Hickenlooper's program to issue immigrants drivers licenses was blocked by the GOP in the Colorado Senate

John Frank-- The Denver Post

With their new Senate majority, Republican lawmakers voted Thursday to block Gov. John Hickenlooper's administration from spending more money on a program to issue driver's licenses to immigrant in the country illegally.

The Division of Motor Vehicles asked lawmakers to use $166,000 in fees it collected from the program to maintain the service at five offices across the state. Without the money, the division said it was forced to consolidate its services to one location outside Denver.

Republican budget writers refused to add the money in committee and blocked a Democratic attempt on the Senate floor to restore the spending on a party-line vote.

The supplemental spending bill is typically a perfunctory measure but the driver's license program transformed the debate into a fight on the issue of illegal immigration.

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