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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Bob Dettmer (R)

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Legislative Update from Rep. Bob Dettmer

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Dear Friends,

This was a busy week at the House. Here are the most notable events since my last update.

Sunday Liquor Sales

This Monday, the House passed a bill that would allow for sales of liquor on Sundays. Liquor stores will now be able to set their own business hours and have the option to stay open on Sundays. The Senate is still debating this issue.  I support this move toward more economic freedom in our state, and will keep you updated on the status of its passage.

Real ID

Tonight, the House passed our Real ID bill, HF3.

As many of you may have heard, as of January 1st, 2018, Minnesotans will not be able to board a plane, enter military bases, or federal facilities using their Minnesota driver’s license.

Some Minnesotans have privacy concerns and are worried that the federal government will have more access to their information.  I would like to make this very clear: neither the state, nor federal government will have access to any additional information than what is currently required to obtain a standard driver’s license.  Also, there is no RFID chip in a Real ID that allows it to be read by close-range external security scanners, like those in an airport.  Only enhanced IDs and U.S. passports will have these chips, as they currently do.

The essential difference between a Real ID and a standard driver’s license is that your documentation will be “pinged” through an extra security database.  These enhanced security standards are now required by the federal government, and were passed into law during 2005 in the wake of 9-11 in an effort to combat terrorism and increase national security. 

Still, some Minnesotans are not comfortable with the increased security measures entailed in a Real ID.  Others are more concerned with being able to board a plane or enter a federal facility with their license.

The bill we passed this evening would allow individuals to choose whether they would like a standard Minnesota driver’s license or a Real ID. You will have both options available to you.

I believe this is a compromise that respects the wishes of Minnesotans on both sides of this issue.  I will keep you updated on this measure as it moves through the Minnesota Senate.

Thank you for the honor of being your representative. Please don’t hesitate to contact me regarding the issues above, and any others that may arise this session.  I look forward to hearing from you.