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Tenn. Department of Safety needs money

Published On: Feb 25 2013 04:19:42 AM CST
Updated On: Feb 25 2013 10:40:54 AM CST

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security is requesting $7.6 million to supplement its budget after a planned windfall from driver's license fees failed to materialize.

A 2011 bill allowed the state to revoke the licenses of people who do not pay criminal fines and court costs. Lawmakers expected the change to bring in millions of dollars in reinstatement fees.

According to the Associated Press, so far only nine counties are complying with the law by notifying the state of scofflaws, and Tennessee has collected just $22,425.

Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons sent a letter earlier this month to clerks in all 95 counties reminding them of the law.

The legislation was proposed by Metro Nashville's Criminal Court clerk's office.

The fiscal note accompanying the bill says that in 2009, 328,000 people had committed a criminal offense that put them under the driver's license revocation proposal and a full 75 percent didn't pay their fines.

The fiscal note estimated that 25 percent of those would seek to reinstate their licenses.

Legislative analysts projected that would bring in $6.1 million for the state and $6.4 million for local governments.