Tea party group wants Jindal to veto REAL ID bill
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A local tea party group Monday called on Gov. Bobby Jindal to veto a bill that allows Louisiana to issue driver's licenses that comply with the security measures of the federal REAL ID law.
The Tea Party of Louisiana sent a letter to the Republican governor urging a veto of the proposal by Rep. Karen St. Germain, D-Pierre Part.
Organization spokesman Bob Reid called the REAL ID law an unnecessary and costly intrusion into people's lives that risks their data privacy.
"We don't want to wake up one morning and find that we are living in a North American communist, fascist or totalitarian state, and the 'Real ID' program is one more step down that road," Reid wrote.
St. Germain's bill would allow people to get REAL ID-compliant driver's licenses on a voluntary basis if they want them. It was prompted by flying concerns.
In 2016, people will need a license or state identification card that is compliant with REAL ID to board all domestic flights. Without one, they will be required to produce a passport or other federal identification card or could be subject to intense questioning from security.
Jindal's state police superintendent, Col. Mike Edmonson, pushed the bill. But Jindal's office didn't say Monday whether the governor will sign it.
"We have some concerns with this Real ID bill, but we are still in the process of reviewing it," Jindal spokesman Mike Reed said in an email.
Edmonson has said Louisiana only needs to scan into a database and store the birth certificates of people with drivers' licenses and ID cards to comply with federal law. The rest of the required security features already are in place.
REAL ID licenses would get a gold star indicating fulfillment of the standards.
Supporters of St. Germain's bill say they put protections in the bill to stop federal intrusion in Louisiana's driver's license.
The state database that contains the scanned documents can't be linked to other databases. Any new requirements added by federal officials for REAL ID compliance will need further approval from state lawmakers before they could be used in Louisiana.