Harper’s License to Work Act Ends Unfair Driver’s License Suspensions

11/04/2019
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A measure from state Rep. Sonya Harper, D-Chicago, will end an unfair practice disproportionately targeted at African Americans that prevented people from having a driver’s license for parking ticket debt.

“Building a stronger Illinois means creating opportunities for people to access good jobs and living wages, not taking those opportunities away,” Harper said. “The License to Work Act will connect more people in our community to jobs by ending the practice of suspending a driver’s license for parking ticket debt.”

Harper sponsored the License to Work Act, Senate Bill 1786, to end the suspension of driver’s licenses for unpaid parking tickets or non-moving violations. According to the independent investigative journalism outlet ProPublica, driver’s license suspensions for unpaid parking tickets are predominantly targeted at African Americans and resulted in nearly 55,000 Illinoisans being unable to drive themselves to work or school. Over 40% of people in such cases ended up losing their job. Harper’s bill, which is awaiting the signature of Gov. J.B. Pritzker, will help thousands of Illinoisans regain access to jobs and work to pay parking ticket debts.

“The current policy of suspending driver’s licenses for having parking ticket debt didn’t help people actually pay that debt and hurt communities by putting people out of work,” Harper said. “By putting people back to work and allowing more access to jobs, the License to Work Act will help build stronger families and better communities.”

Harper represents the 6th District, which includes all or portions of Armour Square, Bridgeport, Chicago Lawn, Englewood, Gage Park, Back of the Yards, Canaryville, New City, West Englewood, Marquette Park, South Loop and River North.


Email:
District Office:
4926 South Ashland
Chicago, IL 60609
(773) 925-6580