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March 31, 2009

O'Malley's position on Real ID

UPDATE: See new comments from Mike Miller below.

A number of readers have asked what Gov. Martin O'Malley's position is on Real ID and the varying legislation the two chambers are pursuing related to driver's licenses for illegal immigrants. (In case you're just joining us, the Senate would require proof of legal residency in the U.S. to get a new license or to apply for a renewal, but the House of Delegates wants to grandfather in illegal immigrants who now have licenses and to label theirs as "not federally compliant.") Here's the answer, in an e-mail from O'Malley spokesman Shaun Adamec that Julie Bykowicz just forwarded me:

Julie – the Governor said this morning that there are legitimate arguments for either bill, and if either were to come out of conference he would sign it. He did give a preference to the House version as a more practical, reasonable solution, but made clear he would sign either one.


Julie also reports that Senate President Mike Miller is sticking to his guns. Today he said:

I hope the governor will speak out on this issue. Both he and the speaker had previously favored the Senate’s position on this issue. It was their position before the start of the session, and I hope it will continue to be so. It’s not a question of pride. It’s not a question of authorship. It’s a question of effectiveness. I mean the hijackers of 9-11 had state licenses. They were citizens of a foreign country. Those people who committed fraud in obtaining licenses should not be able to renew them. That’s the Senate’s position.

Two-tiered system would allow those people who have fraudulent licenses to continue to renew those licenses. These licenses should not be examined on a case by case basis to make certain that anyone who has a Maryland drivers license complies with Real ID, the federal requirement.

Posted by Andy Green at 2:39 PM | | Comments (6)


Wow!! Mike Miller using common sense, something the legislooters seem to have very little of.

I bet this is the first time in the debate that the issue of the Sept 11 mass murderers has been brought up. If you remember, they had MD DL's and Virginia DL's and Virginia changed their laws that year!

Who can guarantee that these illegal aliens are using their true names and birth dates and other info? No one can. THAT is a part of the problem.
As well as the fact that 2 legislooters have said this.
"Del. Dumais of Montgomery County, and her efforts were assisted by Del. Barve, the House Majority Leader, arguing that, while illegal aliens do not have the right to vote,

"the State does not have the right to prevent them from registering to vote."

A first!
I am in total agreement with Miller!
Stick to your guns Double M!
I need a drink!

So...this is leadership from O'Malley? I thought he was going to give leadership that worked...

So...this is leadership from O'Malley? I thought he was going to give leadership that worked...and how in the world is a two-tiered system "more practical" it adds another type of license! Wouldn't it just be easier to stop giving licenses to people who can't prove they are here legally?

All I know is I'm glad I have my passport. Governor O'Malley has a hard time making up his mind on hard decisions. I guess he stuck out his finger to see how the wind was blowing but the wind was calm.

It's encouraging to see the Senate acting responsibly in supporting the single tier licensing plan while O'Malley is caving under the same misleading information and special interests that altered the House version.

It’s not a question of IF Maryland has become a hotbed for criminal activity because of its lax driver licensing laws, but rather HOW MUCH has it cost the state and HOW MANY Maryland lives it has claimed.

Requiring proof of lawful presence for ALL Maryland drivers’ license applicants will significantly hinder foreign gang members (such as MS-13) who have infiltrated Maryland and who everyday battle our police officers for control over territory to sell drugs and smuggle guns.

If Governor O'Malley wants a practical solution to rising gang violence, and crime, he should endorse only the Senate version, and join Senate President Mike and the Senate who are standing up for all Marylanders.

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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