July 1 marked start of the new fiscal year and with it new fiscal problems for many state courts. Tennessee’s legislature in May approved a bill (HB 1877 / SB 1798) to help alleviate this for the courts by forcing people to pay debts owed to the judiciary.
The new law requires the Department of Safety (DOS) to revoke the driver license of persons who have not paid all of their litigation taxes, court costs, and fines assessed as the result of any criminal offense within one year of the disposition date.
For those unable to pay the costs entirely, the law allows for the individual and court to agree to a payment plan to have the license reinstated.
The fiscal note attached to the House version of the bill estimated an increase in state revenue of $6,141,900 (vs. $984,500 in increased expenditures), plus an additional $6,473,500 increase in local revenue.