Rep Hoitenga votes to eliminate driver responsibility fees

02Nov Rep. Hoitenga votes to eliminate driver responsibility fees State Rep. Michele Hoitenga today joined a bipartisan majority of her House colleagues voting to end punitive driver responsibility fees and forgive outstanding debt.Hoitenga, of Manton, said the fees were imposed in 2003 when reckless spending by a previous administration left the Legislature desperate for funds. To balance the budget, driver responsibility fees were imposed, forcing families into a seemingly endless cycle of debt and poverty.“These fees did nothing to improve the driving skills of those paying them, and in fact denied driving privileges to most of those forced to pay the fees,” Hoitenga said. “Once deprived of a driver’s license, many were forced out of the workforce and had to depend on government handouts. Those who continued to drive illegally to get to and from work risked additional fees if they were pulled over. It was a horrible Catch 22.”Under the eight-bill legislative package, the fees will be completely eliminated in October 2018. At that time, all debt from driver responsibility fees will be forgiven. And those still required to pay the fees until next October have options.“The legislation reinstates a community service option, enabling people to pay off their debt by helping to improve their neighborhoods until the fees are eliminated,” Hoitenga said. “Another option is participation in a workforce development program, which will help them find jobs once they regain their driving privileges.”The bills now go to the Senate for consideration.#####The bills are House Bills 5040-5046, 5079 and 5080. Categories: Hoitenga News,News Debt forgiveness key aspect of bipartisan legislation

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