Governors, State Legislators Respond to Real ID
The National Governors Association (NGA) and the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) issued the following statement following the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) release of regulations for states to become compliant with the Real ID Act of 2005:
“The nation’s governors and state legislators share a strong commitment to ensuring the security and safety of our nation and our citizens but have concerns regarding the regulations recently released by DHS.
“These regulations are an important, albeit long overdue, first step in the process toward implementing the Real ID Act. NGA and NCSL have called upon Congress and DHS to extend the compliance deadlines, fund mandated changes and give states the flexibility to manage their systems to make them more secure.
“While NGA and NCSL appreciate the initial compliance extension through 2009 called for by members of Congress and provided by DHS, these regulations do nothing to address the unreasonable five year full compliance deadline or offset the large costs to states.
“A study by NGA, NCSL and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators last year estimated the cost of implementing Real ID at more than $11 billion. Today, DHS underscored those costs by estimating them at $14.6 billion. To date Congress has appropriated only $40 million to help states. DHS’s plans to allow states to use existing homeland security grant funds likewise will do little to offset the burden of this massive unfunded mandate.
“NGA and NCSL implore Congress to correct the problems inherent within Real ID and work with states to meet the objectives of the act. The nation’s governors and state legislators will continue to review the regulations and plan to submit comments to ensure the act is implemented in a cost effective and feasible manner with maximum safety and minimum inconvenience for all Americans.”