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Elections committee passes bill limiting local photo IDs

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MADISON — Wisconsin’s Senate elections committee has passed a bill that would hinder efforts in Milwaukee to provide local photo IDs to the homeless and immigrants in the country illegally.

The Republican bill would prohibit towns and counties from issuing IDs or spending money on them. It would also prohibit using ID cards issued by cities or villages to vote or obtain public benefits, like food stamps. It passed 3-2 Wednesday, clearing the way for a Senate vote.

The bill’s sponsors say the legislation aims to prevent fraud and confusion. Critics call it anti-immigrant and say it’s aimed at a recent Milwaukee plan to issue local IDs to those who have difficulty obtaining other government-issued IDs. The IDs would assist with everyday tasks, like opening a bank account or obtaining a prescription.