Rep. Peter Breen (R-Lombard) said arresting motorists for multiple minor offenses could do more harm than good during House debate last week.
Rep La Shawn Ford (D-Chicago) thanked Gov. Bruce Rauner and the entire Republican Party for changing the tone on criminal justice reform in Springfield before presenting HB3920 on the House floor last week.
“It (HB3920) simply asks that we no longer put people in jail for having licenses suspended for red light cameras or parking tickets,” Ford said. “As it stands today, if a person has too many red-light camera or parking tickets they can be arrested for a suspended license.”
Ford’s bill would allow up to three citations before an arrest is made, a notion that Breen wanted clarified before he could show his support. Breen detailed there are two ways one can have their license suspended including committing serious offenses or by accumulating red-light camera or speed-camera tickets.
“That is exactly right,” Ford said.
“Along with other standing citations for parking compliance, automated speed enforcement, automated traffic law, if you did not comply with an order to pay support or to comply with a visitation order, that is another reason to pull your license,” Breen further explained to the floor.
“If fact Rep. Breen, HB3920 makes sure that people who have an arrestable offense remain arrestable so this will not change that,” Ford said.
“Though driving is a privilege, it is a privilege that is absolutely necessary for people to work and pay their obligations that they may have been unable to meet, which might have been the reason that they had their license pulled in the first place, Breen said.
It is nonsensical for legislators to mandate laws that will limit a person’s ability to pay while simultaneously demanding payment, according to Ford.
“Certainly, we don’t want to condone folks driving without a valid license or have been suspended for these administrative reasons, but what this bill does is it resets the balance so folks aren’t thrown into a debtors prison,” Breen said, adding he respectively encouraged support.
HB3920 passed 73-22 in the House and moved to the Senate.