Has a ray of light been identified on Michigan’s ID card horizon?
An e-mail this week from state Rep. Paul Opsommer’s office brought a link to a new House Resolution. The freshman Republican from DeWitt filed HR98 on May 9 to “memorialize” Congress to repeal a bad part of the REAL ID Act of 2005.
In the resolution, Opsommer lays out the dubious manner in which this federal law was enacted. REAL ID forces states to create new secured identification cards (read driver’s licenses) IF they are to be used at federal offices or for boarding airliners, for example.
Unfortunately, the law left it to the Department of Homeland Security to set acceptable federal standards and Congress didn’t provide any money to the states for this work. Opsommer’s resolution quotes cost figures of up to $14.6 billion for states, and $7.8 billion for citizens for implementation.
Opsommer wants the Michigan House to join other legislative chambers around the country in demanding the feds go back to negotiating with states on ID requirements, rather than issuing diktats. By contrast, Gov. Jennifer Granholm and Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land are pleading for Congress to make REAL ID less onerous, while leaving its fundamental intrusion on state decisions intact.
Land and Granholm have been in state government longer than Opsommer. But the new kid clearly has the better idea on dealing with this particular federal fiasco.