Friday, December 2, 2022

Play

Group wants rollbacks of some IA voting restrictions; RSV, Flu, COVID: KY faces "Triple Threat" this winter; Appeals court halts special master review of documents seized at Mar-a-Lago.

Play

The Senate passes a bill forcing a labor agreement in an effort to avoid a costly railway worker strike. The House Ways and Means Committee has former President Trump's tax returns in hand. The Agriculture Committee is looking at possible regulations for cryptocurrency following the collapse of cryptocurrency giant FTX. The Supreme Court will be reviewing the legality of Biden s student debt relief program next year. Anti-semitic comments from Ye spark the deletion of tweets from the the House Judiciary Committee GOP's Twitter account.

Play

The first-ever "trout-safe" certification goes to an Idaho fish farm, the Healthy Housing Initiative helps improve rural communities' livability, and if Oklahoma is calling to you, a new database makes it easier for buyers and builders to find available lots.

MN Moves to End Driver's License Suspensions for Unpaid Fines

Play

Friday, June 25, 2021   

THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. -- If a Minnesotan fails to pay a traffic fine or appear in court for a low-level violation, they could lose their driver's license, but a change in the law appears likely, bringing relief to those who say the rule unfairly targets low-income people.

As Minnesota lawmakers try to wrap up work on a new state budget, they're poised to include a provision to do away with driver's license suspension for certain situations.

Anna Odegaard, legislative advocate for the Minnesota Asset Building Coalition, said national research links license suspensions with job loss, especially for people struggling to get by.

"So, what we see is that this license suspension creates a kind of cycle of debt and interaction with the criminal justice system," Odegaard observed.

The nonpartisan Legislative Coordinating Commission reported suspension rates are higher in BIPOC and tribal communities. For those concerned about public safety, bill supporters say the rule remains in effect for serious violations, and unpaid tickets will still be subject to collections. Both the House and Senate have approved transportation spending bills that include the plan.

Catherine Johnson, executive director of the Inter-County Community Council, which helps fight poverty in a handful of northwestern Minnesota counties, said in rural areas, a license suspension can be especially problematic.

"Most folks don't often work in the same community that they live," Johnson pointed out. "And so, having a suspended driver's license just enables them to not get to their job."

Odegaard added stopping suspensions prevents people from making the difficult choice of driving when they shouldn't, or taking a risk to maintain their income.

"Because that enables people to continue driving legally, keep their jobs, take care of their families while they work on paying off their debt to the court," Odegaard explained.

The proposal saw bipartisan support in the Legislature, and also has the backing of a number of legal groups, including the Minnesota County Attorneys Association and Minnesota State Bar Association.


get more stories like this via email
According to the Brennan Center, at least one bill with a provision restricting access to voting was introduced in the legislature of every state except Vermont in 2021. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The Iowa League of Women Voters plans to ask the Iowa Legislature to rethink the voting restrictions put in place prior to last month's midterm electi…


Environment

Agriculture groups and government agencies aren't slowing down in trying to convince farmers to use more sustainable practices such as cover crops…

Social Issues

Winter is here, leaving many older South Dakotans vulnerable to social isolation. But a growing body of research, as well as opportunities, shows …


Almost 60% of Black students and 50% of Latino students experience food insecurity, compared with 30% of their non-Hispanic white peers, according to a study by the Wisconsin HOPE Lab. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

By Jala Forest / Broadcast version by Nadia Ramlagan Reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration Nearly 40% of college students a…

Environment

The Biden administration has proposed a rule to limit methane flaring from oil and gas development on public lands. The rule would impose royalty …

Each year in the United States, an estimated 58,000 to 80,000 children younger than 5 are hospitalized due to RSV infection, according to the CDC. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The flu, COVID and RSV are rapidly spreading in Kentucky, and health experts say that's a problem for hospitals, schools and the state's vulnerable …

Environment

As its 125th anniversary nears, the Connecticut Audubon Society has released a report detailing the effectiveness of conservation efforts in the …

Social Issues

2022 was a banner year for women elected as governor. Nearly one-third of America's governors will be women next year, which is a record. Iowa …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021