As COVID-19 Pandemic Continues to Create Financial Strain on Syracuse Families, Senator Kennedy, Assemblymember Hunter & NYCLU to Call on Governor to End Suspension of Drivers’ Licenses Over Traffic Fines and Fees
Legislation Designed to End Law that Criminalizes Poverty and Unjustly Targets Low-Income and Minority Communities Awaits Governor’s Signature
- State Senator Tim Kennedy
- State Assemblymember Pamela Hunter
- State Senator Rachel May
- Yusuf Abdul-Qadir, NYCLU
Location Change – City Hall Atrium,
202 E. Washington Street, Syracuse NY 13202
4:00 p.m. – Tuesday, September 29th
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact families across New York, causing both physical and financial harm, bill sponsors State Senator Tim Kennedy (D-Buffalo) and Assemblymember Pamela Hunter (D-Syracuse) will join State Senator Rachel May (D-Syracuse) and NYCLU Tuesday to urge the Governor to sign S.5348B/A.7463B, which repeals state law that allows for the suspension of driver’s licenses based on the failure to pay traffic ticket fines or fees.
Driver’s license suspension rates in New York are nearly nine times higher in the ten poorest communities compared to the ten wealthiest. In Upstate New York, communities with the highest percent of people of color receive driver’s license suspensions at rates four times as high as communities with the smallest percent people of color.
The statewide push by Kennedy, Hunter and justice advocates comes two months after the “Driving for Opportunity Act,” was also introduced into the U.S. Senate. The bipartisan federal bill would provide $20 million in new funding to states across the country that specifically remove an ability to suspend driver’s licenses based on an individual’s failure to pay a civil or criminal fine or fee.