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Legislative update; voter and immigrant rights bills pass MN legislature

Updated: Mar 8, 2023

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.

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:

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