Statement on Senate Rules Committee Action on REAL ID
JUNEAU – Sen. Kevin Meyer, R-Anchorage, released the following statement on today’s action in the Senate Rules Committee.
“This morning, the Senate Rules Committee combined two well-vetted bills to ensure a critical deadline is met for passing Real ID legislation. The Senate prefers each bill pass as an individual item, rather than tied to another. Circumstances in this case, however, require immediate passage that can only be accomplished by attaching the two bills together.
“The Real ID legislation is a key priority of the administration and allows the Division of Motor Vehicles to spend money to comply with the federal Real ID program. The bill must be passed by the Legislature before May 17 in order to avoid serious consequences for Alaskans working or traveling on military bases or traveling by airplane. The state Department of Administration recently sent the Legislature a letter articulating the deadline and the ramifications should the Real ID bills fail to pass.
“Both bodies have thoroughly vetted the Real ID bill in multiple committees. The House was positioned to vote on its version of Real ID, House Bill 74, later today; but that would not have allowed sufficient time for the additional procedural actions required by the Legislature’s own rules to pass the bill through both bodies before May 17. The Real ID bill, Senate Bill 34, was linked to House Bill 16, by Rep. Steve Thompson. HB 16 requires law enforcement to undergo training to recognize people with disabilities and provide appropriate resources and interactions. The bill also requires the Division of Motor Vehicles to provide a voluntary designation on an ID card or driver’s license that a person has a disability.
“The Senate is scheduled Saturday to vote on HB 16, with SB 34 attached. The package would return to the House for a concurrence vote, and upon concurrence, would go to the Governor’s desk for signature into law.”