Malta Rep. Wants to Stop Suspending Licenses for Not Paying Court Debt

HELENA, Mont. (NMB) – A bill introduced in the Montana Legislature would stop Montana’s courts from suspending the driver’s licenses of people who fail to pay their court debt.

Tim Pierce with the UM Legislative News Service reports, Republican Representative Casey Knudsen of Malta, the ACLU of Montana, and Americans for Prosperity hosted a joint press conference Wednesday on the bill.

Knudsen says the state suspends more than more than 10,000 driver’s licenses from Montanans who he says are too poor to pay their fines.

“Good, hard working people are being forced in to a modern day debtors’ prison through the suspension of their driver’s license. That’s a situation I find morally inexcusable.”

State Director of Americans for Prosperity Montana David Herbst says he doesn’t always agree with the ACLU, but is proud to partner on the bill.

“When it comes to removing barriers to opportunity for individuals who want to pay their fines, there is no disagreement.”

The bill is currently in draft form and will reach committee soon.

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