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House of Representatives votes to override Baker’s veto on driver’s license law – Boston News, Weather, Sports

BOSTON (AP) — A bill that would allow immigrants in the country to illegally obtain state driver’s licenses in Massachusetts was approved by the Massachusetts House on Wednesday over Republican Gov. Charlie Baker’s veto.

The 119-36 vote means the bill will now go to the Massachusetts Senate, which could also vote to override Baker’s veto as early as Thursday.

If the Senate can muster the required two-thirds majority for the proposal, as expected, the bill will become law, despite Baker’s objections. The Democrats have overwhelming majorities in both chambers.

Sixteen states and the District of Columbia already have similar laws.

Baker has long opposed the idea of ​​allowing those in the country to obtain driver’s licenses illegally, saying the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles would be required to issue state identification cards to people without the ability to verify their identities.

“Consequently, a standard Massachusetts driver’s license no longer confirms that a person is who they say they are,” he added last month in a letter to lawmakers explaining his veto.

Both chambers had initially passed the measure with sufficient margin to override a Baker veto.

According to the proposal, those illegally staying in the country could apply for a driver’s license if they can present a foreign passport or consular identity document to the Motor Vehicle Registry.

Individuals would also be required to provide one of five additional documents: a driver’s license from another US state or territory; a birth certificate; a residence permit; a foreign driving license; or a U.S. state or territory marriage certificate or divorce decree.

Proponents of the bill, including Democratic Sen. Karen Spilka, say the measure would make driving safer in Massachusetts by requiring immigrants to show they can drive properly and, in the event of an accident, that they have the required have taken out insurance.

“We are a nation of immigrants, and our Commonwealth continues to be profoundly and positively shaped by immigrants from around the world,” Spilka said in a written statement last month after the bill passed the Senate and before Baker vetoed it. “They deserve to get to work and school safely, to care for their families and to participate in the life of their communities.”

Baker said the bill would also limit the registry’s ability to share citizenship information with agencies responsible for ensuring that only citizens register for and vote in elections.

“This law significantly increases the risk of non-citizens being registered to vote,” he added.

If approved by the Senate, the proposal would go into effect on July 1, 2023.

(Copyright (c) 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed.)

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https://whdh.com/news/house-votes-to-override-baker-veto-of-drivers-license-bill/ House of Representatives votes to override Baker’s veto on driver’s license law – Boston News, Weather, Sports

Nate Jones

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