REAL ID In The Bush

Jan 27, 2020

Sen. Lyman Hoffman of Bethel has joined the chorus of those criticizing the Dunleavy administration’s plans to ask local communities to help pay for their residents to obtain REAL ID Act compliant documents. Beginning Oct. 1, 2020, the Dept. of Homeland Security will require all driver licenses and ID cards to be REAL ID compliant if one wants to use them to board an airplane. And Hoffman may be able to leverage the funding. 

“Just because we are far flung we have to come up with funds, but Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau don’t have to come up with any because they are in larger locations,” says Hoffman. "That isn’t fair. If they are going to get a free ride, everybody in Alaska should get a free ride. We should not be penalized because we live in rural Alaska.”

There is real money at stake. One Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta village is already organizing its citizens to get their paperwork in place, and planning to spend city funds to bring in state workers to complete the process.

During an interview with KYUK, Hoffman said that he would be speaking with his fellow Senate Finance Committee members, including Co-Chairman Bert Steadman, to put in an early supplemental appropriation to pay the bill.