State Capitol News
6:53 am
Tue June 17, 2008

Governor signs Real ID law

Phoenix, AZ – Governor Janet Napolitano signed legislation this morning which bars the state from participating in the federal Real I-D program. Arizona Public Radio's Howard Fischer reports.


The legislation was crafted by lawmakers worried the federal law
would turn Arizona drivers' licenses into a de facto national ID
card. But the governor said her concerns were different.

(To me, Real ID was always contingent on the federal government
funding it, because there is significant cost to the states
involved. And as we've gone through this year, despite repeated
entreaties from the governors, the federal government has refused
to put any money in the hopper.)

Napolitano said she still wants lawmakers to enact her plan for
an optional 3-in-1 license which could be used not only for
driving but also to cross the U.S.-Mexico border and proof of the
right to work in this country. But Sen. Karen Johnson said she
finds that plan no more acceptable.

(With the federal government, when you start out with something
optional, you know very soon that it will be a mandate on
everybody. These have RFID chips in them. They'll track you
everywhere you go. I'm sorry. I'm paranoid.)

Federal officials have said those radio frequency identification
chips are designed only to make scanning each person's
information easier at the border and cannot be read at distances
of more than 20 feet.

For Arizona Public Radio, this is Howard
Fischer.