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House advances license plate reader bill on its second try

8 months 6 days 13 hours ago May 18, 2016 May 18, 2016 Wednesday, May 18 2016 May 18, 2016 2:17 PM in News
Source: Associated Press

BATON ROUGE - A House committee has reversed course and backed a Lake Charles senator's proposed program that would allow law enforcement agencies to automatically scan motorists' license plates.

The House criminal justice committee voted 8-3 Wednesday to advance the Senate-approved measure for full chamber consideration, a week after rejecting the bill.

Republican Sen. Ronnie Johns said plate readers would help to enforce Louisiana's mandatory insurance law. Supporters said they would also help in identifying criminals' vehicles.

Critics expressed privacy concerns, calling the bill "revenue-based law enforcement."

The House committee reworked how to divvy up each collected $200 fine, giving public defenders 10 percent of the violation, handing the technology vendor 30 percent and splitting the remaining money between the local sheriff's office and district attorney.

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