HOLDING THEIR BREATH:
Maine and South Carolina
RADIO NEWSCAST on Spychips with Katherine Albrecht 3-29-08
DHS determined non-compliant states will be inconvenienced after May 11th, 2008 boarding airlines and entering federal buildings with their current state ID’s. To date, not a single state is able comply with Real ID standards issued by the Department of Homeland Security or are logistically prepared to meet the requirements by the May 11th deadline this year. This substantiated the need to issue a state extension plan with a deadline of MONDAY, March 31, 2008.
Montana is now considered “compliant” by the DHS, based on a statement from the Montana governor’s office after a face-off earlier this week. The Montana Governor stood up for citizens to be exempted from hassles at federal buildings and airports saying of his contest letter to DHS,
“I sent them a horse and if they want to call it a zebra, that’s up to them,” Schweitzer said. “They can call it whatever they want, and it wasn’t a love letter.”
New Hampshire Reaches DHS Compromise 3-27-08
some update c/o AP
New Hampshire (NH) hoped to be exempted based on the first issue of their letter which the DHS rejected, finding the letter not to be “legally acceptable”. The second letter yielded way to for its citizens passage into federal Bbuildings and airlines without discrimination.
“I am pleased that the federal government has recognized that the citizens of New Hampshire should not be singled out, and that it will not impose Real ID requirements here beginning in May,” Gov. Lynch said.
“We have a law that prohibits New Hampshire from taking part in this burdensome system. New Hampshire, along with many other states has raised legitimate questions about the costs and privacy issues associated with Real ID. Congress must listen to the very real concerns of states and citizens, and re-think the entire Real ID program, ” said Lynch is a press statement yesterday.
SOUTH CAROLINA UPDATE 3-28-08
c/o cooperation from TheState, BeatTheChip.org
Columbia, SC- According to the South Carolina’s (SC) Governor’s office, meetings to decide on the extension status of Real ID been ongoing. The decision on the direction for South Carolina will more than likely be released on Monday. Unlike Montana, Maine and New Hampshire, no letter was issued from their offices with requests to spare constituents hassles at both federal buildings and airlines. The governor’s office said their priorities addressing Real ID for locals are: funding, convenience, and privacy. Priviously this week the SC attorney’s general’s office held off on a potential lawsuit to sue feds over the act, saying it was “too soon to sue the Federal Government”.
Area news sources indicated from the frequency of the types of meetings with the governor’s office, funding may be the heaviest weighted issue for the state. Public officials gave comment that South Carolina does not have a “stellar record on privacy” with direct regards to their licenses. Allthough, sources cite that the state is holding firm to their story that current licenses meet Real ID requirements.
MAINE UPDATE 3-28-08
Augusta, ME- 9:22 am EST, Maine’s governor was meeting internally to discuss Real ID. Maine had released a letter very similar to Montana’ to exempt citizens concerned about privacy, travel hassles and the costs.
The Attorney General’s office expresed concern that there would not be enough time between January, 12 2008, now and May 11th, 2008 to get passports for air travel from state-to-state.
“Maine has made tremendous progress in improving our driver’s license, and our State has made it clear that we do not support REAL ID,” Governor Baldacci said. “But I also felt it was necessary to send this letter to the Department of Homeland Security. I do not want to see Maine people used as a political pawn in a dispute between federal and state authorities. Come May 11, Mainers should be able to travel without extra security or unnecessary delays. To target them would be unfair.”
Governor Baldacci also said Wednesday that there is an alternative to REAL ID.
“Maine Rep. Tom Allen has submitted bipartisan legislation that would repeal REAL ID and replace it with a process that will improve national security without placing an enormous financial burden on states or compromising civil liberties,” Governor Baldacci said. “There is an alternative to the path we’re on. I hope Congress and the President will take it.”
Rep. Allen’s bill, H.R. 1117, re-establishes a negotiated rulemaking process involving all stakeholders to develop standards for state driver’s licenses. Maine was engaged in this process, which was working before its repeal by the REAL ID Act.
(AP)- People over 50 are getting exemption from presenting a Real ID compliant card by 2014, but will need to provide a Real- ID compliant license by 2017.