For those of you who'd like the opportunity to (politely, respectfully) tell the Legislature how this surcharge has affected you and/or your family, this hearing will be a good opportunity. It's a welcome sign that the bill has received a public hearing - many do not - and though the hospitals will come out in opposition, we may have reached a tipping point where the problems created by the surcharge, particularly regarding declining DWI convictions, now outweigh the benefits.
For more background, see written testimony (pdf) I helped prepare last year for this committee on behalf of the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, and these prior, related Grits posts:
- What's the one thing John Whitmire and Leo Berman have in common?
- Declining DWI convictions and the unmitigated failure of the Driver Responsibility surcharge
- Federal suit filed to declare Driver Responsibility surcharge unconstitutional
- DPS Director: No public safety benefit from Driver Responsibility Surcharge
- Prosecutors altering charging decisions to avoid Driver Responsibility surcharge
- Driver surcharge boosting Texas joblessness
- Unexplored costs from DPS surcharge harm safety, the economy
- Driver Responsibility surcharge 'devastating' for court system
- Bill author says 'overly punitive' Driver Responsibility surcharge a 'mistake'