Pennsylvanians who have been convicted of drug-related offenses will no longer have their driver’s licenses suspended thanks to new legislation.
The bill, which was sponsored by outgoing state Rep. Rick Saccone, passed unanimously in the state Senate on Wednesday. Saccone (R-Elizabeth) says the legislation will allow hundreds of thousands of people who can’t drive to work to rejoin the workforce.
“They can't go to work, they can't go to school, they can't go to rehab, they can't do anything. It's hard to function in our society without a driver's license,” said Saccone. “In a time when we’re short of workers, when unemployment is so low...these are skilled and experienced people who want to work and they can’t because they can’t get there.”
The bill received overwhelming bipartisan support and is now on its way to Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk.
The ACLU praised Saccone’s legislation, making for an unlikely pairing. Saccone is a conservative, and the ACLU opposed his earlier effort to put "In God We Trust" on school buildings.
“There is no one against this bill,” said Saccone. “It has supporters from both sides of the aisle, both chambers, diverse groups, minority groups, labor groups, social welfare groups. Everybody supports this bill.”
This bill is Saccone's final legislative achievement. He's retiring after losing two runs for Congress this year.
“I think it's a fitting end for my time in the legislature, I'm really proud of it because it's totally bipartisan,” he said.
Governor Tom Wolf's office says he'll sign the bill, and it will take effect six months later.