New NH Licenses coming

This is the House debate on HB1616, which will create some new options for NH ids

DEBATE on House Bill 1616

Speaker Jasper: The question is on the committee amendment, 0123h, printed in House Record 7, pages 42 to 43. Are you ready for the question? All those in favor, say Aye; those opposed, Nay. The Ayes have it and the committee amendment is adopted. The bill is on second reading, open to further amendment. The Chair recognizes Representative Shurtleff who offers floor amendment 0447h and he is recognized to speak to his amendment.

Representative Shurtleff: Thank you, Mister Speaker. Mister Speaker, I move amendment 0447h.

Speaker Jasper: You are recognized to speak to that.

Representative Shurtleff: Thank you, Mister Speaker. Mister Speaker, I rise to offer an amendment to this bill, which makes one simple change to the method by which an individual would choose to obtain or decline a license that is compliant with Real ID. To briefly explain, under current law when you apply for or renew a drivers’ license, your image and social security number are kept in a database maintained by the Department of Safety unless you check a box on the application to state that you do not want the information retained. The committee passed a version of this bill that changes that process and instead gives people a number of options on what kind of a license they wish to acquire. The concern is that the method recommended by the committee will be confusing to individuals who don’t understand the ins and outs of federal law and the consequences of not obtaining a compliant identification. As we know, individuals without compliant ID’s will soon be unable to board an aircraft or enter federal buildings with a drivers’ license or a non-driver ID. Without making the consequences of non-compliance clear, we run the very real risk of our constituents arriving at an airport for a very important flight who could be told that they are unable to board because their ID is insufficient. That’s a risk that we don’t want to take if it can be avoided, so that’s why this amendment takes us back to the process we currently use for choosing whether to keep our image and social security number on file. If an individual does not want to comply with Real ID and not allow that information to be kept in the database, they can simply continue to check the box on the application form as they do today. So this amendment retains the exact same right to keep your personal information as exists under current law and under the committee passed version of the bill, but it does so in the most clear and understandable way as possible. As legislators, it’s important for us to safeguard the privacy of our constituents, which we have done by allowing individuals the choice of either complying with Real ID or not, but whenever we can, we must make sure that we do not do so in a way that does not create unnecessary confusion, work or bureaucratic hassles. That is why I am offering this amendment, Mister Speaker. Thank you so much.

Speaker Jasper: The Chair recognizes the member from Weare, Representative Kurk to speak against the floor amendment.

Representative Kurk: Thank you, Mister Speaker. As most of you know, New Hampshire has taken the position that we do not wish to participate in the Real ID Act because at one time the federal government was going to create a national database with all of our information in there, including information that you currently do not give to the DMV. The feds have since backed off of that position and now they want to have what’s called a state-to-state database. We will talk about that later in a floor amendment, but I bring that up now because what the minority amendment does is to create an opt-out plan as opposed to the majority amendment, which we have just adopted, which is an opt-in. under an opt-in, you have to make the decision as to whether or not you want to have a Real ID compliant license and then if you do that, you’ll have to do the following things. You will have to submit a photo ID or a non-photo ID that includes your full legal name and birth date. You will have to supply a certified copy of your birth certificate, which of course tells who your parents are, where you were born and so forth. You will have to provide documentation of your legal status and documentation of your social security number and documentation showing your name and your principal address. All of this documentation will be kept at the DMV for at least 7 years depending on whether it is an electronic or physical form. That’s a lot of data about a lot of people that will be in the database if you adopt the minority’s amendment as is before us. That information will not be in the database if we continue on with the amendment that we have adopted. The amendment that we have adopted is an opt-in so that information will only be in the database for people who want Real ID compliant licenses. New Hampshire tries to protect the privacy of its citizens and in doing so we want to collect the least possible amount of information in our motor vehicle department database. That’s what the majority amendment does. The minority amendment takes the exact opposite position and I don’t think that’s the way we want to go. One other point. The amendment that we’ve just adopted talks about keeping the objection to Real ID and New Hampshire’s non-participation in the Real ID Act, except to the extent individuals opt-in, then they have to comply with the Real ID Act. That’s their decision. You don’t want to get a passport? You don’t want to go through the screening? In case some of you don’t know it, you don’t have to have any ID to go on an airplane, but it will take you a couple of hours to go through the screening process. If they want to have their passport, they can do that and don’t have to go through Real ID or if they want to go through Real ID, they can do so. The majority amendment says we are not participating in the Real ID Act, except to the extent the individuals want to do so. The amendment before us, the minority amendment says we repeal New Hampshire’s prohibition against Real ID, totally repealed, because that was in the bill as introduced in Section I. Their amendment only deals with Sections VI and I think VII so if you’re concerned about citizen’s privacy and you want to make sure that the least possible information goes into the state database and to the federal database, I urge you to vote no on this amendment. Thank you.

Speaker Jasper: The question is on the Shurtleff floor amendment, 0447h, which is in your seat pockets. Are you ready for the question? Roll call has been requested by Representative Shurtleff. Is that sufficiently seconded? That is sufficiently seconded. This will be a roll call vote and members will take their seats. The House will come to order. The question is on floor amendment 0447h. The Chair recognizes Representative Rosenwald for a parliamentary inquiry.

Representative Rosenwald: Thank you, Mister Speaker. If I know this amendment keeps the method used under current law to decline participation in Real ID, and if I know this amendment retains the exact same right to decline Real ID as the committee passed version, aka majority amendment, but it does so in a clear way that reduces the risk of an excited new grandmother being kept off an airplane when she doesn’t realize that her drivers’ license is wrong and she is trying to go to another state to visit a new grandchild and it reduces. If I know that it reduces the risk of someone making a long drive from the North Country to get to a social security office? Mister Speaker, if I believe it’s our duty to protect the privacy of Granite Staters, but to do so in a transparent way that avoids creating unnecessary confusion and bureaucratic hurdles? Mister Speaker, would I then press the green button to adopt the floor amendment? Thank you.

Speaker Jasper: The question is on the floor amendment. If you are in favor, you’ll press the green button. If you are opposed, you’ll press the red button. The Chair recognizes Representative Steven Smith for a parliamentary inquiry.

Representative Steven Smith: Thank you, Mister Speaker. If I know that New Hampshire’s current policy of resisting Real ID was overwhelmingly bipartisan, sponsored by some current members of the leadership in both parties and many of the minority party and signed by Governor Lynch, and if I know that this floor amendment effectively flips that policy on its head by saying that our default position will be, eh okay, go ahead, Real ID is fine so do that without a public hearing, as may occur in another venue, would I resist this, maintain New Hampshire’s current policy and keep the respect for New Hampshire’s policy on Real ID by pressing the read button? Thank you.

Speaker Jasper: The question is on the Shurtleff floor amendment. This is a roll call vote. If you are in favor, you’ll press the green button. If you are opposed, you’ll press the red button. Voting stations are open for 30 seconds. Have all members voted who were present when the question was put? The House will attend to the state of the vote. There having been 127 votes in the affirmative and 190 in the negative, the floor amendment fails. The bill is on second reading and open to further amendment. The Chair recognizes Representative Kurk, who offers floor amendment 0479h in your seat pockets.  Representative Kurk is recognized to speak to his floor amendment.

Representative Kurk: Thank you, Mister Speaker and I thank the members for their strong support of the committee version of this bill. This amendment further secures the privacy of our documents. It basically says that we will not contribute any information to the state-to-state system which is what the federal fovernment is proposing that we do in order to become Real ID compliant and it says that in very firm and strong language. I’ll be candid with you. We need to change some of this at some later date in the process as we deal with the folks at the Department of Motor Vehicles to make sure that this language will be consistent with our present operations with respect to commercial drivers’ licenses and a couple of other systems dealing with drivers’ licenses. The purpose of this amendment, which I ask that you support, is to give us a strong negotiating position with the DMV folks and the Department of Homeland Security folks with whom we are trying to negotiate to understand what we must have in order to be compliant for those citizens who choose to opt for Real ID compliant licenses. So, while this may change, and I indeed will hope it changes during the course of the bill going forward in the process, at this time in the process, the House should take a strong position in favor of protecting privacy of individual records. Thank you, Mister Speaker.

Speaker Jasper: Does the member yield to questions? Representative Shurtleff, you may inquire.

Representative Shurtleff: Thank you, Mister Speaker and I thank my friend from Weare for taking my question. Would you agree with me that there are possibilities of maybe some flaws in the amendment? And, as this amendment, if it is approved, goes through the system, it should be vetted for unforeseen consequences that could be in the amendment?

Representative Kurk: Absolutely and I will work to make sure that those, if there are any unintended consequences, do not happen.

Representative Shurtleff: Mister Speaker, could I request that the dialogue between myself and the gentleman from Weare be placed in the Permanent Journal?

Speaker Jasper: Without objection, so ordered. The question is on the Kurk floor amendment. Are you ready for the question? All those in favor, say Aye; those opposed, Nay. The Chair is in doubt; the House will divide so this will be a division vote. Members who are presently in the Hall only. Everyone should be in their seats. The question is on the Kurk floor amendment. If you are in favor, you’ll press the green button. If you are opposed, you’ll press the red button. Voting stations are open for 30 seconds. Have all members voted who were present when the question was put? The House will attend to the state of the vote. There having been 204 votes in the affirmative, 113 in the negative, the floor amendment is adopted. The question is on the committee report of Ought to Pass with amendment on HB 1616. The Chair recognizes Representative True from Sandown to speak against the committee report.

Representative True: Thank you, Mister Speaker. Mister Speaker, I rise in opposition to the committee report of Ought to Pass on HB 1616, Real ID. In 2007, the State of New Hampshire passed a law saying that the state shall not comply with the federal ID, the federal Real ID, because it was contrary and repugnant to our state constitution and to the Constitution of the united States of America. Now, HB 1616 is before us and if passed will have our state comply with the wishes of the Department of Homeland Security. In the words of America’s greatest singers and songwriters of all time, Frank Zappa, “Susie cream cheese, what’s gotten into you?” Real ID is still contrary and repugnant to the constitution and that is why I oppose complying. In 1982, Nancy Reagan said, “Just say no.” Today, I am asking all of you to say, to just vote no. It has been said that complying with Real ID is completely voluntary and for those who do not voluntarily agree, the federal government will hassle and harass any and all who will not willingly comply. Rather than giving in and passing legislation to implement Real ID in New Hampshire, we should be demanding that Congress repeal Real ID. Just vote no. The 10th amendment to the constitution says the federal government does not have the right to tell the states how to make up their state’s identification and drivers’ licenses. Some people have said there is really nothing we can do, that you can’t fight city hall and you can’t fight the government and that if we do not give in to the federal government, the federal government will make it very inconvenient for our citizens. Live free or die in convenience is not the greatest of evils. Many people have asked me, “Christopher, Christopher, Christopher, why are you making such a big deal on such a small issue?” I say that taking a stand, making a stand and shouting that the constitution must be followed is not a small issue. In closing, I quote from a great American actor and humorist, Danny Thomas. It might have been Marlo Thomas. It could have been Thomas’ English Muffins, but I know it was one of the Thomas’. “I will not go gentle into that good night. I will rage against the dying of the light.” Thank you, Mister Speaker.

Speaker Jasper: Does the member yield to questions? House will be in order. No show of emotion. Representative Itse, you may inquire.

Representative Itse: Thank you, Mister Speaker. Thank you to the member from Sandown, which I used to represent, for taking my question. Would you agree with Benjamin Franklin that those who would give up essential liberty in exchange for security deserve neither?

Representative True: A wise man and I agree with that statement 100%.

Speaker Jasper: The Chair recognizes the member from Charlestown, Representative Steven Smith to speak in favor of the committee report.

Representative Steven Smith: Thank you, Mister Speaker. It is with no joy, but firm resolve that I rise in support of HB 1616. It’s the right thing to do. My colleague from Sandown said you can’t fight city hall. Well of course you can. Is Real ID repugnant? Of course it is; that’s why we left the language in there as a bipartisan policy of the State of New Hampshire. What are you going to do about it though? We are not going to repeal Real ID. We are New Hampshire State Representatives. We are not Congress. You want to have that fight? Despite my support for this bill, I will have that fight, but I got to ask are you serious? When have you gone to Senator Ayotte’s office, Senator Shaheen’s office, Kuster or Guinta to tell them to get it repealed? Being a small state, have you lobbied the Senator’s and Congressmen from other states to do the same thing? I apologize for what I’m about to say, but what I hear a lot is statements about what we don’t like, Facebook wars, and no action. We are here today to serve our constituents, and I don’t know about you, but I will not hold my constituents hostage to make some kind of political point. I am here to let them live free. Why should I make this decision for them? I’m supposed to give them the framework under which they live, something that’s fair, something that allows them to choose their own destiny. HB 1616 does that. You want to fight Real ID? Pass HB 1616 and tell all your constituents to go down and get a non-compliant license. Even better, do you know how easy that is? under HB 1616, you know what you have to do to not comply with Real ID? Nothing. When your license is renewed, it will say not valid for federal ID unless you have specifically chosen to participate in the program. I submit this to you, that will either happen and then you can go to our Senators or the rest of our federal delegation and go, look an overwhelming majority of the people in New Hampshire refuse to participate in this system and we want action or you find out you were wrong. Either way, you want to have the fight? We are giving you the venue to have that fight. We are giving you real results to go out and make your point or not, but don’t sit here and say you just don’t like it so we are going to dig our heels in. Normally, when you don’t feel good about a bill, and I’ll tell you I don’t feel good about a bill. I am firmly convinced it’s the right thing to do. We had hearings. We were respectful of the state’s bipartisan position on this. We tried to accommodate all that, but normally you can go, I don’t really feel good about this so I can always press the red button and life will go on as it did before. I am sorry, but you do not have that option today. Life is going to change and you are going to choose one path with the green button, one path with the red button, but the Federal Congress has said life is not going to go on the way it did today. So here’s your choices and I’ll leave it up to you to choose which one you do. You can choose a system that requires your wives, sisters, girlfriends and mothers to go through an enhanced security screening, which I’ve been through. When I tried to get into the Federal Capital Building and they took my belt and my boots in front of my kids before I went in, you can tell your constituents to make your point they have to go through that or put all of their information in a federal database when they apply for their passport or we can be New Hampshire Legislators and give them a local option that says you don’t want to play. You really want to make a family decision to make that sacrifice, go ahead, we support you or no, I don’t want my grandmother to go through that and I’m going to, for no extra money, agree to get the compliant license. Let them make that decision. It’s their family. An aside benefit of this bill, if I can lighten it up a little bit, sorry for being so heavy, is if the only place you want to go is Canada or Mexico. Right now you have to get a passport. That’s a burden for families. It’s like, what, $90 to $100 a head? One of the third options in this bill is you can pay $30 extra and get a card that will allow you to go see your friends and relatives in Canada, which is cheaper, and that has nothing to do with the other options so support Real ID, don’t support Real ID. You want to fight Real ID? You all have my contact information. Let’s go do it, but take this option away from your constituents to make a grand political statement? Please support the committee report. Thank you, Mister Speaker.

Speaker Jasper: Does the member yield to questions? Representative Murphy, you may inquire.

Representative Murphy: Thank you, Mister Speaker. Thank you for taking the question. My understanding is that New York, Montana, Missouri and Louisiana are also non-Real ID compliant. Do you really believe that the Federal Government will make the 20-odd million people who live in New York State go through this screening to get on airplanes?

Representative Steven Smith: Well, I hope so. New York, I’m glad you brought up has a special problem because New Hampshire’s done a very good job of knowing who we’ve given licenses to and who we haven’t. New York has a special problem because they’re not quite as sure as we are, but do I think that they are going to go through with it anyway? Yes I do. On October 15th of 2015, non-compliant ID’s were stopped being accepted at some federal facilities. The program is being rolled out. So having watched them phase this out and be implemented, regardless of where you are from, yeah, I think they are going to do it.

Speaker Jasper: Does the member yield to a further question? Representative Itse, you may inquire.

Representative Itse: Thank you, Mister Speaker. Thank you for taking my question. Would you believe that while you said that we in the chamber can’t thwart the federal government, but that the entire no Real ID movement began right here in this chamber in 2006, when we voted with near unanimity to say no Real ID and then it failed in the chamber, which is not to be mentioned, after pressure from our federal delegation? But then, in the next term, it passed…

Speaker Jasper: Representative. Will the member… Representative Itse: This is a would you believe.

Speaker Jasper: Well, then say so.

Representative Itse: But, then it passed in Maine and then it passed here and then it took fire across the states and yes, would you believe that this chamber can thwart the federal government?

Representative Steven Smith: No, because despite the unanimous support, well in this chamber almost unanimous, and I hear there’s someplace beyond the wall where it was unanimous and signed by Governor Lynch. HB 685, yes, sponsored by the gentleman from Weare, the gentlelady from Lebanon, former Senator Peter Burling. Yeah, we did that, and what happened? In October of 2015, New Hampshire IDs stopped being accepted. You fought and you lost and the way to win this fight is to get the people behind us, not just make speeches. Go out and do the work. Tell them to get the regular ID and that’s what will let us fight this, having a significant portion of the population that doesn’t want to play. That’s the tool we need. This gives them the option and lets the families make their own decision.

Speaker Jasper: Does the member yield to a further question? Representative White, you may inquire.

Representative White: Thank you, Mister Speaker. Thank you, Representative. Representative, would it surprise you to know that on October 20, 2015 when I arrived at the National Fire Academy, that I was not permitted on the grounds with my New Hampshire identification? That I had to, in fact, present a united States passport to be allowed entry to that facility? Would that surprise you?

Representative Steven Smith: Thank you for the question. No, it would not and we are trying to pass this so that people can make their own family decision about how they want to deal with that.

Speaker Jasper: The Chair recognizes Representative Ammon for a parliamentary inquiry.

Representative Ammon: Thank you, Mister Speaker. Mister Speaker is today the last day for early bills and would it require a two-third majority to remove a bill from the table after today?

Speaker Jasper: Today is a deadline so if a bill were to be laid on the table, after the deadline it could removed by a simple majority, however, for the bill to pass it would require a two-thirds vote after today.

Representative Ammon: Mister Speaker, would a motion to table be in order at this moment?

Speaker Jasper: It would be in order.

Representative Ammon: I would like to make a motion to table and I ask for a division vote.

Speaker Jasper: Roll call has been requested. Is that sufficiently seconded? It is sufficiently seconded. This will be a roll call vote. Members will take their seats. The House will come to order. The question is on the tabling motion on HB 1616. The Chair recognizes Representative Ammon for a parliamentary inquiry.

Representative Ammon: Thank you, Mister Speaker. Mister Speaker, if I know that the deadline for Real ID has been changed to the year 2018 and even the year 2020 since this bill was written and this is according to the Department of Homeland Security in the beginning of January, and if I know it is none of the federal government’s business what we put on our licenses because this is a state purview? And, if I also know that this is the camel’s nose under the tent and that even amendments offered in this very chamber today seek to move the goalpost and that eventually this will be mandatory? If I know that, would I then press the green button to table this bill?

Speaker Jasper: Question is on the tabling motion on HB 1616. If you’re in favor, you’ll press the green button. If you’re opposed, you’ll press the red button. The Chair recognizes Representative Packard for a parliamentary inquiry.

Representative Packard: Thank you, Mister Speaker. If I know there is still a lot more debate to go on this bill and that the members deserve to hear that debate? If I know that if we table this bill at this point, we will be adversely affecting hundreds of thousands of our citizens and if I know that tabling this bill is just plain irresponsible at this point, would I now press the red button so we can continue the debate and have a vote on this bill as we should have?

Speaker Jasper: The question is on the tabling motion on HB 1616. This is a roll call vote. If you are in favor, you’ll press the green button. If you are opposed, you’ll press the red button. Voting stations are open for 30 seconds. Have all members voted who were here when the question was put? The House will attend to the state of the vote. There having been 67 votes in the affirmative, 254 in the negative, the motion fails. There are only two speakers left on this debate. The Chair recognizes the member from Derry, Representative Webb, to speak against the committee report.

Representative Webb: Thank you, Mister Speaker. I rise in opposition to the committee report for many reasons. For the start, we have been opposed to this bill, to this type of government trying to get us to do it for 10 years. We are not alone in this battle. There are 28 other states that have been fighting this as well so it’s not just in New Hampshire. This is basically the beginning of a national ID card. It says in this bill that it’s voluntary. Well, as you know as well as I do, anything that’s voluntary sooner or later becomes mandatory. As well as if you look at the actual cost of this in the fiscal note on the bill. This is not an inexpensive venture that we’re going through. We are basically changing our entire system of the drivers’ licenses so they can make it so we have this mandatory or national ID card. I was going to say a few other things, but as people spoke on this bill, I came up with a couple of things and I circled and wrote what they said. I heard things like they are worried about protecting the Granite State people’s right and all that. I heard that we can’t freeze this, which is totally wrong. I also heard that this is a process and that’s absolutely right, it is a process. This process is the process of putting us into this national database and New Hampshire has prided itself on not allowing license plate scanners. That was one that we fought and we actually won that one. There is some other things that we try to fight, but unfortunately we didn’t do so well. People changed their minds and the bills had gotten passed, you know, but for the most part when it says optional, it’s not. I have an employee badge at work and it has this ID on it and they are able to get information on it, everything there transmits right off my badge to the computers at work and it’s 10 years old, so it’s 10 year old technology. I don’t know what we are going to be putting in these licenses with these national ID cards, but it’s no better than tattooing a number on you like the Nazis did during the war. I mean they are going to give us a national ID number. Our licenses are going to be put in there with all this information. It is going to be stored and you know eventually it will become mandatory; it’s not going to be optional. The people that want this or want to buy this license with this enhanced ID, well that’s great but everybody else is paying for it. Nobody is looking at that portion of it. They want us, the people that don’t want it, are going to end up paying for it because the whole system has to be changed to put it in there. From what I understand, it has been pushed out anyway even further, as one of the previous speakers said so I would encourage you to please vote against the committee report and Mister Speaker, I would like a division vote please. Thank you.

Speaker Jasper: The Chair recognizes the final speaker of the debate, the member from Londonderry, Representative Packard, to speak in favor of the committee report.

Representative Packard: Thank you, Mister Speaker. I’m going to try and be as short as possible, but there are some things I feel we have to cover. I’m going to give you a brief history of Real ID. This was passed back in 2005, introduced by a conservative Republican Congressman, James Sensenbrenner from Wisconsin. It was signed into law by President Bush because of the 9/11 Commission Report. I want to try and correct some fallacies out there. The gold card that some of you got yesterday has some tremendous inaccuracies. It says the Federal Real ID Act establishes a national identification card and requires the identification to allow photos and social security numbers to be held in government databases. The only government database that it is held in is the New Hampshire database and you have to give that to get your current license. If you wish to have your social security number and your photo redacted from the system, you can do that. You will continue to be able to do that. Currently, 3% of our population that have drivers’ licenses have opted to have their pictures taken out, 3%, 97% have not. under social security numbers, it’s between 8-9% that have asked to have their social security numbers taken out of the system so over 90% of our citizens have said they are not worried about our state system. It says currently 28 states do not comply with Real ID, again, false. Twenty-three states completely comply. All except 4 states are in the process of complying. The current licenses you have, have 2 features of security on it. Starting January 1st we entered into a new contract. I don’t know who the contractor is; who makes our licenses. It will have all 3 security features in it whether you’re Real ID, you’re not Real ID, whether we pass this bill or we don’t pass this bill. It will have 3 security features in it. That is acceptable as a Real ID license. The only thing that we are really asking you in this bill that has to retain in the state system is your social security number and your picture. If you don’t want it retained in the system, you take it out; you get a non-Real ID compliant license. That’s it. This fantasy about a national identification card is just that, fantasy. It does not exist. It will not exist. This legislature wouldn’t let it exist if it came to that and I would be one of the first ones up here saying hell no. For those of you who were here back in, what 2007, I think it was, 2006. It was about 9:00 at night. I was the Chairman of the Transportation Committee and we were discussing Real ID and I thought it was a little premature to move forward and just say we were going to say hell no and my dear friend from Weare got up and said, “I’m going to fire a shot across the bow.” Well that shot, for those of you who were here, blew my ship up. That bill passed overwhelmingly; it got overturned. Ladies and gentlemen, this is for our citizens. Stop and think about this. Less than 45% of the people of New Hampshire have passports. So we are talking about 650 to 700,000 of our citizens that do not have passports, going on the national average. Could be a little more; could be a little less. So what we are telling our citizens is, and it was made reference to before, grandma and grandpa want to go see, which I am one, want to go see their new grandchild out in California or Texas or someplace like this and they don’t have a Real ID license. Now they’re going to have to go through hell at the airports just to get on the plane and all they want to do is go see their new grandchild. Family of 4 wants to go to Disneyland so now they got to go out and buy passports, $6-7-$800 more just so they can go to Disneyland for the week. It doesn’t make any sense. This bill is 100% opt in. If you don’t want to do it, you don’t have to do it, but let’s give our citizens the chance to do it. That’s all we’re asking. I’m sure I have enough faith in the Department of Safety that they will come up with a good enough system to make people realize the consequences of not acting or acting and getting into the system. Let’s talk about numbers for a little bit. Let’s just say, and I’m using a low number, 250,000 of our citizens have to go out and buy passports now because we decide now not to allow them the option of getting into Real ID. Figure it out at $90-$150 a passport that comes over to $25 million. So, if you vote against this bill, you’re probably voting to put a tax on our citizens of $25 to $30 million. Do you want that on your head? It’s on your head, not on mine. I am strongly supporting the idea of giving our citizens the option of getting into the Real ID system and that’s what this bill does. I urge you to support the committee report of Ought to Pass as Amended. Thank you.

Speaker Jasper: Does the member yield for questions? Member yields. Representative Ohm, you may inquire.

Representative Ohm: Thank you, Mister Speaker. I thank the Representative for taking my question. My understanding is that we now have additional privacy protections in Representative Kurk’s floor amendment. Would you suggest that I ask my colleagues to join me in pressing the green button?

Representative Packard: I would strongly suggest that you ask your colleagues to join us in pressing the green button and between the committee amendment and Representative Kurk’s amendment; we have ample security in there.

Representative Ohm: Thank you.

Speaker Jasper: Does the member yield to further questions? The member does not yield. Representative Leeman has requested a roll call. Is that sufficiently seconded? That is sufficiently seconded. This will be a roll call vote. Members will take their seats. House will come to order. Members should be in their seats. The question is on the committee report on HB 1616 as amended. The Chair recognizes Representative Burt for a parliamentary inquiry.

Representative Burt: Thank you, Mister Speaker. My voice is almost back.

Speaker Jasper: I should bring them to order, however.

Representative Burt: Mister Speaker, if I know the fine Representative from Weare fought and killed Real ID in 2006 or 2007 to protect our privacy and if I further know that the fine Representative from Dunbarton and I flew out of the Manchester/Boston Regional airport using our State Representative ID card, which looks like we made it in our basement, and that is true? And lastly, Mister Speaker, if I know this House should always protect our privacy and vote these bills down as we will be able to still fly? Let me repeat, we will still be able to fly after 2018 and 2020 with just a few extra minutes at check in time using our regular licenses, which I am happy to take the few extra minutes to protect our privacy.

Speaker Jasper: That’s a question?

Representative Burt: Yes. Would I now vote no and push my favorite color, Mister Speaker, the red button? Thank you, Mister Speaker.

Speaker Jasper: The question is on the adoption of the committee report on HB 1616. If you are in favor; you will press the green button. If you are opposed, you’ll press the red button. The Chair recognizes Representative Packard for a parliamentary inquiry.

Representative Packard: Thank you, Mister Speaker. If I know that this does not create a national database or a national ID card and if I know that this is completely 100% voluntary? If I know I am not willing at this time to commit our citizens to have to spend up to 2 to 3 hours extra in some airports just to board an airplane when it’s unnecessary, would I now press the green button and support the committee report? Thank you, Mister Speaker.

Speaker Jasper: The question is on the adoption of the committee report on HB 1616, as amended. If you are in favor, you will press the green button. If you are opposed, you’ll press the red button. Voting stations are open for 30 seconds. Have all members voted who were present when the question was put? The House will attend to the state of the vote. There having been 245 votes in the affirmative, 76 in the negative, the committee report is adopted. under the Rules of the House the bill is referred to the Committee on Ways and Means

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About Rep. Steven Smith

Steven Smith is a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, serving his fourth term. Rep. Smith currently represents Acworth, Charlestown, Goshen, Langdon, Lempster, and Washington. Rep. Smith is the Chairman of the House Transportation Committee.
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