Monday, May 20, 2013 | 10:20 p.m.
Immigrants who came to the country illegally would be able to obtain a driver’s privilege card under a bill approved Monday by the Senate, whose supporters said it would make roads safer and contribute to the economy.
Senate Majority Leader Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, estimated 60,000 individuals would apply for this authorization to drive legally. That could mean additional money for the state highway fund that is used to build roads, he said.
Sen. Ruben Kihuen, D-Las Vegas, said these authorization cards would result in vehicle and insurance purchases. He said statistics show that unlicensed drivers are the most dangerous.
Sen. Joe Hardy, R-Boulder City, said this was a protection-of-jobs issue.
“They can drive without fear of being deported on their way to work,” he said.
The lone dissenting vote on Senate Bill 303 came from Sen. Don Gustavson, R-Sparks, who said his constituents don’t agree with the bill.
It appropriates $739,110 next fiscal year and $893,852 in 2015 to the state Department of Motor Vehicles to run the program. But supporters said the department would recover the money from the privilege cards issued.
The bill now goes to the Assembly.