SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Latest on action in the California Legislature (all times local):
The California Senate has voted to stop suspending driver’s licenses for people who fail to pay traffic fines or fail to appear in court for traffic violations.
The Senate’s 32-7 vote on Tuesday sends SB881 to the state Assembly.
Democratic Sen. Bob Hertzberg of Van Nuys says suspending driving privileges is an overly harsh punishment for people who don’t pay fines. He says people who lose their license are more likely to lose their job and become trapped in poverty.
Hertzberg’s bill would restore driving privileges to up to 550,000 people who lost them for failing to pay a fine or appear in court. It comes as the state has granted amnesty to unpaid court and traffic fines.
Law enforcement groups say it will encourage people to disregard their rules.
The California state Senate is backing legislation to give financial relief to law enforcement and government agencies that responded to last year’s terrorist attack in San Bernardino.
The Senate voted unanimously to assume an estimated $1.6 million in costs on top of the $6.4 million the state already planned to pay.
Under California law, the state typically covers 75 percent of the costs of a disaster with local governments paying the rest. SB1385 by Democratic Sen. Connie Leyva of Chino would require the state to pay the whole bill.
State lawmakers have approved full disaster response funding more than a dozen times since 1989, typically in response to natural incidents like earthquakes and storms.
The bill goes next to the Assembly.