For more information contact: Joan Nichols 651-29X-XXXX
State Rep. Carlos Mariani
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Minnesota House of Representatives Contact: Joan Nichols
District 65B (651) 296-9417 (651) 296-8891
563 State Office Building, St. Paul, MN 55155 Joan.Nichols@house.mn
The federal Real ID act of 2005 has come to our home state for consideration. Whether we want to or not, Minnesotans are about to find themselves engaged in another choice bound by controversy and division.
The Real ID act is mandating Minnesota to implement new and very costly systems to verify the identity of anyone who applies for or renews a driver's license. If we comply with the mandate it will mean that individuals living in Minnesota will be required by January 2010 to have a state-issued ID to verify one's legitimacy as well as prove adherence to specific security methods set forth by the federal government. Such identification would be required to enter a federal building, court house, post office or any other premises or purpose deemed appropriate by the Secretary of Homeland Security.
This week I introduced legislation, House File 1438, that will prohibit the public safety commissioner from complying with the federal Real ID act of 2005. Testimony from constituents and specialists voiced their concerns. This act is an unfunded federal mandate that will cost Minnesota in so many ways. It will take millions of dollars to implement, burden the Department of Motorized Vehicles with an overwhelming if not impossible task to comply with new restrictions and requirements, endanger lives, diminish our constitutional right to privacy and violate the federal Constitution's 10th amendment, guaranteeing state's rights by having our data searchable in a nationwide database.
I encourage Minnesota to join other states in like-minded efforts to refuse implementing the Real ID act and call on Congress to repeal this unfunded mandate. Maine has already refused to comply and Idaho has committed not to comply with any aspects of the law that violate the civil rights and liberties of our citizens. We need to continue discussions on how to ensure that the protection of human rights and human dignity is not sacrificed while providing security.
As a state legislator I welcome the opportunity to stand and be an advocate for truly effective laws that enhance our security yet protects our privacy. I urge everyone to stand with me and prevent the federal Real ID mandate from becoming part of Minnesota's culture and history.