Assembly passes Chairwoman Alzate and Sen. Britto’s bill reducing driving privilege card fees

 

            STATE HOUSE – The General Assembly passed Chairwoman Karen Alzate and Sen. Robert Britto’s legislation which reduces the fee for an original driver privilege card.

Last session, the General Assembly approved Chairwoman Alzate’s legislation that directed the Division of Motor Vehicles to issue driving privilege cards to undocumented residents in the state, effective July 1, 2023. 

This legislation (2023-H 5780, 2023-S 0751) would reduce the fee for an original driver privilege card from $50 to $25 in order to bring the fee in line with the cost charged for renewing a driver’s license and also would take effect on July 1, 2023.

            “The community of color has long advocated for these driving privilege cards that will keep our roads safer while also helping a portion of our population who struggle daily due to not being able to drive a car to work, or to pick up their kids, or to go about their daily business.  The law passed last year acknowledges that individuals with undocumented status are still human beings who deserve the same services and protections that documented residents have access to and in continuing with this spirit of equity, I introduced this bill to lower the fees to obtain a driving privilege card.  Our undocumented friends, family and neighbors should not have to pay more than others in order to drive safely and legally and this bill will rectify this inequality,” said Representative Alzate, Chairwoman of the House Special Legislation Committee (D-Dist. 60, Pawtucket, Central Falls).

            “This bill is about the issue of fairness and correcting an inequality present in the current driving privilege card law.  These cards keep our roads safer and we should not be discouraging their use by charging the individuals who need these cards more money than would be paid for renewing a normal driving license,” said Senator Britto (D-Dist. 18, East Providence, Pawtucket).

            The bill from last session states that in order to apply for the driving privilege card or permit, an applicant must have verification from the tax administrator that the applicant either has filed a personal income tax return as a resident with this state for the tax year preceding the date of application or has been claimed as a dependent on a personal income tax return by an individual who has filed a personal income tax return as a resident with this state for the tax year preceding the date of application.  The applicant must also present two primary proof-of-identity documents, or one primary proof-of-identity document and one secondary proof-of-identity document, and two proof-of-residency documents.  The applicant must also follow insurance requirements.

Neither the permit nor card would be usable for federal or state identification or voting purposes.

The driving privilege card was created because previously, those unable to establish a lawful presence in the United States were unable to produce the documentation, such as a Social Security number, that state law requires for the issuing of a driver’s license.

Both bills now head to the governor’s desk for consideration. 

 

Former President Donald Trump is in Washington, D.C. huddling with Republican lawmakers. Trump told reporters today Republicans are unified and he expects to take back the White House in November. He said he plans to "bring common sense back to the government" and secure the southern border if he wins the election.        The Supreme Court is keeping widely used abortion pill mifepristone [[ mif-ah-pris-tone ]] available to Americans. The high court unanimously ruled that a group of anti-abortion doctors who challenged the FDA's actions to make mifepristone [[ mif-ah-pris-tone ]] more accessible did not have legal standing to sue and threw out the case. The ruling will allow the pill to be mailed to patients without an in-person doctor's visit.       Wisconsin Republicans are coming to the defense of Donald Trump after the former President allegedly criticized Milwaukee during a meeting with Congressional Republicans. Punchbowl News reported that Trump called Milwaukee a "horrible city." Wisconsin Congressman Derrick Van Orden said Trump was specifically referring to the crime rate in Milwaukee, while Representative Bryan Steil said Trump didn't say the comment at all. This comes as Milwaukee is set to host the Republican National Convention next month.       There are growing fears in the U.S. that the Israeli-Hamas war is widening. This as attacks between Israel and the Lebanon-based terrorist group Hezbollah are increasing. The Iran-backed group has been shelling Israel's northern border in retaliation for Israel's assassination of a senior Hezbollah commander. Israel has since sent fighter jets to hit "Hezbollah military structures."       A U.S. Navy submarine is now in Cuba a day after two Russian war ships arrived at the Havana Port. The U.S. Southern Command confirmed the USS Helena arrived at Guantanamo Bay Thursday. It said it's part of a routing port visit and the vessel's location and transit were previously planned. The arrival of a Russian frigate and submarine at the Havana Port has been seen as a show of force by the longtime ally of Cuba, but both the U.S. and Cuba said it posed no threat.       The Eagles are next in line to play the Sphere in Las Vegas. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famers will play a total of eight shows over four weekends at the cutting edge venue this fall. The residency will kick off on September 20th and end on October 19th. U2 opened the venue last year and have been followed by residencies from Phish and Dead & Company.