Minnesota’s Real ID resolution (HF3807) was clearly stated and uncompromising: “Section 1. Noncompliance With Real ID Act. The commissioner of public safety is prohibited from taking any action to implement or to plan for the implementation by this state of those sections of Public Law 109-13 known as the Real ID Act.” Both House and Senate passed this bill by veto-proof margins, 103-30 and 50-16 respectively. Unfortunately, Governor Tim Pawlenty cleverly engineered a way to veto the bill and avoid an override vote. In the waning days of Minnesota’s legislative session, Pawlenty vetoed HF3807, then issued an executive order that would prevent full state compliance with the federal Real ID program before June 1, 2009 unless approved by the legislature. When the legislature met for the last time the next day, an attempt to override the veto was rejected with little discussion.
It was a different story in Alaska. Its resolution (SB202) stated, “A state agency may not expend funds solely for the purpose of implementing or aiding in the implementation of the requirements of the federal Real ID Act of 2005.” Although this resolution is not as bold and uncompromising as Minnesota’s was, it has the virtue of being passed into law through overwhelming votes of 39-1 and 19-1 in the House and Senate respectively, and through Governor Sarah Palin’s acquiescence when she failed to either sign or veto the bill in the mandatory 20-day period.