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Sun Jun 28, 2020, 06:53 AM

Lawmakers pass bill to prevent Oregonians from losing driver's licenses if they can't afford to pay

Black and Native American drivers receive 26% of all driving while suspended charges in Oregon, even though they make up a combined 4% of the population, according to state police statistics.

Lawmakers say that disparity creates a significant disadvantage for people of color who are disproportionately stopped and cited by law enforcement. If a driver is unable to pay a fine, a judge can suspend their license, setting off a compounding cycle of debt that could ensnare a driver for decades.

House Bill 4210 repeals judges’ ability to suspend licenses because of fine and fee debts. The bill passed the Oregon Senate after a brief debate on the floor Friday, one day after it moved through the House largely along party lines Gov. Kate Brown and state lawmakers said a priority during the special session was to pass legislation to address racial inequality. The days-long session followed widespread protests in the wake of Minneapolis police killing George Floyd in late May.

Brown is expected to sign House Bill 4210, along with several other reforms, into law after the special session concludes.

Read more: https://www.oregonlive.com/politics/2020/06/lawmakers-pass-bill-to-prevent-oregonians-from-losing-drivers-licenses-if-they-cant-afford-to-pay-fines.html

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