44-13 vote sends measure to Senate
SALEM, Ore. – (KTVZ) -- Legislation to end the practice of suspending driver licenses for failure to pay court fines and fees passed the Oregon House on Thursday.
Rep. Chris Gorsek (D-Troutdale), a longtime champion of the legislation, carried House Bill 4210 on the floor.
The bill, which passed 44 to 13, now heads to the Senate for consideration.
“This bill is especially important as we confront some of the inequities and institutional bias in our systems,” Gorsek said.
“We know that Black and Latinx Oregonians are disproportionately stopped, ticketed, charged and convicted, and we know that this cycle of debt and punishment especially burdens communities of color," he said. "Increased frequency of being stopped and cited for driving offenses, along with increased fine amounts, puts communities of color at greater risk of license suspension for inability to pay.”
According to the Oregon Law Center, more than 334,000 license suspensions have been issued in the last decade. These suspensions, which impact individuals who are unable to pay fines and fees, perpetuates cycles of debt and poverty, and deprives individuals of the ability to get to work, school or the doctor.
Further, according to data recently released by the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission, Black and Latinx people are disproportionately stopped, ticketed, charged and convicted. As a result, fine and fee-based license suspensions disproportionately impact communities of color, in addition to low-income Oregonians.
The House Democratic sponsors are Rep. Teresa Alonso Leon (D-Woodburn), Rep. Julie Fahey (D-West Eugene and Junction City), Rep. Chris Gorsek (D-Troutdale), Rep. Ken Helm (D-Beaverton), Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer (D-Portland), House Speaker Tina Kotek (D-Portland, Rep. Akasha Lawrence Spence (D-Portland), Rep. Pam Marsh (D-Ashland), Rep. Susan McLain (D-Forest Grove), Rep. Mark Meek (D-Oregon City), Rep. Tiffiny Mitchell (D-Astoria), Rep. Nancy Nathanson (D-Eugene), Rep. Rob Nosse (D-Portland), Rep. Karin Power (D-Milwaukie), Rep. Andrea Salinas (D-Lake Oswego), Rep. Tawna Sanchez (D-Portland), Rep. Sheri Schouten (D-Beaverton), Rep. Marty Wilde (D-Eugene), and Rep. Anna Williams (D-Hood River).