The National Conference of State Legislatures has released a statement praising Senator Susan Collins for her work to address states concerns over the Real ID Act. The full text of the press release is included below and can be found at: http://www.ncsl.org/programs/press/2007/pr070220a.htm.
State Lawmakers Encouraged by Real ID Activity in U.S. Senate
Senator Collins’ measure to provide extra time, state input into the regulatory process
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Conference of State Legislatures praises Maine Senator Susan Collins for introducing legislation (S. 563) to address state concerns over the Real ID Act, a measure which creates national standards for state-issued drivers licenses and identification cards.
S. 563 addresses some of the recommendations for change called for by NCSL, governors and motor vehicle administrators in a September 2006 report – The Real ID: National Impact Analysis. Legislators throughout the country support Real ID’s goal of making drivers licenses more secure, but are frustrated by the rigidity of the law’s approach, the high costs it imposes on states and the inordinately long time it has taken the Department of Homeland Security to issue the regulations needed to implement Real ID.
NCSL is encouraged that Senator Collins, ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and other members of Congress are taking steps to correct the problems associated with the law. S. 563 provides a longer time frame to comply with the federal standards and to ensure that necessary systems are operational. Senator Collins’ legislation also establishes a committee of state officials and other interested parties to review the draft DHS regulations and to submit recommendations for regulatory and legislative changes.
NCSL’s official policy statement calls for repeal of Real ID if, by December 31 of this year, Congress fails to adopt the necessary changes as outlined in the September 2006 report and if they fail to provide full funding for the law. Senator Collins’ legislation, therefore, is especially timely and NCSL looks forward to working with her and her colleagues to fix and fund the law.
NCSL is the bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staff of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.