The Senate has voted 28-5 in favor of HB 334, the bill to raise DMV administrative fees, for things like title certificates and driver's licenses, by $13.1 million a year. Sen. Mike Jorgenson, R-Hayden Lake, said he was unhappy that the fees "will be imposed for the most part on Idahoans and not spread to visitors," unlike gas taxes. But Sen. Jim Hammond, R-Post Falls, said, "Any time that we offer services in government, the cost of that service should be paid for by the user of that service. That's all this measure does. Unfortunately, what we were doing in the past was subsidizing that service with funds that were intended for roads - so my gas tax that I pay now is going to fund all of these services."
Senate Transportation Chairman John McGee, R-Caldwell, said, "We haven't raised some of these fees since the 80s, since the 90s. ... This bill will help put money on roads and bridges in the state of Idaho." Jorgenson voted in favor of the bill; the five "no" votes all came from Senate Democrats, though Sen. Dick Sagness, D-Pocatello, voted "yes." The bill, which is part of the session-ending transportation funding deal, previously passed the House and now goes to the governor. The Senate also voted 26-7 this morning to pass HB 226, the House-passed bill to offer logo license plates for truck trailers as a possible money-raiser.