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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Sondra Erickson (R)

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Legislative Update from Rep. Sondra Erickson

Friday, February 24, 2017

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Another busy week at the Capitol is complete.  I am pleased to say that we were able to pass a Real ID bill through the House during yesterday’s House floor session.

As of January 1st, 2018, Minnesotans will be unable board a plane, enter military bases, or federal facilities using their Minnesota driver’s license.

I have heard from people in our district who have expressed concerns with privacy and that the federal government will have increased access to their information.  I would like to clarify this very important point: neither the state, nor federal government, will require or have access to any more information than what is already required to obtain a Minnesota driver’s license. 

The central difference between a Real ID and a standard driver’s license is that your documentation will be run through an extra security database to verify that you do not possess a driver’s license from another state and that you are a citizen.  These additional security measures were passed by the federal government in 2005 in an effort to combat terrorism and increase national security in the wake of 9-11.

Even so, I understand that some Minnesotans are still uncomfortable with the increased security standards entailed in receiving a Real ID, while others simply want to be able to board a plane or enter a federal facility with their driver’s license.

The bill we passed yesterday would allow individuals to choose between a standard Minnesota driver’s license (like we have now), or a Real ID. You can decide what option suits your needs and concerns best.

This compromise respects the positions of Minnesotans on both sides of this issue.  I voted in favor of this bill, and will keep you appraised as it moves through the Minnesota Senate.

I also had the pleasure of meeting with several people from our district this week.

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Princeton High School grads - Elizabeth and Mikayla - now attending private colleges in our state and asking for support for continued dollars to college grants.

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Librarians from central Minnesota, including from Isle and Milaca.

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State FFA officers visited during FFA week: a great group of young persons who will be our future leaders.

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Domenic and Jim, grads of Princeton and Foley, seeking support for physical therapy programs.

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Maria from Princeton, a physical therapist concerned about preserving the medical specialty that the profession offers.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office with any questions or concerns you may have. I look forward to hearing from you!