Georgia governor signs ‘Second Chance Workforce Act’

(The Center Square) — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has signed legislation that proponents say will allow Georgians facing low-level municipal citations or misdemeanor charges to keep their driver’s licenses while they resolve their cases so they can drive to work.

House Bill 926, the Second Chance Workforce Act, allows traffic court judges to reinstate a person’s suspended license if they have attended court for a hearing or arraignment, rescheduled their court appearance or adjudicated their case. It does not apply to DUI, reckless driving or child support cases.

“The Second Chance Workforce Act represents a significant stride toward fairness and opportunity for every Georgian,” state Rep. Matt Reeves, R-Duluth, said in a statement. “Losing your driver’s license can create challenges in supporting your family and jeopardize your job. This legislation ensures that you can maintain your license and guarantee your ability to drive to work.”

The measure also removes a weight exception for certain Class C driver’s licenses, includes battery against healthcare or emergency workers as a “serious delinquent act” for minors and mandates that law enforcement family violence reports include information about protective orders and previous complaints.

According to a news release, Reeves worked with several partners, including the Georgia Justice Project, the Metro Atlanta Chamber, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Reason Foundation, on the legislation.

“A valid driver’s license often represents stability for our clients, making the difference between securing and retaining employment, attending medical appointments, and supporting family members,” Doug Ammar, executive director of the Georgia Justice Project, said in a statement.