TRENTON — A bill that would allow unauthorized immigrants to have a special driver's license will get a Senate vote on Dec. 16. The Legislature's highest ranking Republican thinks the vote will come with a price for Democrats.

Bill A4743 creates two categories of driver’s licenses and identification cards, allows residents unable to prove lawful presence to receive permits and standard driver’s licenses or identification cards, and allows the Motor Vehicle Commission to increase certain fees.

Assembly Judiciary Committee will have a hearing on Dec. 9. A hearing by the Senate Transportation Committee is scheduled for Dec. 12 and a full Senate vote on Dec. 16.

The law is supported by Gov. Phil Murphy and was a cornerstone of his gubernatorial campaign. Multiple lawmakers said there has long been an understanding it would come to a vote during the post-election lame-duck session.

Let's Drive NJ has ramped up their efforts since the election this month to get the bill passed by staging protests in Trenton and Passaic.

Senate Minority Leader Jon Bramnick, R-Union, concedes that if the bill is posted for a vote Democrats are likely confident they have the votes to pass the bill.

"I think there's a lot of pressure on the Democratic Party to pass this bill" from a limited part of their base, Bramnick said.

The high importance placed on the measure comes at the cost of not dealing with the "really tough issues regarding taxes, affordability, costs for people living in New Jersey," according to Bramnick.

"That's why 44% of people are planning to leave," the Republican said, referring to an FDU poll showing a high number of residents planning to leave.

Bramnick said he has security concerns about the measure.

"I've heard very mixed feelings about giving identification to people who don't really have to prove who they are," Bramnick said.

Enter your number to get our mobile branded app