A Rhode Island Senate panel has rejected a proposal to grant driver's licenses to immigrants who are in the country illegally.
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 6-4 Thursday to reject the bill after a lengthy hearing and years of debate in the Democratic-controlled Legislature.
It was a rare decision on legislation that's typically held indefinitely for study. The vote effectively ends this year's debate.
Voting against granting the licenses were Senate Judiciary Chairwoman Erin Lynch Prata, of Warwick; and Sens. Stephen Archambault, of Smithfield; Cynthia Coyne, of Barrington; Frank Lombardi, of Cranston; Leonidas Raptakis, of Coventry; and Mark Gee, of East Greenwich. All but Gee are Democrats.
Voting in favor of the licenses were four Democrats: Paul Jabour, Harold Metts and Maryellen Goodwin, all of Providence; and Donna Nesselbush, of Pawtucket.