Americans for Prosperity-Illinois (AFP-IL) recently held a press conference to show its support for a senate bill that would end the practice of suspending state motorists' driver's licenses for non-driving offenses.
"The current practice as a debt-collection tool is a catastrophically poor policy," AFP-IL Deputy State Director Brian Costin said at the news conference. "It hurts the poor the most. We’re here to urge the state of Illinois to not kill a cow to get a pint of milk."
First introduced in February, Senate Bill 1786, called the License to Work Act, amends the Illinois Vehicle Code. It deletes language from the vehicle code that made it so a licensed was suspended upon failure to pay fees.
AFP-IL Deputy State Director Brian Costin | Twitter
Costin went on to say the suspension of driver's licenses for non-driving issues is cruel. Eric Halvorson, a policy and communications associate with the Chicago Jobs Council, agreed, saying the practice is more about "suspending lives" of the offenders.
Illinois state Reps. Carol Ammons (D-Urbana) and Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) co-sponsored the bill.
"People who can pay will pay, and they don’t need their license suspended to do that," Ammons said. "We should not double and triple the fees."
Demmer said more needs to be done to support the bill's mission.
"What’s the practical implication on someone's daily lives?" Demmer asked. "What's the daily impact? This is supposed to be a method of enforcement to pay the fines but having a license can be the difference between having a job and losing it."
Upon passage, the License to Work Act would go into effect on July 1, 2020.