Michigan Legislature approves bill package to fund patrols on rural roads
September 27, 2022
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.