SENATE COMMITTEE REJECTS TEMPORARY DRIVER’S LICENSES FOR TAX-PAYING IMMIGRANTS

SB 390 would have increased fairness, improved public safety

Richmond, Va. – This afternoon, over 100 activists packed into a meeting of the Senate Transportation Committee to support Senator Scott Surovell’s (D-Fairfax) SB390, which would have enabled the DMV to grant temporary driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants who pay Virginia income taxes. The bill was defeated on a 7-6, party-line vote.

Said Senator Surovell, “Immigration has driven economic success in Northern Virginia because we maintain an open, welcoming, and hospitable community for new residents. My bill would have given us a straightforward way to improve public safety while helping some of those residents to obtain driver's licenses and generated hundreds of millions of dollars of new tax and fee revenue for Virginia. Similar measures in other states have reduced hit-and-run incidents, alcohol-related crashes, produced safer, better-trained drivers, and improved quality of life for drivers and their children. This is a critical measure supported by dozens of groups, Chambers of Commerce, and is vital to maintain our economic edge in a competitive economy. I am disappointed that my Republican colleagues fail to see this.”

Said Senator Barbara Favola (D-Arlington), “This bill would help immigrants with established roots in Virginia — those who work hard, pay taxes, and contribute to our society. These licenses would also help ensure that drivers are competent and our roads are safe. This has been done successfully in other states and there is no reason we can’t do it here in Virginia.”

Said Senator Jeremy McPike (D-Prince William), "This is a public safety issue. If all Virginian drivers are required to get a driver’s license, we can be certain that every licensed driver will have successfully completed and passed necessary road tests and that they know the rules of the road. 11 other states around the country already have this on their books."

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