In response to our blog post Breaking Down the Barriers to Worker Mobility, Linda Dworak of the Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative reached out to provide an update on some of the legislative initiatives in Maryland underway to facilitate access to vehicles for the working poor. Both of the initiatives are being promoted by advocacy groups supported by BWFC funders. In discussing opportunities for scaling up existing workforce efforts, access to reliable transportation is always at the top of the list in terms of priority needs.
HB 329/SB 233: Education and Occupation in Auto Insurance
This legislation makes insurance more affordable for low-income drivers and working families by eliminating the use of education and occupation to set auto insurance rates. MCRC’s research and national research has found that high school graduates pay more than college graduates and blue-collar workers pay more than white-collar workers for car insurance. We believe drivers should be rated on their driving record, not their jobs or education. Click here to read FAQs about the bill.
HOUSE BILL 1267: Decriminalize DWP (Driving While Poor)
In addition to these initiatives, BWFC’s funders support Vehicles for Change. https://www.vehiclesforchange.org/
VFC provides access to vehicles to participants of several of our industry sector partnerships. It has also just launched a low-cost auto repair and loan program for workforce program trainees/graduates. It also runs a very successful auto mechanics training program that starts behind the fence with individuals nearing release from prison and includes a lengthy paid internship.