On April 11, I introduced an advisory resolution urging the state legislature and the governor to adopt the budget item to restore drivers licenses for all in Wisconsin. The resolution was informed in partnership with Madison Common Council, and Voces de la Frontera.
SUPPORTING THE INCLUSION OF DRIVER LICENSE FOR ALL PROVISIONS IN THE 2019 WISCONSIN STATE BUDGET, TO ENSURE EQUAL ACCESS TO DRIVER LICENSES FOR ALL RESIDENTS OF WISCONSIN
All residents of Wisconsin, regardless of immigration status or income, should have equal access to driver’s licenses. Wisconsin currently bars an estimated 32,000 residents of our state from obtaining driver’s licenses due to their immigration status, of whom over 12,000 are the parents of U.S. citizen children.
In 2017 alone, over 100,000 Wisconsin residents’ driver licenses were suspended not for any driving offense but solely for failure to pay fines for minor infractions. Without a valid driver license, many people face barriers to meeting basic needs in day-to-day life, such as traveling to work, taking children to school, grocery shopping, going to medical appointments, and visiting places of worship.
Expanding access to driver’s licenses will likely reduce the number of uninsured drivers by at least 28,000, and result in lower insurance premiums for already-insured Wisconsin drivers, at a cost savings of $16 million. Restoring access to driver’s licenses for all in Wisconsin will allow more motorists to complete driver’s examinations and safety screenings, and will also provide more residents with identification for law enforcement purposes; helping more people to come forward to work with law enforcement to report crimes which will improve public safety for all.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Dane County Board of Supervisors calls on Governor Tony Evers and the Wisconsin State Legislature to include in the 2019-2021 State Budget provisions to restore access to driver licenses for all without regard to immigration status, and to end the practice of suspending driver licenses because someone lacks money to pay fines, or for minor non-driving offenses.
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be sent to the offices of Governor Tony Evers, Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, members of the Joint Finance Committee, and the Dane County delegation.