The Massachusetts House of Representatives is expected to vote Wednesday to override Republican Gov. Charlie Baker's veto of a bill making immigrants without legal status eligible to seek state-issued driver's licenses.
The bill was approved by House and Senate Democrats last month, but Baker vetoed it, saying the Registry of Motor Vehicles, an agency that he oversees, doesn't have the ability to verify the identities of potential applicants.
Supporters have said the bill will make the roads safer by granting access to licenses for many undocumented immigrants who are already living throughout the state.
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Republican opposition to the bill was steady throughout its journey.
In his veto message, Baker said the legislation "significantly increases the risk that noncitizens will be registered to vote," a possibility that bill supporters have refuted. The governor said the bill "restricts the Registry's ability to share citizenship information with those entities responsible for ensuring that only citizens register for and vote in our elections."
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The bill cleared both branches with enough support to override Baker's veto, and House lawmakers said they are planning to vote on the override at 1 p.m. Wednesday. It is up to the House to initiate a veto override, with a two thirds vote required in each branch to make the bill law.
Under the bill, expanded access to standard driver's license would begin on July 1, 2023. Applicants under the bill would need to provide proof of their identity, date of birth and residency in Massachusetts.