Extension won’t fix ID mess
As Washington, D.C. is attempting to bridge a deep partisan divide, Pennsylvania is starting this year on a different note as both sides of the aisle are united in fixing a problem that has been creeping up on us for years.
In a letter to the Department of Homeland Security, Gov. Tom Wolf joined legislative leaders from both parties in the Senate and the House to make a commitment to put the state on the right track to comply with the federal REAL ID Act of 2005. The letter also requested an extension to give the state time to comply.
Thankfully, DHS relented and granted Pennsylvania an extension through June, but what was, and in many ways still is, at risk should not be understated.
If the feds had not granted the commonwealth an extension, Pennsylvania driver’s licenses and ID cards would not have been accepted at up to 257 federal buildings, nuclear power plants and military bases throughout the state, not to mention at countless other similar sites throughout the country.
By January 2018, our state identification would no longer be accepted for domestic air travel. Sounds crazy? It is. But, unless further action is taken, every Pennsylvanian will need a passport to fly commercially, even from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh.
The short extension granted to us from DHS is great news, as it gives the General Assembly time to address this impending nightmare.
Sen. Kim Ward and I have already introduced identical legislation, H.B. 150 and S.B. 133, which would resolve the underlying noncompliance issue and allow PennDOT to work toward meeting the enhanced security standards.
I urge my colleagues in the House and the Senate not to celebrate about this extension for too long. Work still needs to be done to ensure that Pennsylvania’s IDs will continue to be accepted and remain secure from fraud.
State Representative, 174th Legislative District
Questions for Seth Williams
Why did D.A. Seth Williams take those highly questionable personal gifts from some of those donors in the first place?
Why didn’t he report them until recently?
Then he purchases an entire page to apologize to the “People of Philadelphia” with an ad that is “paid and authorized by Seth Williams Victory Committee.”
Who is paying his huge ethics violation penalties?
How sincere can he really be?
Dredging creates new jobs
It was announced that the funds needed to complete the Delaware River channel deepening project had been secured. This is fantastic news for Philadelphia and the surrounding regions, as the project will ensure local ports remain competitive in our globalized economy while simultaneously attracting new business opportunities and well-paying jobs.
Dredging the Delaware has been a project I have been focused on even before I was elected as a state representative and I would like to thank everyone involved in making it a reality. U.S. Sen. Bob Casey and state Rep. Bill Keller in particular played an integral role and should be commended for their efforts.
As it stands now, about 80 percent of the channel has already been deepened to 45 feet and these funds will allow the remaining sections of the river to be deepened to that same level. This will allow larger ships and ships loaded with more cargo to sail the Delaware River now that the Panama Canal expansion has been completed.
This project is crucial for the future of Philadelphia. Port cities across the country have been deepening their waters to handle the ever-increasing size of cargo ships, and it is wise for Philadelphia to follow suit.
Historically, the Delaware River has been the economic lifeblood for Philadelphia, and this project will ensure that legacy is preserved and strengthened for years to come.
State Representative, 173rd Legislative District
Please keep dogs on a leash
I have seen many dogs off their leash in playgrounds and schoolyards, while people are on their cell phones, not paying any attention to their dogs.
How do you know when your dog or dogs could attack other dogs? I have already seen it.
One more thing, get off your phone and clean up after.