Tuesday, January 8, 2013

EXTRA: Lege does something this lame duck session – driver’s license passes

As I write this, I have no idea whether pension funding reform will pass in any form come Tuesday.

But it seems the General Assembly won’t be able to say it didn’t do anything of note during these final few days of the 97th legislative session.

FOR THE ILLINOIS House of Representatives gave a 65-46 vote on the issue of permitting people without valid visas to obtain a driver’s license from the Secretary of State’s office.

Backers of the bill say that allowing people to get a driver’s license will also get them to comply with the requirements of having auto insurance – which means safer conditions on the road for all motorists.

While some people who have their hang-ups about immigration policy want to claim this wrongly interferes with federal law – even though regulating motorists is a state issue.

I couldn’t help but be amused to learn that state Rep. Randy Ramey, R-Carol Stream – the step-son of one-time outspoken Senate President James “Pate” Philip – said he’s already getting criticism of being a “hater” and a “racist” because of his “no” vote on this measure.

FOR I SUSPECT Pate would have done whatever he could have to thwart this measure from ever coming up for a vote. Some things about Springfield just never change.

Now the measure, which got its final vote in the Illinois Senate last month, goes to Gov. Pat Quinn – who couldn’t wait to release the statement saying how happy he will be to sign this measure into law.

“I want to commend members of the Illinois House for their bipartisan passage of legislation that will help ensure every Illinois motorist is properly licensed and empower more immigrants to become stronger contributors to our economy,” the governor said, in a prepared statement.

At least the legislators will be able to say they accomplished something on Tuesday.


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