Legislation sponsored by an area lawmaker to implement registration discounts for handicap accessible vehicles has cleared the Senate.

The state Senate recently approved legislation that would eliminate a requirement that allows only vans that are modified with a wheelchair lift to receive discounted vehicle registration. Senate Bill 815 is sponsored by Republican Senator Ken Horn represents the 32nd District, which includes Argentine Township, Fenton Township and the City of Linden. The bill would allow vehicles that have been modified with a permanently installed wheelchair lift or hand controls designed to replace the brake and gas pedals of the vehicle to qualify for the discounted registration. Horn says under current law, a passenger vehicle can be completely handicap-accessible and not receive discounted registration because it isn’t a van, which he feels is not very reasonable. He says the changes that need to be made to these types of vehicles are sometimes quite extravagant and extremely costly, so offering discounted registration, regardless of the type of vehicle, is a sensible way to help offset some of those costs.

The Michigan Vehicle Code currently allows a van owned by an individual who uses a wheelchair, or an individual responsible for transporting a member of their household who uses a wheelchair, to receive a 50 percent discount on their registration. The tax is calculated based on the weight and type of vehicle and is levied by the secretary of state when the vehicle is registered.

The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. (JM)