REAL ID Deal Appears Close as Lawmakers Return to Capitol
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota lawmakers may be close to a deal that would finally put the state in line with federal ID requirements.
Republicans and Democrats have been at odds for years over Real ID — an enhanced license that sets security standards for identification at airports or entering a military base.
A possible deal opened earlier this session when Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton backed away from altering state rules to let immigrants living illegally in Minnesota get licenses. House Speaker Kurt Daudt said Dayton's concession means the House won't push for an outright ban.
Republican Rep. Dennis Smith of Maple Grove said his focus during conference committee is getting a bill that will comply with federal standards.
Dayton said on WCCO-AM Tuesday he's ready to sign the bill that emerges from committee.
Minnesota lawmakers have returned from a weeklong break ready to resume working on a new budget.
There are vast differences between the budgets passed by the Republican-controlled House and Senate and what Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton has proposed. But legislative leaders' first task will be deciding how and when they'll start negotiating.
None of the top leaders agree on how they should approach the trickiest part of the session. Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said Tuesday he wants to begin meeting with Dayton and House Speaker Kurt Daudt this week to start working toward a deal.
Dayton told legislative leaders in a letter he wants to wait until the House and Senate have settled their own budgetary differences.
The Legislature has five weeks to finalize a new, two-year budget.