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Rep. Vaupel joins bipartisan majority to end driver responsibility fees

State Rep. Hank Vaupel today joined a bipartisan majority of his House colleagues in voting to end burdensome driver responsibility fees and forgive debt associated with them.

Vaupel, of Handy Township, said driver responsibility fees were initially conceived in 2003 by irresponsible spending by a past administration, which resulted in a budget shortfall. He said an unintended consequence of the fees – which are paid on top of court costs and fines – is that people often lose their driver’s licenses when they are unable to pay.

“The loss of driving privileges is devastating for people in rural areas such as Livingston County, which doesn’t have many public transportation options,” Vaupel said. “Unable to drive to work, people end up losing their jobs and depending on public assistance to feed their families.”

Vaupel said the eight-bill legislative package allows people to regain their driving privileges and gives them non-monetary ways to pay their fees until Oct. 1, 2018, including community service and workforce development programs.

“Our legislation also forgives all debt associated with driver responsibility fees, which will be of tremendous help to families,” Vaupel said “With debt forgiveness and restored driving privileges, people will again be able to participate in Michigan’s economic comeback.”

The bills now go to the Senate for consideration.

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