ST. PAUL, MN—On Monday, the Minnesota House voted to send HF861 to Governor Walz's desk. The bill provides $5.7 million to continue work on MNLARS, $5.5 million for Phase 2 of the FAST Drivers Licensing System, and $2 million for additional staffing at the Department of Public Safety Department of Vehicle Services division. The bill lacks the $10 million in funding that passed off the House floor as part of HF861 last week to provide relief to Minnesotans who run these local DMV offices. House Republicans pushed the DFL Majority to refuse to concur with the bill sent over from the Senate and send the bill to a conference committee in order to reinstate funding for Minnesota's Deputy Registrars. House Democrats rejected that motion, and voted to send the bill to the governor on a party-line vote.
Rep. Paul Torkelson, R-Hanska, Republican lead on the House Transportation Finance and Policy Division, issued the following statement regarding the passage of HF861:
"It's incredibly disappointing that the first bill being sent to Gov. Walz this year gives funding to government agencies but includes no relief for those who have been hurt by the failures of government," Torkelson said. "It's been ten months since the governor vetoed two rounds of deputy registrar relief funding—these folks have waited long enough, and it's a shame that the legislature once again has delaying passage of this badly-needed relief."
In 2018, the legislature sent a standalone Deputy Registrar relief bill to Governor Dayton's desk, but the bill was ultimately vetoed. House Democrats sustained the veto during a subsequent override attempt in the House. Funding for Deputy Registrars was also included in the vetoed supplemental budget bill.