Domingo, 17 Junio, 2018

Dayton Set to Meet with Legislative Caucus Leaders to Discuss Budget

With days to go, Minnesota budget talks hit a stalemate New law ends worry over Minn. driver's licenses, boarding planes
Cris De Lacerda | 19 May, 2017, 20:14

Gov. Mark Dayton and legislative leaders were scheduled to meet Friday morning to try to solve an impasse over the state's two-year budget, expected to be around $46 billion.

Its passage allows the state to get an extension to continue using standard driver's licenses until October 2020. If lawmakers and Dayton do not agree to a budget by the constitutionally required deadline, they will need to go into a special session because without a budget state government could shut down on July 1. Anxious Minnesotans may no longer worry if their licenses will be accepted at federal checkpoints, like airports and military bases, next year.

Minnesota had been one of the last states in the nation to make sure its state driver's licenses adhere to the federal standards known as Real ID.

But even before the debate over immigrant identification, Minnesota lawmakers had a problem with the Real ID Act.

After three days of meetings, the governor and the legislators announced "baby steps" on some of the bills, but by Wednesday night the steps had slowed to a crawl, then stopped, then started backtracking. A separate "enhanced" license, which is available now at an added cost, is accepted for air travel and at federal facilities, and can be used for travel between the US and Canada, Mexico and some Caribbean countries. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove.

"Minnesotans should be confident that when they get to the airport they'll be allowed to fly", said Rep. Gene Pelowski Jr., DFL-Winona.

"I feel like, okay we did a good job, because we made many phone calls". It took the House about six minutes to debate and approve the measure.

Because bonding bills leverage state debt to pay for projects, they require a three-fifths "supermajority" to pass, and the bill offered up Tuesday fell a few votes short in the House.