A state lawmaker made a pitch for her bill Tuesday morning by saying it would pave the way for former convicts to land solid employment, not growing marijuana or joining a meth lab.

State Rep. Dorothy Sue Hill, D-Dry Creek, made the comment during committee testimony on her plan to help former inmates start over.

Hill said former convicts often emerge from jail without a driver’s license, which then triggers other problems.

Under her proposal -- House Bill 499 -- former inmates who pass the driving test could quality for a one-year license without having to pay the reinstatement and other fees.

“We would be able to give inmates a second chance,” Hill said. “That is what we are asking.”

She added later, “In our area, the only thing they have to do is plant marijuana. We have a lot of meth labs. But if we can get them a driver’s license they can drive to a plant and get a job.”

“That is what we want them to have,” Hill said. “A good, decent job.”

The legislation would apply to former prisoners who served at least one year behind bars and whose driver’s license is suspended, revoked or cancelled when they are released.

It excludes those convicted of vehicular homicide and certain other offenses.

The House Transportation Committee approved the legislation and sent it to the full House.