In Chicago, Alderman Gilbert Villegas has introduced legislation that would reduce the burden of traffic fines and fees for low-income Chicago residents by providing alternatives to fines and fees and improving access to payment plans.
This legislation discharges all outstanding debt owed by families on behalf of justice-involved youth and mandates that the county inform all affected parents and guardians that they should cease payment as soon as possible. The total amount of debt discharged was over $89 million.
Before this resolution was passed by the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners, the county was charging $25 per day to people detained in the Ottawa County jail. Under the new billing system, detainees will be charged a flat fee of $60 for their incarceration, regardless of how long they stay.
In August 2018, New York City Council passed Intro 0741, making NYC the first U.S. city to agree to make all phone calls free for people who are incarcerated in city jails.
This bill prohibits Arizona courts from charging filing fees for applications to have a judgment of guilt “set aside” or to have a conviction cleared from an individual’s criminal record.
This bill would allow courts to reduce or waive fines and fees imposed on defendants in criminal and traffic court, require courts to consider ability to pay before sentencing a defendant to pay a fine or fee, and require that traffic tickets inform recipients of the court’s ability to waive or reduce fines and fees.
This bill would prohibit the suspension of driver’s licenses for nonpayment of fines and fees, provide for retroactive driver’s license reinstatement, and make a number of technical changes to relevant traffic enforcement activities.
In Michigan, legislation that abolishes the state’s “driver responsibility fees” took effect on October 1, 2018. These fees were introduced in 2003 as a way to balance the state budget, and they have imposed a crushing burden on at least 350,000 drivers statewide.
Idaho’s HB 599 makes two important changes to Idaho law. First, drivers’ licenses will no longer be suspended for nonpayment of court fines and fees. Previously, Idaho suspended licenses for nonpayment of infraction fines and fees, including virtually all traffic violations. Second, the bill decriminalizes driving on a suspended license.
California’s legislature moved to prohibit the state, cities and counties from charging defendants prosecution fees, including attorney’s fees, unless specifically authorized by state law.