NewsRadio 920 WHJJ and the Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Rhode Island House has approved legislation that would allow people who are involuntarily unemployed and delinquent on their income taxes to renew their driver's licenses.

Under current law, individuals can be blocked from renewing their license and registration if they have not filed their state taxes or paid what they owe.

Rep. Jeremiah O'Grady says preventing people from renewing is an effective incentive to get them to pay their taxes, but that insisting the unemployed do so to stay current with the Division of Motor Vehicles is unrealistic and self-defeating. He says those who are out of work will have better job opportunities if they maintain their transportation.

Renewals would be conditional under the legislation approved Thursday.

A Senate panel in March held a companion bill for further study.


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