Wednesday, October 7, 2009

PASS ID Legislation Waits for Full Senate Vote

NEMA projects PASS Act's Greenlight by December '09
c/o NEMA

On June 16, 2009, the “Providing for Additional Security in States’ Identification Act of 2009”(PASS ID) that would repeal and replace the REAL ID Act of 2005 in order to allow all states to fully comply with security measures designed to make ID’s safer was introduced in the Senate.

The bill was introduced by Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI), a member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, along with seven other co-sponsors, four of which also serve on the committee. The PASS ID Act removes certain provisions of the REAL ID Act including the requirement that State’s share identification information with each other as well as the strict rules governing use of REAL ID compliant identification to board commercial aircraft while keeping other non-controversial requirements. In July, a hearing was held to examine PASS ID legislation and Secretary Napolitano testified on behalf of the Department of Homeland Security.

On July 27, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee ordered the bill reported favorably but
as of this time, no full Senate vote has been scheduled.

Despite Secretary Napolitano communicating directly with Governors through a letter, there remains a stalemate on REAL ID implementation. The Department is reluctant to continue extending the end-of-year deadline, but 13 states stand statutorily prohibited from implementing the program. A majority of states and NGA have endorsed PASS ID. It is the hope of the Secretary to see PASS ID approved by December 31.

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