California lawmakers showing typical two-faced hypocrisy
by Marty Carlson
Some people in California will no longer face losing their drivers licenses because of unpaid traffic tickets.
State Sen. Bob Hertzberg introduced legislation to ensure people’s lives are not derailed by traffic tickets, California Gov. Jerry Brown said the punishment of suspending drivers licenses to collect unpaid fines can send low income people into a cycle of job losses and more poverty.
Brown has approved the provision as part of a series of bills he signed Tuesday that will be enacted in the state budget starting next month. It will prevent courts from suspending drivers license simply because of unpaid fines.
The governor stated there does not appear to be a strong connection between license suspensions and collecting the fines, in the primary consequence his inability to legally drive to work or take one’s children to school.
In March about 488,000 people had suspended driver’s license for unpaid tickets for missing court appearances, according to Department of Motor Vehicles.
Opponents argue that the suspensions are a useful tool to compel people to pay fines, but supporters of this bill say losing the ability to drive prevents people from earning money and actually make low income drivers less likely to pay fines.
Courts will still be able to suspend licenses for other infractions like failing to appear in court.
Sen. Hertzberg also has a related bill advancing through the legislature that would allow low income people who cannot afford their traffic tickets to ask the judge to lower fines or substitute them the service.
The governor of the state always likes to make statements about the bit well-being of the low income people, but is more than willing to put exorbitant taxes and fees on their registrations and gasoline purchased. That seems to be a two-faced hypocrisy that we keep hearing out of Sacramento these days. Either you are concerned for the low income people or you’re not, they need to be more consistent.