Subject: Fwd: HB 2466
From: "Meghan Ashford-Grooms" <mashford-grooms@statesman.com>
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2011 14:28:33 -0500
To: Meghan Ashford-Grooms <mashford-grooms@statesman.com>

Subject: HB 2466
Date: Fri, 12 Aug 2011 17:34:20 -0500
From: Peter Winckler
To: Meghan Ashford-Grooms <mashford-grooms@statesman.com>

Please see the senator's comments below in blue.

Pete

Pete Winckler

Senator Glenn Hegar's Office

________________________________________________

 

> 1) Without section 4, does HB 2466 give TEA (or individual schools and

> districts) and DPS the ability to set up a system in which a student's

> driver's license is revoked after he or she drops out of school?

> 

No, the language authorizing DPS to revoke the driver license of a student absent for a given number of days was removed by Senator Hegar's amendment.

 

> 2) Or was the amendment removing section 4 supposed to stop such a

> system from being put into place?

 

The amendment removing section 4 was intended to do exactly that--remove the authority for DPS to revoke or deny issuance of a driver license of a student absent from school for a given number of days.  The senator had this to say about it: "HB 2466 was well intentioned.  Without question, far too many young Texans fail to complete high school.  Dissuading this shortsighted decision is an admirable goal, but in doing so we must be very careful to guard against unintended consequences, especially because we are dealing with minors, for whom the two year gap between legislative sessions is a very significant length of time (half of a normal high school term).  I strongly believe HB 2466 would have brought such unintended consequences.  Allowing a parent to authorize DPS to revoke their child's license by providing notice that the child has missed school for ten consecutive days ignores the reality that many young Texans unfortunately face the challenge of strained parent/child relationships, or worse, are completely estranged from one or both parents.  Allowing an estranged parent such control was obviously not the intent, but is unquestionably a possibility under the language my amendment removed.  That scenario is just one of the many pragmatic flaws I saw under the bill that could unfairly and severely impact a young Texan and not accomplish the goal of keeping them in school.  I have not heard of any effort by either TEA or DPS to implement a revocation process similar to that outlined in the bill, but would be very interested to hear of any such push and would, without hesitation, strenuously oppose such action.  In Texas, especially in rural areas like much of my senate district, revocation of a driver license would represent a de facto ban on travel, which is an untenable situation in many the many households where a child has no choice but to drive themselves to school, work, or elsewhere in attending to household duties.  To be clear, far too many young Texans fail to complete their schooling, but in working to combat this problem, it is imperative that we recognize that innumerable considerations exist and that setting up a system in which "x" number of missed school days can lead to a student's driver license being revoked is a dangerous approach that simply does not account for the great variety of circumstances Texas youth face."