Michigan Legislature approves bill package to fund patrols on rural roads

September 27, 2022

Keith Goble

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The Michigan Legislature has approved a bill package to fund police patrols on rural roads throughout the state.

Currently, the state uses a portion of traffic tickets to help cover costs to patrol roads outside of cities and villages. There is a $10 fee attached to each $40 traffic civil infraction to help pay for patrols on secondary roads.

The projected revenue for fiscal year 2021-22 is $5.8 million. An additional $4 million from the general fund totals $9.8 million.

Funding covers about 100 road patrol deputies.

Rep. Mike Mueller, R-Linden, said relying on revenue from traffic tickets creates “a bad public perception.”

The bills would instead tap a portion of liquor taxes to fund the state’s secondary road patrol program.

Rep. Tommy Brann, R-Wyoming, said revenue from traffic fines has declined in recent years. On the other hand, he said liquor tax revenue has increased.

“The secondary road patrol program has been underfunded for a long time, and the legislature has had to do quick fixes year after year. That stops today with these bills,” Brann said in previous remarks.

A 4% excise tax on spirits would be tapped for a flat $15 million annually for sheriff’s departments to patrol rural roads. An inflation adjustment also would be included.

Mueller said that the plan resolves a long-time problem for the state.

“This plan solves a problem the state has been trying to fix for the last 20 years by providing a stable funding source for the secondary road patrols that serve and protect so many Michigan communities,” Mueller stated.

The bills – HB5732, HB5772 and HB5773 – have moved to the governor’s desk. LL

More Land Line coverage of Michigan news is available.

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Keith Goble has been covering trucking-related laws since 2000. His daily web reports, radio news and “OOIDA’s State Watch” in Land Line Magazine are the industry’s premier sources for information regarding state legislative affairs.