An attempt to allow undocumented immigrants to acquire driver’s licenses appears to have fizzled without a vote in the Massachusetts House.

Rep. Christine Barber, a Somerville Democrat who has been pushing standalone legislation making standard licenses available to undocumented immigrants, filed an amendment to include the proposal as part of an sweeping economic development bill (H 4879) under consideration in the House on Monday.

Just as debate on the overarching bill itself started, however, Barber’s amendment was quietly labeled as “withdrawn” on the House clerk’s website.

The amendment, co-authored by Reps. Frank Moran and Tricia Farley-Bouvier, had 57 named cosponsors, and the topic has been the focus of heavy lobbying throughout the session.

The original bill (S 2061) cleared the Transportation Committee in February on a 14-4 vote along party lines. Senate President Karen Spilka also previously outlined her support for the proposal, but it is unclear if her chamber will take it up by the end of formal lawmaking sessions on Friday

(Copyright (c) 2021 State House News Service.

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