Transportation bill forbidding Real ID proceedsby Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — A transportation policy bill is headed to Governor Pawlenty despite his repeated veto threats.
The Senate approved the legislation on Monday by a vote of 51 to 11. Governor Pawlenty has threatened to veto the bill, because it includes language that forbids the state from complying with federal guidelines regarding state driver's licenses.
Supporters of the bill say they included the provision banning the so-called Real ID act, unless a substantial amount of federal money pays for the system and the federal government addresses privacy concerns.
Sen. Dave Senjem (R-Rochester) failed in his attempts to send the bill back to conference committee to remove the controversial provision.
"I'm told, at least last Thursday by the governor, that this may be a matter of two or three words. We're not far away from a solution. But I fear this entire bill and all that is in it that is good is going to end up in veto land. And that's not going to be good for any of us," said Senjem.
The governor says he understands there are concerns about Real ID, but says it is unwise to completely opt out of the federal system.
He said Minnesotans would be unable to use a Minnesota driver's license to board an airplane if the state doesn't comply with federal rules.