Supporters of licensing illegal immigrants to drive say it would make Illinois roads safer with trained motorists required to carry insurance.
The Senate Executive Committee voted 12-2 Thursday to advance the plan for some of the 250,000 people living in Illinois illegally.
Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran told the committee unlicensed and uninsured illegal immigrants cause $64 million in damage claims each year - a cost covered by insured motorists' premiums.
Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno of Lemont says the plan is a good example of state law filling in where the federal government has failed to act.
The legislation's sponsor is Senate President John Cullerton. The Chicago Democrat says the licenses would be good for three years.
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