Washington Libertarian Review

Political commentary from the State of Washington with a libertarian perspective.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

States complain of national ID costs

National Conference of State Legislatures, a BIPARTISAN group meeting in Seattle this week, released its unfunded mandate monitor, estimating that implementation of the heinous REAL ID Act, surreptitiously slipped into a budget bill this past summer, will cost the states 13 billion dollars to implement.

And the REAL ID Act isn't the only problem. This is from the preamble to the report:

The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) first published the Mandate Monitor in the late 1980’s through the mid-1990s as a result of the increasing number of costly intergovernmental mandates. The Mandate Monitor played a key role in the enactment of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995. The provisions of UMRA clearly have shown to be effective. Only five intergovernmental mandates as determined by UMRA that exceed the threshold have been enacted over the past decade. However, the federal government continues to shift costs—at least $51 billion for FY 2004 and FY 2005 collectively—to state and local governments. This is due to the fact that state officials view unfunded mandates more expansively than UMRA. This includes legislation that: establishes conditions of grant aid; reduces current funds available for existing programs without a similar reduction in requirements; extends or expands existing or expiring mandates; creates a loss in state or local funds; compels coverage of a certain population under a current program without providing full or adequate funding for this coverage; and, creates underfunded national expectations.

"The trend has not been good," said John Hurson, a Democratic state lawmaker from Maryland and NCSL president.

ALL of Washington's congressional representatives, except Jim McDermott, voted in favor of the REAL ID bill. Although allegedly passed as an anti-terrorist measure, the REAL ID Act is a serious invasion of privacy. Here is a summary of what the Real ID Act requires. Here is what security expert Bruce Schneier and Congressman Ron Paul have to say about it.

I think the Libertarian Party should hammer our representatives on the REAL ID Act during the 2006 election cycle.


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