New Hampshire out of the National ID!
Senate amends bill to demand compliance with REAL ID!
NH law specifically prohibits compliance with Real-ID. And here is the Senate, all 24 of 'em, amending a communications bill to urge the Governor to file for an extension so we can come into "compliance" with REAL-ID! This after they unanimously voted to not comply with the system a year ago!
This is the Senate playing legal word-games. (was the Governor anticipating this?).
Section II of SB 434 reads, quote:
The governor, or designee, is requested to apply for an extension from the federal government of the deadline for compliance with the REAL ID Act of 2005. Such a request shall not constitute "participation" in REAL ID in violation of state law.
When: 1:00 PM, Tuesday, March 25th
Where: LOB 304 [ Large gray building behind statehouse ]
Why: SB434 - AN ACT relative to providers of electronic communication services and an extension for compliance with the REAL ID Act of 2005.
What: House public hearing. Standard Hearing rules apply - Blue sheet to support or oppose, pink card to speak. Make no speech longer than 3 minutes; don't repeat what others have said.
We need people to show up en masse to oppose this. Remember, the huge show of support by the public got us this far.
If you can't be there in person, please send an email to the members of the House Science, Technology & Energy Committee. Ask them not to pass SB434, or at least to remove the Real-ID section.
Tell your friends and neighbors.
In New Hampshire, we live free —
we are out of REAL ID!
Thank you, Governor Lynch for signing HB685 into law on June 27th, 2007. This legislation prohibits New Hampshire from participating in the federal REAL ID system. The governor's press release can be found here.
Now, as the May 11th, 2008 deadline draws near, Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer has called for other states "to join with me in resisting the DHS coercion." Read the letter from Gov. Schweitzer to Gov. Lynch here (32 KB PDF)
Take action! Contact Governor Lynch at 271-2121 or online here and ask him to stand firm against REAL ID, and to openly work with other states that have also taken a principled stand against it.
Thanks for all your help,
— Rep. Joel Winters
Senate Passes Bill!
The full NH Senate has passed HB685 unanimously! The bill was passed with an amendment, which means that it must return to the House for either concurrence or else a conference committee will need to be set up to work out the differences.
This is amazing news! New Hampshire is now closer than any other state to being the first to reject Real ID with the force of legislation.
Continuing The Fight Against REAL ID
I hope everyone is recovered after last year's fight against REAL ID, because this year we're going to do it again AND WIN. Maine has already set the standard by declaring that will not participate in REAL ID (link), and legislation is moving forward in most of the states. Rep. Jim Guest's office in Missouri is organizing a national coalition of state legislators against REAL ID. As a co-sponsor of the NH opt-out legislation, I've been invited on MSNBC already and I expect there will be more press over the next few months. Let's give them something to talk about!
We have a new bill here in NH for 2007, HB685, so now we can start getting our ducks in a row and get organized to shepherd it through the process for the governor's signature.
A few things we did last year could and should be duplicated. Petitions are going around, and are intended to be presented at the hearings. The rally was a great idea. Let's definitely do another rally.
Please take a few minutes to take action and help New Hampshire get out of the REAL ID Act. And don't forget to sign up for our email list!
— Rep. Joel Winters
The issue of Real ID did have an impact on this election. We saw signs for candidates proclaiming their stance against Real ID. We heard voters making their decisions on who to vote for based on the candidates' stand on Real ID.
Most importantly, the final numbers showed that "Being Free of REAL ID" was a winning issue. Of all the NH senators, all nine of them who supported the opt-out legislation were re-elected. Of the 14 that blocked it, six did not return this year, almost half. At the federal level, both of our Congressmen, who voted for READ ID, lost their re-election bids, with Jeb Bradley being replaced by Carol-Shea Porter, who spoke at last year's rally against REAL ID.
The first hearing for the new bill was Thursday, March 15, at 3:00pm in the House Transportation committee, room 203 of the Legislative Office Building in Concord.
We had more people there than we did at least year's hearing. The full report is available here.
A lot of important legislation was heard that day, and many of you went to support or oppose those bills, which really does help the overall cause of freedom.
Add Idaho to the List
Idaho has become the second state to reject REAL ID. On March 8th, the state of Idaho passed a resolution rejecting the REAL ID Act and calling for its repeal. Among other problems, Idaho cited the national identification scheme created by the Act, the lack of congressional debate or hearings before its passage, and the enormous cost to civil liberties. (link).
Committee Votes in Favor of HB685
The first day of spring brought good news. The House Transportation committee voted unanimously in favor of HB685! Several reps cited the overreaching done by the Federal government in passing Real ID. The next step is a vote by the full House. We'll let you know when it appears on the calendar.
House Passes HB685
We scored a huge win in our battle to keep NH free of Real ID. On April 5th, the full NH House voted overwhelmingly in favor of the billi, 268-8! Now it moves on to the Senate for a hearing and later a vote. We are highly encouraged but we can't sit back. Pressure will still be needed from all of you. Please check back here for details on the hearing date and time and the press conference.
Press Conference on May 16th
The Granite State ID Coalition held a press conference in the Legislative Office Building on May 16th, before the Senate committee vote on HB685.
Senate Committee recommends passage
We're one step closer. The Executive Departments and Administration committee recommended passage of HB685. This is as far as the bill got in the legislature last year. Making it this far is an accomplishment, but this is where things got tripped up last year. So keep the pressure on the Senate and make your voice heard!
Say NO to the REAL ID — and reject a multi-million $$ tax on NH drivers!President Bush signed the REAL ID Act into law last year, turning your state driver's license into a de facto national ID card. You will have to show it to enter a federal building, open a bank account, or board a plane. Here are just a few of the reasons why REAL ID is a terrible idea.
The REAL ID means long lines and more money from youREAL ID means the entire bureaucratic hassle of establishing your identity — to the satisfaction of the federal government — is shifted to your local DMV. Just to renew your license, you'll have to scrounge up a long list of identity documents. Then, after wasting hours and money getting the paperwork, you can expect to wait in long lines just to update your driver's license. You can expect increased fees to pay for all that extra work, too.
The REAL ID puts you at risk of identity theftREAL ID creates a NATIONWIDE database that will make your personal information (photo, birth date, SSN, home address, driving record, biometric data, etc.) available to the federal government -- and every other state. This database will be a gold mine for identity thieves and junk marketers. (Especially since California DMV workers have been arrested for making bogus ID's out of real drivers' information — and giving them to criminals.)
REAL ID will create a bureaucratic nightmare — and cost a fortuneREAL ID is an unfunded mandate. It won't be cheap to create a huge government bureaucracy to collect, verify, and share massive amounts of personal data. Experts estimate that REAL ID compliance will cost Pennsylvania $85 million, Washington state over $45 million annually for several years, and Virginia could pay up to $169 million, plus $63 million a year after that. It could cost more than $12 million to convert our NH driver's licenses into National ID cards, but the federal government has only promised us $3 million. The rest of that burden will fall on you and me — the citizens and taxpayers of New Hampshire.
[*Source: AP News and security expert Bruce Schneier]
REAL ID will destroy your hard-won privacy protectionsIn New Hampshire, we're careful about our privacy. We fought for the right to have our photographs and SSN's removed from NH's database so they will not fall prey to abuse (like what happened in other states where everyone's ID photos were sold to marketers). The federal government wants to take these protections away from us, forcing us to share our photos and home addresses with everyone else in the system.
National ID is the mark of a Police StateAmerica has always been a free country. This is not a totalitarian regime where authorities can demand "Your papers, please!" of citizens. New Hampshire, the "Live Free or Die" state, is one of the last strongholds of freedom in the country. Let's put a stop to the encroaching police state. If we don't stand up for our rights, who will?
Here's the good news: there's a way out! and New Hampshire is leading the way.