Lawmakers Agree To Summer Study Of Migrant Worker Issue

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(Host) The Vermont Senate has given its unanimous approval to legislation that creates a summer study to explore the pros and cons of allowing migrant workers to apply for a Vermont driver’s license.

Chittenden senator Phillip Baruth says there are roughly 1,500 migrant workers employed in the state’s dairy industry and he says many of them are isolated in rural parts of the state.

Baruth says having the state issue the workers a driver’s license would solve a number of problems.

(Baruth) "They’re worried that their secure identifications from their own country, that is their consulate cards and their passports, will not be acceptable if they’re stopped by Vermont State Police. So there’s both a mobility issue and fear issue involved with traveling on Vermont roads."

(Host) Transportation chairman Dick Mazza pushed for a study because he said there were a lot of issues that need to be reviewed.

(Mazza) "It would take a few more weeks to do diligence to come up with recommendation. Everyone felt they wanted to continue to talk about it and look into it and see both sides of the issue."

(Host) Senator Baruth said he "enthusiastically" supported the study concept as the best way to move forward on the issue.

The measure will now be reviewed by the House.

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