March 11, 2008 | By Richard Esguerra

Real ID Rebellion Roundup

Pedro Nava, a prominent California Assemblymember, introduced a non-binding resolution today that asks California's members of Congress to oppose Real ID, the unfunded federal mandate to turn driver's licenses into a national ID card. It highlights the state's growing opposition to Real ID as legislators and citizens begin to realize the astronomical cost and catastrophic privacy implications of participating in the federal program.

The California resolution comes hot on the heels of a widely-heard NPR interview with Brian Schweitzer, the governor of Montana, who outlines his state's staunch opposition to the Real ID mandates. In the interview, he cites such concerns as state sovereignty and the absence of systems to actually facilitate Real ID. Also, in the interview, Gov. Schweitzer boldly announces that his state will call the federal government's "bluff" on the issue of air travel -- the Department of Homeland Security has threatened that on May 11th, states that have not embraced Real ID will find their licensees treated differently in regards to air travel and access to federal buildings.

Finally, Real ID opposition at the federal level features an budget amendment sponsored by Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) that seeks to funnel budget money away from Real ID to be used to benefit veterans instead. Stay tuned for more about the Tester amendment later this week.

For more information about Real ID, its impact on privacy, and the looming showdown between the federal government and the states, check out News.com's four-part series on Real ID.


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