Updated: Mar 8
Recently the Minnesota State Legislature passed bills related to restoring voting rights for felons and allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain driver's licenses. Here's an update on these two legislative efforts:
Restore the Vote:
On February 21st, the Minnesota Senate, by a vote of 35-30, approved legislation that would give felons leaving prison or jail the right to vote once more. Governor Tim Walz is expected to sign the bill at a future date. This change follows many years of legislative consideration and a recent Minnesota Supreme Court setback; last week, Justices upheld a law withholding the ability of felons to vote until after they finish all parts of their sentence (prison, parole, and probation). According to the ACLU of Minnesota, about 50,000-55,000 Minnesotans are impacted by this change in the law.
Read more about the law here.
Update 3.03.23: Gov. Tim Walz has signed the 'Restore the Vote' bill into law
Driver's License for All:
On the morning of February 22nd, the 'Driver's License for All' bill passed the Senate by a vote of 34-31. This bill will allow undocumented Minnesotans to obtain a driver's license. The bill will head back to the House for final approval and then Governor Walz will sign it. Any person who is interested in obtaining a driver's license needs only to provide a Minnesota address. In 2003, former Governor Tim Pawlenty signed a law that required driver’s license applicants to show proof of legal residency in the United States, such as a social security number. This bill removes such requirements.
Read more about the law below: