Imagine life without a driver’s license

What would you do without a driver’s license if you lived outside of a city with transit? How would you get to work?

Massachusetts state law mandates that people convicted of a drug crime lose their licenses for five years after release from prison, and must pay $500 to reinstate it. Both hardships for formerly incarcerated people add to the struggle to become employed taxpayers.

EMIT is working to change this injustice. State senators need to hear from across the state, to support the amendment to the Senate Budget proposed by Sen. Harriet Chandler, D-Worcester. Laws sometimes get passed by amendments to other bills.

We are targeting 22 state senators on May 16, 19 and 20, who need encouragement to return justice to those who want a second chance. We especially need callers to join the phone blitz who live outside of Route 128, from all over the state. 

Below is the “ask” and a list of senators who need to hear from us. Ideally, people will call who live in those senators’ districts. Don’t let that stop you! Ask friends who live in those districts to make a call. Find state legislators here.

You can also call your senator, as well as Senate President Therese Murray, D-Plymouth, 617-722-1500, and Senate Ways and Means Chairman Steven Brewer, D-Barre, 617-722-1540.

Five to 10 calls get a legislator’s attention. Your call will impact this campaign. Please take five minutes to help. Ask five friends to do the same. It’s a small change that makes a big difference to returning citizens.  CALL on May 16, 19 and 20.

Here’s the info. THANKS!

Friend,

I’m calling to ask you to take a minute to advocate on behalf of people who have few advocates, to remedy an unjust law.

 Imagine how difficult your life would be if unable to drive. How would you work or do much else? Formerly incarcerated people convicted on a drug offense must pay at least $500, often more, to reinstate their driver’s license.

Would you take a minute to join a statewide movement to correct this injustice and make it easier for returning citizens to become employed taxpayers?

I am calling to urge Sen. _________________ [see list below] to support budget amendment 659 by Sen. Harriett Chandler to eliminate three sanctions against returning citizens who have been convicted of a drug offense: a license suspension of one to five years; an RMV* fee of $500 or more to reinstate the license; and references to drug offenses and warrants on an individual’s driving record.

The exorbitant fee of $500, (often more), is a hurdle for a returning citizen to re-join the ranks of employed taxpayers.

Obtaining a driver’s license without a $500 penalty increases the likelihood that a returning citizen will find a legal job and avoid returning to prison. Mass INC** estimates that for every 5 percent reduction in recidivism, the state saves $150 million per year.

Please join your Senate colleagues to restore justice by eliminating this RMV fee.

*Registry of Motor Vehicles

**Page 6, Mass INC free report: Crime, Cost and Consequences, Is it time to get smart on crime?

Senators to target

All numbers begin with 617-722
Stephen Brewer 1540 Barre
Gale Candaras 1291 Wilbraham
Eileen Donoghue 1630 Lowell
Benjamin Downing 1625 Pittsfield, all Berkshire county
Barry Finegold 1612 Andover
Jen Flanagan 1230 Leominster
Don Humason 1415 Westfield
Brian Joyce 1643 Milton
John Keenan 1494 Quincy
Thomas Kennedy 1200 Brockton
Joan Lovely 1410 Salem
Mike Moore 1485 Worcester & suburbs
Richard Moore 1420 Worcester & south
Therese Murray 1500 Plymouth
Kathleen O’Connor Ives 1604 Newburyport
Anthony Petruccelli 1634 E. Boston
Michael Rodrigues 1114 Fall River
Richard Ross 1555 Wrentham
Mike Rush 1348 W. Roxbury
Bruce Tarr 1600 Gloucester
James Timilty 1222 Walpole
James Welch 1660 W. Springfield

 

 

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