Urban CNY: Assemblymember Hunter’s bill to end driver’s license suspensions due to traffic debt passes Assembly

“We applaud Assembly Member Hunter for her leadership and the Assembly for passing the Driver’s License Suspension Reform Act and taking a major step forward to end the cruel and counterproductive criminalization of poverty,” said Ranit Patel, Equal Justice Works Fellow sponsored by the Venture Justice Fund at The Bronx Defenders. “Suspending driver’s licenses due to Traffic Debt needlessly brings thousands of people into the criminal legal system every year and exacerbates and perpetuates racial disparities in the system.  In the midst of a devastating economic crisis, low-income New Yorkers should not have to choose between their health and livelihood on the one hand and a criminal charge, more fines and fees, and even jail time, on the other, all because they could not afford to pay their traffic fines.  The Assembly’s vote today brings us one step closer to relieving hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers of this impossible choice.”

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