Friday, March 16, 2007

More Promising News From Concord

REAL ID foes push bill to ban NH's compliance

CONCORD – A year after a bill that would have barred New Hampshire from complying with the federal REAL ID Act was defeated, opponents are trying again, arguing the act's requirements for driver's licenses amount to the creation of a national ID card.

Witnesses urged lawmakers at a hearing yesterday to bar New Hampshire from complying with the act that was enacted as a national security measure. About 75 people crowded into a hearing room to support a bill to enact the ban.

No one testified against the bill and House Transportation Chairman Jim Ryan predicted the committee would vote next week to recommend its passage.

REAL ID opponents said the act essentially creates a national ID card that invades citizens' privacy and promotes identity theft.

"We already have a national ID. It's a passport," said Kevin Clifford of North Conway. Clifford said Americans can't expect to get security by trading their freedom for it.

His wife, Elena, a native of Russia, said she didn't understand why Americans would want to adopt her former country's policy of requiring identification to travel inside the country. The Soviet Union requires citizens to carry an internal ID to move about the country, she said.

And, you thought "Why can't we be more like New Jersey?" was bad.