Fighting a traffic ticket in California will be easier under a bill signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Jerry Brown.
The measure, SB 405 by Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Los Angeles, bans courts from charging drivers up-front fees before scheduling citation hearings. It goes into effect immediately and applies to drivers with routine traffic tickets.
Mike Herald of the Western Center for Law and Poverty, sponsor of SB 405, praised the governor’s action.
“By allowing people to have their day in court without having to pay the ticket first, fewer people will get their license suspended and end up in dire straits,” Herald said in a press release from Hertzberg's office. “The governor stepped up for the little guy today and for that we applaud him.”
From 2006 to 2013, more than 4 million Californians had their driver’s licenses suspended because they didn't pay their fines on time, or they didn't make their payments, or they missed their court date, according to Herzberg.
The senator added in the press release that his bill is part of a larger effort to reduce the "cycle of poverty" and increase access to justice in California.
Also on Wednesday, Brown signed SB 708, a bill to improve student access to free meals at public schools. It requires applications for meal programs to be posted online and in multiple languages. It goes into effect on January 1.
The governor vetoed AB 74, legislation that would have required more frequent state inspections of child care centers. Brown said in his veto message that any such change should be made during the state’s budget process.
The governor has until October 11 to approve or veto bills.
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