Texas SB 1913: Community service would be taken as payment for fines

Texas SB 1913: Community service would be taken as payment for fines

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - A Texas Senate bill would make it easier for people who have trouble paying traffic fines, avoid jail time.

Wichita Falls has been using this proposed policy for almost a decade.

Tina Woods helped out at the Wichita Falls Area Food bank.

She did not only help feed people in need but also helped herself pay her fine.

"It beats spending those hours or that time behind bars for not being able to afford to be able to pay off your fine or ticket," Woods said.

In Wichita Falls you can pay your fines with community service something Senate Bill 1913 is trying to do statewide.

"It is an hourly rate," Stan Horton Wichita Falls Municipal Court Administrator said. "Ten dollars an hour towards your citation so obviously that is more than minimum wage."

Horton started the program nine years ago.

He said because of the policy, only three people were arrested in Wichita Falls during the Great Texas Round Up, where 1,000 warrants were served.

Woods said it is a great option for people who are stuck financially, like herself, and cannot afford to pay their fine.

"It has a purpose," Woods said. "You are feeding so many families that need help being fed."

Tuesday was Woods last day of community service but it may not be her last day as a volunteer.

"I see myself contributing more hours," Woods said. "A lot more."

Last year, more than 3,000 volunteers gave back 20,000 volunteer hours to help those in need in 12 North Texas counties.

If you would like to volunteer at the food bank click here.

SB 1913 is on the Texas Senate floor after it passed the House by five votes.

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