Sunday, December 17, 2006

REAL ID Act a real boondoggle for states

Talk about unfunded mandates. The federal REAL ID Act will cost Texas $8.67 million in FY '06 to implement, and $4.4 million per year annually thereafter to maintain, according to the interim report (pdf) from the Texas House Law Enforcement Committee (p. 31).

If Texas doesn't implement the changes by May 2008, then Texas driver licenses will no longer be accepted for a variety of federal purposes like entry onto airplanes or federal courthouses.


Even more frustrating, when the Texas Department of Public Safety convinced legislators in 2005 to approve gathering biometric identifiers on Texas drivvers, they told them it was to pre-empt what the REAL ID Act would force them to do. That turned out to be a bunch of hoakum, just an excuse to remove restrictions on law enforcement use of drivers' biometric data. They don't even know yet for sure what the final REAL ID rules will require (cost estimates reflect "anticipated" federal rule language that hasn't been finalized).

From what I've heard, many states probably won't be ready by the May 2008 deadline and the likelihood that the feds will reject a drivers license from any state in order to board an airplane, much less a state as rich and large as Texas, strikes me as an empty threat. Especially for such an expensive and clumsily executed unfunded mandate, and especially since May 2008 comes in the middle of an election year, I just don't see it happening.

The Law Enforcement Committee recommended spending whatever is necessary to implement the REAL ID Act, but maybe Texas should just call the feds' bluff and wait to see if things change under the Democratic Congress. I can think of lots of other things Texas could better spend that much money on. How 'bout you?


Anonymous said...

Is this also the legislation that requires all foreign countries to implement biometric passports so that we can visit the US? My daughter got hers 2 weeks ago, and the machines at the airport couldnt read the microchip! The details had to be entered manually.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

I don't know. But I got my passport renewed this summer before they implemented the chip, so I'm good for 10 years.

Congratulations on the nuptials, btw. :) Good luck to y'all,

Jaime KenedeƱo said...

Del Mar Electronic Anonymous Input Forum: What is Mike West so afraid of ?

Anonymous said...

How far have we come from, where we started??

This day in history
1. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
* Today we has BS Free Speech zones!! The Press has sold us out! A you can’t take action against the government!

2. A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
* Today so many laws have been passed, infringement is the rule not the exception!

3. No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
* Soldiers are being used against our own people, under false pretences! Waco and in the failure called the War On Drugs!

4. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
* Today we have “ NO KNOCK “ warrants, Warrant less wire taps, issued without cause, our homes and people are violated at will with no protection or oversight!

5. No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
* Americans can be detained without representation, forfeiture laws steal without justification. In Texas you required to give up your rights to get your drivers licenses!!

6. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

7. In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
* If you demand a trial, you will be threatened with maximum sentences!

8. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
* NO LONGER APPLIES! Bail is big business, and the courts and DPS can issue excessive fines at will while acting as an enforcement branch FOR SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS!

9.The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

10. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
* NO LONGER APPLIES! In every state where the people voted for Medical Marijuana your government has claimed your vote to be, NULL AND VOID!!!

Ratified December 15, 1791. ---------- Manipulated in to this disgrace we now have, using fear , bigotry and self serving agendas, and due to the failure known as the War On Drugs!!! The truth is we now live in a country, where you can have as much FREEDOM and LIBERTIES and JUCTISE, “ AS YOU CAN AFFORD”!!!


John R. said...

I'm am convinced that biometrics and the bill of rights aren't going to go together.

Which will win?

Sorry--it was my own political party that passed this legislation!