For more information contact: DJ Danielson 651-296-8879
I’m down here in St. Paul this weekend as we are in the final hours of the legislative session, with a constitutional requirement to adjourn for the year by midnight tomorrow. Here is an update from the State Capitol.
Last night we were able to make some progress with passage of the Agriculture bill. While small proportionally to the rest of the budget, it provides us some hope we can wrap up the rest of our work. Discussions still continue between Gov. Dayton and Republican legislative leadership to reach agreement. While time is running out, and significant differences remain, I’m hopeful a two-year stage budget can still be passed which delivers important progress for our state’s values, including investments in our classrooms, the quality road and bridge infrastructure Minnesotans deserve, taking proper care of our seniors, and strategic job growth efforts. Stay tuned; things can change rapidly down here, for better or worse.
Real ID Fix Signed
I’m pleased that we have made progress on at least one item important to Minnesotans this week. The bill to put Minnesota in compliance with federal Real ID requirements passed both the House and Senate and was signed by the Governor. Finally, politics were able to be set aside so we could all agree on a clean bill.
In 2005, Congress passed the Real ID act to address security concerns in the wake of 9/11, and requires enhanced identification to board commercial flights and enter military bases and certain federal facilities. For several years, Minnesota has been out of compliance with this act, with the Legislature even banning state compliance in 2009. However, the federal government has gradually been phasing in enforcement, and it has become time for us to comply to ensure Minnesotans can get on a plane or visit a family member in the military by simply presenting their driver’s licenses. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety has some information on what steps Minnesotans may need to take regarding their licenses going forward, and you can see that here.
As we head toward adjournment, please continue to contact me with your questions and comments, or if I can ever be of assistance to you. I’m still hopeful we can make headway on these important issues, so stay in touch with your thoughts.