Today at a joint senate finanace committee Senator Tina Titus asked the pointed question to DMV Chief GInny Lewis, " I'm just wondering after this is all done, how is this suppose to make us safer?"
While no one in the hearing room could actually answer that question, DMV chief Ginny Lewis could certainly tell lawmakers how much the program would cost to implement. "We've requested 15 supervisors, 147 technicians, 6 accounting positions for the revenue piece, we've also requested contract monies for the additional security guards for the offices."
It all adds up to about 60-million dollars says Lewis. That's because people who wouldn't need a driver's license would need a Real ID to get on an airplane or enter a federal building or in some cases get a loan. That means more people to process, to set up computer systems, to check for fraud, more than two-hundred additional employees would be needed.
During today's hearing Assemblyman Parks asked Chief Lewis if she had started looking for abandoned KMARTS like the one in Carson City, apparently that's how much space would be needed to process people and hold paperwork.
Republican Senator Bob Beers from Las Vegas says this federally unfunded mandate means Nevada lawmakers have some tough decisions to make. " We actually have to reduce our road construction spending in order to make this happen at the state level."
And besides the cost to the state, there's also the question of privacy.
Senator Beers believes the feds may have drawn a line in the sand. " I think government can have too much information on its citizens this is maybe where the line is that should'nt be crossed."
Senator Titus says its a controversy that's spreading across the nation. " I think there is a real sentiment across the country that says this is an unfunded mandate it is unrealistic."
Senator Titus says expect to see a resolution soon for lawmakers to consider. One that would allow "Nevada to join the revolt, and reject the act."