
Thomas Hawk / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

District judges want Gov. Snyder to drop his opposition to bills that would get rid of so-called driver responsibility fees. They say the fees are ruining people's lives because they lose their driver's license if they can't afford to pay them. This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about why Gov. Snyder is concerned about the bills.


They've been described as "obnoxious and counterproductive," and that was from the former lawmaker who helped pass legislation authorizing Michigan's Driver Responsibility Fees.

Now, the Michigan District Judges Association has weighed in against these fees. The judges have sent a letter to Governor Snyder asking him to get rid of the fees, which they call an "outrageous burden" on the backs of Michigan's working class.

Josh Angehr / Flickr

State lawmakers have hit a roadblock when it comes to forgiving unpaid Driver Responsibility Fees.

The House and Senate have legislation to get rid of the controversial fee, and forgive those who haven’t paid it.

The governor’s administration hasn’t been on board with outright forgiveness for everyone. That’s because even though many people don’t pay their Driver Responsibility Fees, the ones that do added 80 million dollars to the state revenue last year alone.

Michigan State Police

Legislation to nix Driver Responsibility Fees is moving through the state Legislature.

The fees require drivers to pay to get their driver’s license back after getting too many points on their license or committing certain driving offenses.

There’s already a law to phase out the fees completely in 2019. But lawmakers say that’s not soon enough. They want the fee to be gone by October of next year. And they want people that haven’t paid their fees to be forgiven.

It’s not always gridlock and stalemate in Lansing. The left and right seem to have come together to solve a lingering controversy. But, can it last?

A plan in the state Legislature that would hurry up getting rid of driver responsibility fees appears to be on a fast track in Lansing. These fees are surcharges tacked onto traffic fines. Lawmakers approved them in 2003 in order to fill what was then a big hole in the state budget.