CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) — A bill that would end driver’s license suspensions over unpaid fines and court costs has been introduced in the House of Delegates.
House Bill 4548 was introduced Jan. 27 and is pending before the House Technology and Infrastructure Committee. A similar bill, Senate Bill 563, also was introduced and is pending before Senate Judiciary.
“This is an economic issue as well as a social issue,” said lead sponsor, Delegate Danny Hamrick, R-Harrison. “We want people to get to work so they can make a living. By taking away someone’s driving privilege for paying a ticket late or not being able to afford the ticket is counterproductive. It doesn’t make much sense.”
Other states have enacted similar legislation, including California, Kentucky, Mississippi, Texas, and Georgia, and others are considering similar bills, including Florida.
Some states, including Texas and California, reported an increase in fine collections after ending license suspensions.
“This is important to a lot of members,” Hamrick said. “This issue brings together a wide coalition of people from both sides of the aisle.
“This is an important issue in justice reform,” he added. “We want people to pay the fine and court costs but we also want to let them be able to go to work so they can pay for it.”