Lawmakers in Alabama are considering a bill that would require the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) to open driver’s license offices at least two days a week in every county.
More than 30 offices were closed last year by budget cuts, though most were reopened after public outcry. Concern was raised that the closings would limit people’s access to identification required for voting, as well as the ability to attain driver’s license.
SB172 from Sen. Hank Sanders (D-Selma) garnered a unanimous favorable report from members of the Senate Committee on General Fund Finance and Taxation, despite some noting that the bill needed revisions. Sanders’ legislation is slated to go before the Senate soon.
ALEA estimates that the cost of opening the offices for additional days will cost $1.35 million annually.
In January, ALEA Secretary Spencer Collier told legislators in budget hearings that his department needed an additional $23 million in funding to remain operational.
ALEA did not respond to multiple requests for comment on the impact of the legislation.