Senate Bill 37 removes the ability to suspend a person’s license for non-driving related issues, such as unpaid parking tickets, therefore removing the barrier to employment for millions of hard-working Ohioans and businesses that employ them.
Ohio sees roughly 3 million license suspensions per year with over 60% of these being for debt-related reasons, such as a missed traffic ticket. Individuals struggling to get to work and pay bills may find themselves trapped in a financial crisis that is difficult to overcome once they miss a court payment. Driver’s license suspension places individuals in a difficult position wherein they must choose between missing work, losing access to health care, childcare, food, and other necessities, or driving on a suspended license, which can spiral into involvement with the criminal justice system.
Employers in Ohio are all struggling to find employees to fill in demand jobs. Senate Bill 37 will help employers retain good employees by allowing them to continue to drive to work.
Suspending a person’s license for a non-safety, non-driving related reason harms Ohio’s economy and our businesses by keeping people from getting to work. This doesn’t need to be the case.
Senate Bill 37 would dramatically improve the landscape for millions of Ohioans by removing license suspension as an enforcement mechanism for unpaid traffic tickets. There are other means for courts and third parties to have their debts resolved including collection agencies, wage garnishment, and seizing federal tax refunds.
The ability of Ohio's workforce to commute to their workplaces is paramount, as it directly influences the economic productivity and vitality of our state. We urge your support for this bill.
Be more Informed – read the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cleveland’s report: Road to Nowhere: Debt-Related Driver’s License Suspensions in Ohio.
Sign the Ohio Poverty Law Center Return to the Road Campaign Commitment for your organization or as an individual.
Have a story to tell about the effect a license suspension has had on you or your family? Email Greg Reaves (TE Alumni Coordinator – email@example.com)
Want your organization (as an employer or workforce supporter) to sign on to a joint letter of support for the bi-partisan Senate Bill 37? Contact Jill Rizika, TE President & CEO at firstname.lastname@example.org
Timetable: A revised version (substitute bill) of SB37 is scheduled to be released at the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings scheduled for next Wed. 11/15. The Committee will not take testimony at this hearing. The most likely subsequent hearing dates for testimony are 11/29 and 12/6.
What is likely to be in the substitute bill? The best one-page summary of what is likely to be in the bill released next week is the Sub. Sb37 Handout, prepared by the Ohio Poverty Law Center (OPLC). Bottom line: substitute SB37 would end driver license suspensions for the vast majority of offenses that currently result in over a million license suspensions a year. These suspensions are a huge barrier to employment, especially for low-income OH residents.
The Sign-on letter: We are asking local employers to sign a joint letter of support. If you can do so, please contact Jill Rizika, TE President & CEO at email@example.com and she will send a sign on link.
Testimony: Written or in-person testimony of local employers could be a game-changer. If you/your organization would like to know more about doing so, please contact Brian Balogh, Towards Employment Policy Fellow at firstname.lastname@example.org.