New Jersey lawmakers OK higher fees for vehicle registration

| 1/11/2006

On the final day of New Jersey ’s two-year legislative session, lawmakers sent a bill to acting Gov. Richard Codey that would increase annual motor vehicle registration fees.

The Senate voted 35-4 Monday, Jan. 9, to advance the bill – A4584 – that would boost fees by $3 to pay for new medical evacuation helicopters and to fund new state trooper classes. Assembly lawmakers approved the bill in December 2005.

The increase would provide up to $14 million annually for the helicopters and $7 million to train 200 new state troopers annually.

“The MedEvac helicopter program provides a necessary service, and helps save the lives of New Jersey motorists by getting them to the hospitals fast,” Sen. Bernard F. Kenny Jr., D-Hudson County, Newsday reported.

The MedEvac program has been supported by a $1 vehicle registration fee since 1992. Additional dollars are needed for upkeep on the four helicopters that average 15 years of service.

Of the $3 increase, $2 would go for the helicopters and $1 for the new trooper classes.