Thursday night, the Minnesota House passed the Real ID bill.
I have never been comfortable with the federal government imposing a national ID. 9/11 however revealed serious flaws in our national security; steps had to be taken to protect citizens. The federal law has been in affect since 2005, and was enacted to slow the movement of suspected of terrorists.
Minnesota was 1 of 5 States who declined to comply with the law. This year, Minnesotans will no longer be able to enter federal buildings, including military bases. By January 2018, we would not be able to fly within the U.S. without a passport. There has been a growing demand to pass a bill before next January.
Those against the bill had concerns with federal overreach, privacy, and people in our state illegally obtaining a driver’s license. We attempted to address these concerns with HF3, which passed the House yesterday.
Main points of the House bill:
-Allows anyone not wanting the Real ID to retain a standard Minnesota driver’s license.
-Prevents anyone in the country illegally from obtaining a driver’s license.
-Prevents any Minnesotan’s data from being used for gun registration.
The bill, HF3, will be sent to conference committee to be justified with the Senate version. When this is complete we will vote on it again for final passage.
In addition to the Real ID bill, the House passed HF400, a bill disqualifying companies and institutions from receiving state contracts if they discriminate against Israelis through the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. This bill passed on a bipartisan vote.
HF434 also passed the House, which provides $5 million from the general fund to the Board of Water and Soil Resources to acquire wetland banking credits through the Local Road and Wetland Replacement Program, allowing local road and bridge projects to continue on time. It also temporarily suspends wetland replacement requirements for projects permitted for the Army Corps of Engineers. This bill also passed the House.
The final measure passed on Thursday was a concurrence with the House’s Sherco Power Plant bill as it was amended by the Senate. This bill allows two retiring coal-fired generators at Sherco to be replaced with gas-fired generators. This bill has been sent to the Governor for his signature.
I will keep you updated on these issues moving forward.