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License suspension bill gets lawmakers OK

NASHVILLE — Tennessee lawmakers have signed off on legislation that would prevent the state from revoking or suspending driver’s licenses over unpaid court costs.

The Senate on Tuesday advanced a proposal allowing people to still have a restricted driver’s license while they pay off their court fines using a payment plan rather than face a possible suspension. The bill now goes to Gov. Bill Lee’s desk.

A restricted driver’s license would allow people to drive only to work, school or their religious place of worship.

The measure was introduced this year after a federal judge issued a landmark ruling last year declaring it unconstitutional to suspend licenses for non-payment of fines.

The state appealed that decision last year, but lawmakers are hoping to address the issue outside of the courts.

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