BOSTON (WWLP) – A bill before the legislature right now would give all residents in Massachusetts access to a drivers license regardless of their immigration status.
This proposal has been filed several times on Beacon Hill but so far it’s had no luck getting over the finish line. Supporters of the drivers license bill hope that the endorsement of 21 law enforcement leaders will change the bill’s fate this session.
The bill known as ‘The Work and Family Mobility Act’ would allow all residents in Massachusetts to apply for a drivers license. Supporters of the plan say it would make the roads a safer place for all drivers because it would ensure that whoever is behind the wheel has gone through a driving test and is insured.
More than a dozen members of the law enforcement community testified in favor of the bill last week, including Northampton Police Chief Jody Kasper, “I think without a doubt it would make it easier for families who are in this situation to be able to get to work, care for their families, and really improve the relationship that members of the immigrant community have with their police departments.”
Right now, 17 states in the U.S. have similar laws in place, including Connecticut, which noted a decrease in hit and run accidents once the law passed. The bill does have a lot of support at the State House but it still faces some strong opposition, including from Governor Baker who said last session that he wouldn’t sign it.
22News will follow the bill’s journey this time around and provide you with updates as soon as they are available.