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Dayton wants undocumented-immigrant driver’s licenses as part of Real ID bill

Plus: U of M racial graduation-rate disparities; Republican lawmakers call for firing of commerce commissioner; DFLers criticize central party tactics; and more.

Gov. Mark Dayton
MinnPost photo by Greta Kaul

Just in case you thought “Real ID” was a done deal … The Pioneer Press’ Rachel E. Stassen-Berger drops this bombshell: “Gov. Mark Dayton wants to enable undocumented immigrants to get Minnesota driver’s licenses and he wants the Legislature’s Real ID bill to help make that happen, he told the Pioneer Press on Tuesday. … As they stand, both the House and Senate measures to bring Minnesota into compliance with the federal Real ID standards would bar the possibility of the administration creating licenses for people in the country illegally. But Dayton said Democrats, particularly in the Senate, can change that. … ‘If they want this window of opportunity, they are going to need to create it,’ Dayton said in an interview. He made that case very clear to Senate Democrats in a private meeting Tuesday evening.”

An all-too-familiar story in this state. Also in the Pioneer Press, Josh Verges writes: “The University of Minnesota has one of the nation’s largest graduation gaps between white and black students, according to a report published Wednesday by the Education Trust. … Fifty-five percent of African-Americans who enrolled at the Twin Cities campus between 2006 and 2008 graduated within six years, the Washington, D.C., education advocacy group said. That compares with 79 percent of white students. … The 23.8 percentage-point gap was the 12th-largest among the 676 public and private four-year institutions reviewed. The national average for an institution was 13.5 percentage points.”

Sounds like there’s a lot more to this story. KSTP’s Jay Kolls reports: “Two Minnesota lawmakers say they want a top state commerce official fired following a judge’s criticism over what she called an ‘unwarranted investigation.’ … Rep. Kelly Fenton, R-Woodbury, and Rep. Tony Albright, R-Prior Lake, wrote a letter to Gov. Mark Dayton outlining their concerns and displeasure with Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. … The two lawmakers cited a recent ruling by Federal Judge Susan Nelson that sharply criticized Rothman’s department for conducting an ‘unwarranted investigation’ into Safelite Auto Glass for its billing practices with insurance companies. ”

It stands for Data-Fueled Losses? The Star Tribune’s J. Patrick Coolican reports: “A group of current and former DFL legislators wrote a letter to party leaders criticizing DFL campaign strategy that they say ‘intentionally ignores many voters and offends others.’ … The 8-page memo obtained by the Star Tribune was signed by 11 sitting lawmakers, including greater Minnesota stalwarts Rep. Paul Marquart and Sen. Kent Eken, but also Metro legislators like Sen. John Marty and Rep. Paul Rosenthal. … The memo to the DFL State Central Committee criticizes the party’s strategy for reaching voters via face-to-face, door-to-door conversations. The DFL is emphasizing data collection and a too-small group of targeted voters at the expense of a broader approach that would try to reach more Minnesotans and in a friendlier fashion, the memo argues through anonymous anecdotes.”

In other news…

That was quick: “Downtown Minneapolis Macy’s store sells for $59 million” [Star Tribune]

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A little harsh, don’t you think? “Wells Fargo says no 2016 cash bonuses for eight senior executives” [REUTERS]

Yikes: “DeLaSalle HS closed Wednesday after potential threat” [KARE]

Bad news for BBY: “Best Buy shares slip 4 percent as revenue, outlook fall short” [CNBC]

Hockey players are people too: “Mumps the word: Players hope NHL can contain latest outbreak” [MPR]

Sounds pretty sweet: “Soundset Music Fest 2017 lineup: Travis Scott, Lauryn Hill, T.I., Gucci Mane, Mac Miller” [City Pages]