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Lawmakers lift Real ID gag rule

ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Legislature has voted to overturn a state law that forbids key state officials from discussing conforming to new federal identification standards.

ST. PAUL - The Minnesota Legislature has voted to overturn a state law that forbids key state officials from discussing conforming to new federal identification standards.

Senators passed the bill 57-2 Wednesday after representatives approved it 125-2 Tuesday night. It awaits an expected signature from Gov. Mark Dayton.
State law has banned the Public Safety Department from discussing the issue or doing any work to conform to federal standards that increase the amount of information contained on a driver’s license or other state-issued ID. In a few years, standard driver’s licenses will not be accepted to board airliners. They already are not accepted at many federal facilities.

The original Real ID bill called for public safety officials to report back to the Legislature with suggestions about how to meet federal guidelines by Thursday. It was written when legislative leaders said they expected the gag rule to be lifted soon after the Legislature convened earlier this month. The bill was amended to require the report to be delivered April 14.
A second bill before lawmakers adjourn for the year on May 23 is expected to approve meeting federal standards.
Lawmakers voted in 2009 to bar the state from planning to comply with Real ID because they said federal authorities were seeking too much information and forcing an unfunded mandate on states.

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