Legislators look to pilot programs to reduce license suspension

Tallahassee, Florida — A pair of bipartisan lawmakers are looking for ways to keep Florida criminals on the road with a license, despite struggling to pay unpaid fines and fees.

Congressman Fentrice Driskell, D-tamper and Senator Doug Broxson, R-Pensacola is behind the next bill.

The pair said too many Florida citizens have suspended their driver’s licenses because they cannot pay the fines and fees ordered by the court. They believe that the current salary system is too burdensome.

“So they can’t get a job,” Driskel said. “Which way do they make money to pay fines and fees?”

Driskell said the bill is still under construction.

Upon completion, a pilot program will be created that, if approved, will provide court clerks with tools to keep the license active while the driver is working on what he is renting. She told us to expect more flexibility and better payment plans.

“They can, yes, pay the debt they owe for any fines or charges they have,” Driskell said. “But also because you can get a driver’s license, they can stay employed and continue to fulfill other obligations in life.”

Broxson also mentioned the idea at a Judiciary Committee meeting at the beginning of the week. He told members of the State Clerk’s Association that Florida needed a more “humane payment system.”

“It’s like an Achilles tendon around the state,” Broxon said. “I know you are incredibly constrained in that you have to generate your own source of income, but we have to do a better job.”

Once the bill is submitted, you will need to clear the GOP-controlled state legislature and crime-resistant Republicans. It was unclear whether they would see the change as a mitigation of crime deterrence.

Driskell wanted to prepare the legislation in time for the regular legislative meeting starting in January. She called it one of next year’s top priorities.

Legislators look to pilot programs to reduce license suspension

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