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Legislative News and Views - Rep. John Petersburg (R)

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Thursday, January 12, 2023

Recently the Minnesota House of Representatives approved tax conformity legislation that aligns Minnesota’s tax system with tax changes that have been made at the federal level.


This is good news. At times, the federal government passes tax laws that are helpful to filers. But if the state doesn’t conform their tax laws to what has been approved in Washington, the taxpayers aren’t able to take advantage of the benefits.


In this case, Minnesota hadn’t conformed the state’s tax code in five years. 


Prior to the House floor vote, Minnesota House Republicans who sit on the House Taxes Committee prevented nearly $100 million in tax increases from being included in the conformity proposal.



Should Minnesota residents be the only ones allowed to receive a driver’s license?


Recently in our House Transportation Finance and Policy Committee, we debated legislation that would allow illegal immigrants to obtain the same driver’s license that Minnesota’s residents receive if they choose not to apply for a Real ID or enhanced driver’s license. 


This would repeal the rulemaking limitation placed on the Department of Public Safety in 2003 which required proof of legal status for identification and information requirements for obtaining a driver license.


I have significant concerns with this idea, as the proposal is very badly written. This would be a driver’s license that will look identical to everyone else’s, with no special markings or limitations. Because of this, it opens the door to potential voting and state program abuse, as there are no safeguards with this proposal at all.


Allowing an undocumented immigrant to acquire a driver’s license that looks exactly like the license used by a legal Minnesota resident is asking for trouble. If the goal is to just let undocumented people have driving privileges, then there should be no objection to making the license reflect their undocumented status. 


So what do you think? As always, I’m eager to hear your input. Feel free to contact me anytime at or 651-296-5368.