I received this message in e-mail from a friend of the Tenth Amendment.

What: Three bills were introduced into the Pennsylvania Senate as a privacy protection package by Senator Mike Folmer(R), District 48, over one and a half years ago. One of those bills, SB 621, The REAL ID Nonparticipation Act, to prohibit implementation of Real ID in Pennsylvania was unanimously passed on June 15 by the full Senate and sent to the PA House Transportation Committee. That committee amended the bill, then passed it unanimously on Sept 13 and referred it to the House Appropriations Committee where it sits. Time is very short. The last House session day for the 2009-2010 Assembly session is only six weeks from today, and there are only 7 more meetings scheduled for Appropriations. This bill needs to be moved out of that committee and the Rules Committee before it will make it to the House Floor for its second reading and final vote. Otherwise, for the second legislative session in a row, legislation protecting Pennsylvania citizens from intrusions by the federal government on their constitutionally guaranteed personal privacy rights via implementation of the federal REAL ID Act of 2005 will have failed to pass. The act will automatically be implemented in all states when the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s May 10, 2011 full compliance deadline passes.

Who: House Appropriations Committee and Rules Committee chairs and the Speaker of the House

When: ASAP whatever time of day you can call starting at 8:00 AM

Action: Call and politely, but STRONGLY, URGE them to get SB 621 through those committees and to the House Floor for a final vote before the 2010 legislative session ends.

Dwight Evans, Chair of House Appropriations Committee – (717) 783-1540
Todd A. Eachus, Chair of Rules Committee and the Majority Leader – (717) 787-2229
Keith R. McCall, Speaker of the House and on Rules Committee – (717) 787-4610 (717) 783-1375

*NOTE: If you are able to, please call each of them daily on weekdays to follow up. Ask whomever you speak with if the representative received your message and if so, what was their response. If no response is reported, ask the staffer to please give the representative your message again, and say that you will call back tomorrow to hear his response, then follow through with the calls until you either get a response or the 2010 PA Assembly session ends. In other words, keep putting pressure on them and giving them the message that you want this bill voted on by the full House ASAP.

For more background on REAL ID, biometrics and privacy issues see PA Legislative Action Update 6/2/09, especially the REAL ID SUPPLEMENT toward the end.

Steve Palmer