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Bill to end Oregon driver license suspensions for fines and fees heads to Governor's desk

The Oregon Senate has passed a bill that would end the practice of suspending driver licenses for overdue fines and fees, which passed the House on Thursday.

Posted: Jun 26, 2020 3:08 PM
Updated: Jun 26, 2020 3:17 PM

SALEM, Ore. — A bill that would end the practice of suspending Oregon driver licenses for overdue fines and fees has passed the Oregon Senate after passing the House on Thursday. It now heads to Governor Kate Brown's desk.

Oregon Senate Democrats applauded the bill as it sailed through on the third day of the 2020 special legislative session, passing with 20 in favor and 7 against.

In addition to changing policy on license suspensions, House Bill 2020 declares an emergency — making it effective immediately if passed and signed into law.

“An individual’s inability to pay their fines and fees should not be the reason to suspend a license,” said Senator Floyd Prozanski, D-Eugene, a longtime champion of this proposal who chairs the Senate Committee on Judiciary. “The cycle of debt-punishment is unfair, and under our current law, it may make it so one cannot get to work, take their kids to school or seek medical care without violating the law.”

Democrats cited the Oregon Law Center, which found more than 334,000 license suspensions over the past decade. Many of those were for people who could not pay court fines and fees from other infractions, perpetuating "cycles of debt and poverty," and restricting the ability for someone to go to work, school, or the doctor.

According to data from a recent Oregon Criminal Justic Commission report, Black and Latinx people are disproportionately stopped, ticketed, charged, and convicted for traffic infractions.

“Fee-based license suspensions disproportionately impact people of color,” said Senator James I. Manning Jr., D-Eugene, who carried the bill on the Senate Floor. “We know our constituents of color will benefit from this. This is an equity issue and it’s the right thing to do. Especially now while so many are struggling economically.”

HB 2020 passed the House with 44 in favor and 13 against. Governor Brown will now decide whether to sign the bill into law.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 139355

Reported Deaths: 1904
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah29403466
Washington19370183
Marion16840250
Clackamas12186142
Lane8850113
Jackson723497
Umatilla702874
Deschutes528341
Yamhill333851
Linn322950
Malheur321755
Polk259940
Klamath256848
Josephine186836
Benton184614
Douglas180547
Jefferson173925
Union115817
Wasco112723
Columbia108218
Lincoln104417
Coos102116
Hood River99423
Morrow96810
Clatsop7185
Crook66914
Baker5835
Tillamook3732
Curry3275
Lake2605
Grant2171
Harney1906
Wallowa1003
Gilliam531
Sherman480
Wheeler201
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3235045

Reported Deaths: 38268
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles108548815614
San Bernardino2685421719
Riverside2668492970
Orange2391752768
San Diego2300662421
Santa Clara991741278
Kern91119591
Fresno863361084
Sacramento846531194
Alameda71298906
Ventura67066546
San Joaquin60545844
Contra Costa55593492
Stanislaus49500803
Tulare43574542
Monterey38434261
San Mateo34510356
San Francisco30734293
Santa Barbara27149267
Solano27141118
Imperial25745510
Merced25743332
Sonoma25160251
Kings20223161
Placer18034188
San Luis Obispo17151161
Madera14068175
Santa Cruz13088136
Marin12067166
Yolo11276146
Shasta10144132
Butte9865136
El Dorado824566
Sutter812984
Napa807050
Lassen530916
San Benito523851
Yuba522730
Tehama456446
Tuolumne351241
Nevada339473
Mendocino332236
Amador307433
Lake272932
Humboldt265227
Glenn202822
Colusa19079
Calaveras171323
Siskiyou150413
Mono11454
Inyo105329
Del Norte8783
Plumas6185
Modoc3924
Mariposa3575
Trinity3065
Sierra950
Alpine740
Unassigned00
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