BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     SB 881


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          SENATE THIRD READING


          SB  
          881 (Hertzberg)


          As Amended  August 15, 2016


          2/3 vote


          SENATE VOTE:  32-7


           ------------------------------------------------------------------ 
          |Committee       |Votes|Ayes                  |Noes                |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |----------------+-----+----------------------+--------------------|
          |Transportation  |11-4 |Frazier, Bloom,       |Baker, Kim, Mathis, |
          |                |     |Brown, Chu, Daly,     |Melendez            |
          |                |     |Dodd, Eduardo Garcia, |                    |
          |                |     |Gomez, Medina,        |                    |
          |                |     |Nazarian, O'Donnell   |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |----------------+-----+----------------------+--------------------|
          |Public Safety   |5-2  |Jones-Sawyer, Lopez,  |Melendez, Lackey    |
          |                |     |Low, Quirk, Santiago  |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |----------------+-----+----------------------+--------------------|
          |Appropriations  |13-1 |Gonzalez, Bonilla,    |Bloom               |
          |                |     |Bonta, Calderon,      |                    |
          |                |     |Daly, Eggman, Eduardo |                    |
          |                |     |Garcia, Holden,       |                    |
          |                |     |Quirk, Santiago,      |                    |
          |                |     |Weber, Wood, McCarty  |                    |








                                                                     SB 881


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          |                |     |                      |                    |
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          SUMMARY:  Modifies traffic amnesty programs established for  
          individuals who have had their driver's license suspended due to  
          failure to pay (FTP) traffic fines.  Specifically, this bill:




          1)Extends the 18-month traffic amnesty program for delinquent  
            debt for 9 months - from March 31, 2017, to December 31, 2017.


          2)Changes the latest date for which fines are applicable under  
            the amnesty program from January 1, 2013, to January 1, 2015.


          3)Requires the court, when required to file a certificate with  
            the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) that a  
            person with a suspended license has fulfilled the amnesty  
            program requirements, to do so within 90 days.


          4)Makes related, clarifying and conforming amendments to  
            existing law.


          EXISTING LAW: 


          1)Authorized, pursuant to the 2015-16 Budget Act, (SB 85  
            (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review), Chapter 26, Statutes  
            of 2015), a one-time, 18-month traffic infraction amnesty  
            program that reduced the total amount of outstanding  
            court-ordered debt owed for traffic infractions and certain  
            traffic misdemeanors by 50% reduction provided specified  








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            criteria are met; and reinstated driving privileges for  
            individuals who have had their driving privileges revoked as a  
            result of a failure to appear (FTA) or FTP. 


          2)Required courts to allow individuals to schedule court  
            proceedings, even if bail or civil assessment had been  
            imposed, and clarified the traffic amnesty program (SB 405  
            (Hertzberg), Chapter 385, Statutes of 2015).


          FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Assembly Appropriations  
          Committee, unknown one-time net revenue gain during extended  
          amnesty period and longer term loss of revenue from reduced  
          collections.


          COMMENTS:  In June 2015, the Governor signed into law a one-time  
          amnesty program for unpaid traffic and non-traffic infraction  
          tickets.  The amnesty program, which began on October 1, 2015,  
          and is slated to expire at the end of March 2017, is designed to  
          help persons settle their unpaid tickets and, for those who had  
          their driver's license suspended as a result, to have their  
          driving privileges reinstated if they come into good standing on  
          a payment plan with a comprehensive collection program.  In most  
          cases, an individual's debt is expected to be reduced by 50 or  
          80%, depending on their income.  Persons ineligible for a  
          reduced fine may be eligible to have their driver's license  
          returned, depending on individual circumstances.  The amnesty  
          program does not apply to parking tickets, reckless driving, and  
          driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol offenses.


          The DMV reports that over 600,000 Californians currently have  
          suspended driver's license for failure FTA/FTP for traffic  
          tickets and there are an estimated 4.9 million persons eligible  
          for the amnesty program with an estimated $4 billion in  
          uncollected debt.  To date, a total of 132,879 delinquent  
          infraction and misdemeanor accounts have been resolved through  








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          the amnesty program resulting in nearly $19 million in gross  
          revenues collected.  With regard to driver's license  
          reinstatement, the Judicial Council reports that over 104,000  
          requests have been made of the DMV to lift holds of driver's  
          licenses.  


          By extending the traffic amnesty program by nine months - from  
          March 31, 2017, to December 31, 2017, and similarly, by  
          extending the date for eligible fines from January 1, 2013 to  
          January 1, 2015, a great number of individuals will qualify for  
          the amnesty program.  While participation numbers have been  
          somewhat low to date, it is possible that expanding program  
          eligibility could encourage a greater numbers to participate.  


          Analysis Prepared by:                        Victoria Alvarez /  
          TRANS. / (916) 319-2093                             FN:  0004195