New law ends worry over Minn. driver's licenses, boarding planes

Health care a sticking point as budget talks turn specific

Minnesota Budget Talks Hit A Snag

Minnesota residents don't need to worry about trouble boarding flights next year: Gov. Mark Dayton has signed a bill complying with Real ID into law.

Immigration Activists like Ma Elena Gutierrez have been fighting for Real ID's for almost 5-years.

They have been trading offers to resolve a $1 billion budget gap and how much to offer in tax breaks.

Lawmakers from both parties worked for years to bring Minnesota in compliance with the 2005 federal law, but compromises repeatedly fell apart over disagreements on driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants.

Blue Earth County Taxpayer Services Director Michael Stalberger said, "If the expiration date is coming up on their license, they should come and get it renewed".

But even before the debate over immigrant identification, Minnesota lawmakers had a problem with the Real ID Act.

The bill gives the Department of Public Safety until October of 2018 to offer up the new IDs to Minnesotans who are getting or renewing their driver's license.

REAL ID licenses will cost the same to renew as a regular license, but the real price is peace of mind.

After that point, Minnesotans will have options: a Real ID license that will allow for access to airports, military facilities and federal buildings, or a standard license, which won't be valid for air travel or entrance to military or federal buildings. For Dayton, it means expanding a prized preschool program to more schools while sending extra funding to help an overburdened court system and boost state government's cybersecurity efforts.

At stake is funding for almost all state government programs. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove. The Legislature would have until June 30 to finish a budget in a special session. "I'm grateful we were able to reach a bipartisan compromise that makes that a reality". It took the House about six minutes to debate and approve the measure.

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