Pawlenty opposes banning federal ID program

Gov. Tim Pawlenty
Gov. Tim Pawlenty discusses his use of the line item veto in giving final approval to a bonding bill.
MPR Photos/Tom Scheck

Gov. Pawlenty is threatening to veto a transportation policy bill because it includes a measure that would forbid the state from adopting a new federal ID system called Real ID.

Some state lawmakers say it would cost the state millions to comply with the federal system. They say they are also worried that there are no guarantees that the federal government will protect people's privacy.

Gov. Pawlenty's spokesman Brian McClung said the governor understands the concerns about Real ID, but he does not want to completely opt out of the system.

"We don't think it's a good idea for the state of Minnesota to say we don't want, ever want, to be a part of Real ID under any circumstances because what that would be is that when Real ID takes effect, if you had a Minnesota driver's license and you were not in compliance, you would not be able to board an airplane in Minnesota or anywhere else with a Minnesota driver's license," said McClung.

State lawmakers say they may take the provision out of the transportation policy bill but intend to send the governor a separate bill calling for Minnesota to opt out of the federal system.

Federal officials have given states until the end of 2009 to comply with the new system.

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