A Republican authored bill would clarify what locally issued identification cards may be used for. The authors say they want to assure that such IDs cannot be used to vote. “State statute right now is silent on this issue,” said State Representative Joe Sanfelippo (R-New Berlin). “There is not clear cut answer, at this point without this bill, can there be a local ID or can’t there be a local ID?”
Sanfelippo and Senator Van Wangaard (R-Racine) have amended the bill, to address concerns like those voiced by Senator Mark Miller (D-Monona), who noted that many local governments offer a variety of services.
“Shouldn’t they be allowed to issue an identification card, so that a person who has met the criteria can show a card, an eligibility card, to qualify for those programs?”
While Milwaukee city and county officials have developed a plan to issue IDs, Wangaard said any legal resident can already get a free state ID. “Creating a separate ID at this level is redundant, confusing, doesn’t prove anybody’s identity, and does not provide its holder to any additional benefits.”
Still, Sanfelippo said local units of government that wish issue IDs can do so. “This bill does not prohibit a city or village from issuing a local municipal ID. It’s important to reiterate that, because over the last few weeks since we’ve introduced this bill, there’s been a lot of misinformation.”
The bill (SB 533) received a public hearing on Tuesday before the Senate Elections and Local Government committee.