Why Alaska lawmakers are hesitant to comply with the REAL ID Act

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Original Story - June 15, 2017:
Being in overtime, and with most focusing on the state's budget problems, it's tough to guess how likely the REAL ID bill is to pass this year. But if it doesn't, when the legislature reconvenes in 2018, Alaskans will likely already be feeling the effects.

The federal government promises no more waivers will be granted. And if that promise holds, by next year's session, Alaskans would no longer be able to pass through airport security with a state-issued ID.

Federal facilities, including military bases, would also be off-limits to people who have no federally compliant ID.

[MAP: See state and territory compliance with the REAL ID Act]

The state of Alaska has a limited extension through June 6 of this year. After that, no more accessing federal buildings with a state of Alaska ID. And by January 22 of 2018, you will need an alternative ID, like a passport, to fly - even domestically.

Why has this debate been going on for a decade?

Well, one key concern is participation in a multi-state database that would include personal information of Alaskans, like social security numbers. A common question is, "What happens if that database gets hacked?"

House Bill 74 and Senate Bill 34 try to compensate for that, by making it so Alaskans could still get the same licenses we have now. But still, some policymakers are hesitant.

Watch the video above to find out why.

KTUU's Austin Baird contributed to this report.

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