Michigan Sex Offenders To Pay $50

LANSING, MI – People listed on Michigan’s sex offender registry would pay an annual fee of $50 under terms of a bill overwhelmingly approved by the state Senate.

Current state law calls for offenders to pay the $50 fee only when they are first registered. Senate Bill 221 would make that an annual payment.

The bill approved by the Senate on a 33-2 vote Thursday is now headed to the House for its consideration.
The change would be a boost to the fund that helps establish, run and enforce the sex offender registry. Current law raises about $160,000 a year through the fees. That could increase to up to $700,000 a year if the fees were annual, according to an analysis from the Senate Fiscal Agency.

The money would be divided up between Michigan State Police and local agencies.

Even with the increased revenue, the fees wouldn’t cover the full cost of operating the registry – estimated at $1.2 million a year at the state level. But the higher fees would lower the cost burden to taxpayers.

“It won’t quite cover the costs, but it will come very close,” said Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge and the sponsor of the bill. “This is simply a fee increase to ensure that the offenders pay for their own registry. Obviously, the taxpayers shouldn’t pay for it when they’re the ones that have put themselves on that registry. I consider this a membership fee.”

Some of Michigan’s neighboring states already require an annual fee for those on the sex offender registry.

The Michigan bill would apply only to offenders who aren’t in prison.

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