The Senate Government Operations Committee opted against revoking undocumented immigrants' ticket to drive.

However, after a 3-2 vote against HB239, which would repeal driving privilege cards, the panel unanimously approved a competing measure to tighten the restrictions on the card.

Rep. Brad Daw, R-Orem, is sponsoring HB171, which would prevent driving privilege cards from being used for purposes such as buying alcohol, firearms or prescriptions. It would also revoke the cards of uninsured drivers.

"Is it the perfect solution? No," Daw said following the meeting. "We are doing the best that we can given the current situation we have."

During the meeting, Donnelson had portrayed the issue of one of national security saying the documentation required for the driving privilege card is not stringent enough.

"We know the name," he said. "We don't know who they are ... we don't know their background."

However, committee members raised concerns about uninsured drivers. A recent legislative audit estimated that 76 percent of driving privilege card holders had auto insurance.

Sen. Scott McCoy, D-Salt Lake, called the cards a "realistic and reasonable response" to the issue of undocumented drivers.

"I think statistics have shown driving privilege cards actually increase the chance someone is going to have insurance," McCoy said.

Meanwhile, the committee ran out of time to hear HB241, also sponsored by Donnelson, to repeal in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants. Donnelson had hoped to substitute that bill for a version that would keep the lower rate in place, but revoke it for students who work without the legal ability to do so.

Now, Donnelson says, it's up to that bill's Senate sponsor, Maragaret Dayton, R-Orem, to lobby for the bill to have a floor hearing.


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