Rep. Andrew Carlson (50B) – Legislative Update
The federal Real ID Act was passed by the United States Congress in 2005 in response to the September 11, 2001 attacks. The Act’s purpose is to confirm the identities of people accessing federal facilities, entering nuclear power plants, and boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft.
The legislature spent the year before I was elected dragging their feet and not getting the job done. One of my top priorities after I was elected was quickly passing Real ID so Minnesotans can board a plane and access federal facilities before we hit the federally imposed deadline.
The Star Tribune Editorial Board recently concluded that, “For reasons of public safety, we favor issuing licenses to all drivers, as do many of this state’s law-enforcement officials. But that’s a controversial question that need not be answered in connection with Real IDs. The federal clock is ticking. Already, some Minnesotans will need to renew their four-year driver’s licenses before they expire in order to keep flying without a passport. Legislators should send a clean, bipartisan bill to Dayton’s desk ASAP.”
Unfortunately, the House Majority has been holding up a bipartisan agreement on Real ID to play politics and use Real ID to prevent unauthorized Minnesotans from ever registering for a drivers’ license. These are two separate issues that should not be in the same bill so we can pass Real ID without delay. I supported a Real ID proposal that allows Minnesotans to fly and access federal facilities without getting bogged down with politics. Minnesotans have waited long enough, it is time to get the job done.