- Associated Press - Thursday, June 30, 2016

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Rhode Island’s governor has vetoed her second bill since taking office last year, objecting to language added by weary lawmakers just before dawn on the last day of their session.

Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo on Wednesday rejected the bill that would have changed the way the state recognizes foreign drivers’ licenses.

The bill would have affected international students and others in the state on temporary academic or work visas, as well as some immigrants with permanent legal residency using licenses from their home countries.

It was designed to make it easier for them to get a Rhode Island driver’s license, letting them skip the driver’s test if they already passed a test in their home countries. But a last-minute amendment added hurdles that Raimondo described as unconstitutional.

Raimondo objected to restrictions that would have been imposed on university students and other foreign nationals who can already freely drive in Rhode Island using a valid foreign license.

By making them apply to the state Department of Motor Vehicles and certify the validity of their foreign licenses with a letter from their home country’s embassy, Raimondo said, the legislation created rules at odds with a 1949 international road traffic treaty signed by the United States.

The Providence Journal reported that the language that caused Raimondo to veto the bill was added to the legislation at about 5:30 a.m. on June 18, shortly before lawmakers adjourned for the year after an all-night final meeting that led to hundreds of bills being passed.

The legislation she vetoed is unrelated to another driver’s license bill that would have granted special licenses to immigrants in the country illegally. That legislation was heavily debated but never made it to a vote in either chamber of the state’s General Assembly before lawmakers adjourned for the year.

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