Archive for the ‘legislation’ Category

c/o Floridians Against Real ID

“We are working on a Senate companion. Thanks to everyone that has promoted this bill in concept, and also Rep. Ahern for filing it. PLEASE ask your legislators to co-sponsor it, and let your neighbors know relief is on the way- but only if it passes. The current law affects Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike- it is not the usual partisan issue.”

Chris Comisac, Captiolwire
c/o NVCCA

A Senate committee on Wednesday unanimously reported out a bill to block Pennsylvania’s participation in the federal REAL ID program.  This bill could be altered before getting a final Senate vote, based on concerns voiced by lawmakers before the final committee vote.

Senate Bill 354, sponsored by Sen. Mike Folmer, R-Lebanon, would exempt Pennsylvania from having to comply with the provisions of the 2005 federal REAL ID law, which established new mandates on states regarding the distribution of drivers’ licenses.

According to the federal Department of Homeland Security, regulations created pursuant to the REAL ID Act set minimum standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards. The law sets standards for information and security features that must be incorporated into each card; for application information to establish the identity and immigration status of a person before a card can be issued; and for physical security at facilities where driver’s licenses and applicable identification cards are produced.

While the department and the law’s supporters maintain this effort seeks to reduce identity theft and to help fight terrorism, others argue it makes things worse.

Opponents of the federal effort have called the REAL ID provisions an invasion of privacy and a possible method to abridge additional freedoms currently enjoyed by Americans.

Sen. Bob Mensch, R-Montgomery, said during Wednesday’s meeting that two consecutive presidential administrations have failed to appropriately address the nation’s immigration issues, “and yet the federal government turns around and says ‘we want to document those of you who are here legally.’”

“I just don’t like the notion that they want to document us, and control – and perhaps even limit – our ability to move through the country,” added Mensch.

Folmer said the federal government is overstepping its authority.

“We need to say ‘we have 10th amendment rights in this state, you [the federal government] shouldn’t be doing this, you have no business doing this and we’re saying no in PA,’” said Folmer, majority chairman of the committee, referring to U.S. Constitution’s principle of federalism.

That part of the Bill of Rights provides that powers not granted to the federal government nor prohibited to the states by the Constitution are reserved to the states or the people.
Folmer also called the federal act an unfunded mandate on the commonwealth at a time when Pennsylvania already faces a huge deficit.

But it is a federal law, and one, unless it is repealed or invalidated, with which states have to comply, said a few senators.

“I wish the federal government would not have done this, I think it’s wrong,” said Sen. Pat Vance, R-Cumberland, “I wish they wouldn’t [have done it], but they did – that’s the point.”
Vance initially said she couldn’t support Folmer’s bill as long as the REAL ID act is a federal law.

Both Folmer and Mensch said when the federal government does something it shouldn’t, states should object to the federal actions.

“When federal laws are passed that aren’t right, and we just continue to comply to them, when is it going to end?” asked Folmer. “We have a duty, I think, to do this.”

“When the federal government is wrong, I think it is the duty of each state to say to the federal government ‘Hey, you’re wrong, let’s stop doing this foolishness,’” said Folmer.

He said if enough states push back against the federal law, the effort could convince the federal government to rescind it.

Vance and others, noting their objection to the federal law, explained their primary concern is what would happen to Pennsylvanians if the state refuses to comply and federal officials don’t abandon the REAL ID effort.

“If we do pass this [bill] in Pennsylvania, what happens to the [federal] requirement that we would need to have these identification cards to board commercial flights, to go into federal courthouses, etc.?” asked Vance.

Committee staff said it was their belief that other alternative identification options would be allowable under the federal law.

“But if that doesn’t happen, how do we board planes and go into [federal] public buildings?” Vance again asked.

“I want to make sure we’re not penalizing the citizens in the commonwealth, right now, who won’t be able to board a plane or go into a [federal] building” if the federal requirements aren’t waived or invalidated, she said.

“I think it [the Folmer bill] bears further discussion once it comes out of committee because I think there are serious concerns, and I think Sen. Vance has voiced some of those,” said Sen. Edwin “Ted” Erickson, R-Delaware.

Sen. Lisa Baker, R-Luzerne, asked if it would be appropriate to insert language into the bill that would address Vance’s concern.Hearing the senators’ concerns, Folmer assured Vance he would work with her to develop something to address her concerns.

“I understand your concern,” said Folmer. “I would not want to hurt anyone down the road.”
Vance said given Folmer’s commitment to her, she would support reporting the bill from committee.

Before the final vote, the committee unanimously amended the bill in response to a request by the state Department of Transportation.

According to Folmer, the department expressed concerns that without changes, Senate Bill 354 is written so broadly that it would prohibit the department “from complying with any provisions of the Real ID law, including the department’s existing fraud deterrent measures and ongoing procedures to reduce fraud and identity theft.”

Similar legislation was approved by the Senate last session, but the session ended before the bill received a vote in the state house of Representatives. In 2008, the House approved a similar bill, but it didn’t get a vote in the Senate.

If the bill becomes law, Pennsylvania would join [at least]16 other states that have enacted such laws.

c/o Vancouver Sun 


http://www.vancouversun.com/multimedia/video/embedded.html?v=FfMz_WJ3ewGDqvrAlzbQjjrAMjyoHjnU&z=/story&s=vancouversun.com&sa=canvancouver&WIDTH=311&HEIGHT=300


Video Link

TORONTO — The Ontario government secretly passed legislation giving police sweeping new powers for the duration of the G8 and G20 summits, enabling authorities to arrest anyone who refuses to furnish identification and submit to a search while within five metres of a designated security zone in downtown Toronto.

Critics reacted furiously to the new rules, which remained unpublicized until Thursday when a man, 32, was arrested in Toronto for refusing to show ID to police.

New Democrat MPP Peter Kormos said Friday the provincial Liberals created a “Kafka-esque” situation where people could be arrested for violating rules they didn’t know existed.  :::MORE HERE:::

OUR VIEW: Down the slippery slope to a national ID card

Getting a license to drive is a rite of passage for Indiana teenagers.

It used to be so easy. Get a learner’s permit, take a driver’s education course, wait 30 days after turning 16 and you can drive anywhere, at any time, with anybody.

Not so anymore.

Indiana teens are now issued a probationary license that restricts driving hours and who can ride in the car. A full license is issued at age 18.

That’s all done in the name of safety, of course. That’s tough to argue against.

But a misguided proposal being floated in Congress would take away states’ ability to regulate issuing licenses.

It’s another example of our benevolent federal government deciding yet again that one size does, indeed, fit all. The feds believe that only this new legislation can protect us from ourselves, despite the fact that all states except North Dakota already place restrictions on teen drivers.  ::: MORE HERE:::

BTC –  Next week members of the House and the Senate will be hearing from broad based coalitions about the effort to stop the continuance of national ID card programs.

THE STATUS QUO

The Real ID law is still in place.  E-Verify has been adopted in whole or in part by some states.  The TWIC card is considered a success with the regulated transport industry by some lawmakers. The American public has been asked to support a milder version of a Real ID in the PASS ID legislation; which also did not pass the 4th Amendment test.  Sides for and against it are in a stalemate due to State laws passed against the Real ID Act, privacy and national security concerns. And finally we are now asked to give up our privacy and produce yet another form of national identity mandated in Comprehensive Immigration Reform: a biometric worker card.

There have been many strong attempts to repeal Real ID and ban national identity. There is the perennial HR 220 – a comprehensive ban on all forms of national ID introduced every session since 2003, authored by Representative Ron Paul.  In 2009 Rep. Cohen introduced HR 3471, which would effectively repeal the Real ID Act and replace it with a negotiated rulemaking process.

The passage of SB 1070 in Arizona opened a pandora’s box of problems associated with racial profiling, nativist identity and forsaking common sense American Constitutional values for “Your Papers Please!” It snapped the knob off at high volume for border security concerns and anti-Mexican frustrations began to boil over. The law burns gun owners and other American citizens now risk running into escalated problems with law enforcement. The law also muddles lines positioning local police to enforce federal immigration laws, leaving the police departments vulnerable to financial bankruptcy from successive lawsuits based on enforcing immigration law.

Constituents living in States who passed laws or resolutions opposing national ID card programs are considered “the silent majority” by friendly lawmakers.  This is why it is important to speak up now and make yourself heard.

Don’t fail America’s future by staying silent now.  Please take time now to find your congressional leaders @ Congress.org .  Unless you speak up, you will live with some version of “Your Papers Please!”

To follow is a variety of different action alerts produced and supported by a broad coaltion effort.

c/o OpEdNews

Immigration and REAL ID: Remember where you heard this
c/o Downsize D.C.


What happens in Arizona stops in Arizona 
c/o ACLU 

THIS WEEK ON WAKING UP ORWELL
PODCAST: Inside Edition with AZ Republic’s, JJ Hensley

DIY GOVERNMENT: Help Nevada fight for their rights for a free identity.
http://www.aclunv.org/category/issue/privacy/realid-redux

In this weeks news: Gizmodo’s controversial status, their many legal assists and details on “iPhonegate”, pay-to-say in Wisconsin, Red-light scameras fold and how to deal with Facebook and the EPIC amount of privacy violations due to Instant Personalization.

This week we are joined by Public Safety reporter JJ Hensley. We covered detention of US citizens since the passage of SB 1070, the now infamous Arizona law requiring citizens to show their “papers” to law enforcement on demand.