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March 10, 2017

Committees Meet Late as First Deadline Approaches

Today marks the Minnesota Legislature’s first policy committee deadline. Policy committees have worked late into the evening all week as they attempt to review and evaluate a broad number of legislative initiatives. Legislation must have passed through all policy committees in the body of origin before midnight tonight in order to continue to progress. Legislation that meets the first committee deadline then has until midnight Friday, March 17 to be acted on by all committees in the second chamber.

Tempers Flare as Real ID Bill Fails in Senate
On Monday the Minnesota Senate debated a measure that would bring Minnesota into compliance with the federal Real ID Act ‎of 2005. The measure was passed by the House of Representatives in late February as House File 3. The bill, authored by Sen. ‎Eric Pratt (R, Prior Lake) in the Senate, would provide a two-tier system under which Minnesotans could opt for a Real ID-compliant ‎driver’s license or a non-compliant ID‎. Compliance with the federal requirements has been controversial in recent years and has often been tied to other issues relating to state-issued forms of identification.

After multiple hours of debate in the Senate, HF 3 failed to pass by a vote of 29-38. All 33 DFL Senators voted against the bill with many of them citing the absence of a provision that would allow individuals to receive a driver’s license regardless of their immigration status. There were also five Republican Senators who did not vote for the bill, including ‎Sen. Bruce Anderson (R, Buffalo), Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer (R, Big Lake), Sen. Warren Limmer (R, Maple Grove), Sen. Andrew Matthews (R, Milaca) and Sen. Scott Newman (R, Hutchinson). The Republican opposition cited ‎concerns with data privacy and federal overreach. If the bill is not signed into law this session, ‎thousands of Minnesotans may be unable to use the Minnesota driver’s license to board a ‎commercial flight beginning Jan. 1, 2018.‎

Important Dates to Remember
Upcoming committee deadlines and legislative recesses are as follows: ‎

Friday, March 10, 2017 – Committees must act favorably on bills in the ‎house of origin.‎

Friday, March 17, 2017 – Committees must act favorably on bills, or ‎companion bills, that met the first deadline in the other house.‎

Friday, March 31 – Committees must act favorably on major appropriation ‎and finance bills.‎

Sunday, April 9, 2017-Monday, April 17, 2017 –Passover/Easter break ‎

Monday, May 22, 2017 – Legislature is constitutionally required to adjourn ‎



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Larkin Hoffman provides counsel to a wide variety of ‎organizations, from ‎small businesses and nonprofits to  Fortune 500 companies, in ‎many areas of practice including ‎corporate and governance matters, litigation, real ‎estate, government relations, labor and employment, intellectual property, ‎information technology, ‎franchising and taxation. The firm also serves the needs of individuals in many ‎areas ‎including trusts and estates, personal injury and family law.


This newsletter is provided as a service to our clients and firm associates. While the information provided in this newsletter is believed to be accurate, it is general in nature and should not be construed as legal advice.