A pair of Republican lawmakers are circulating a proposal that would prohibit county and town governments from issuing — or spending money on — photo identification cards. The legislation would also bar photo ID cards issued by cities or villages from being used for things like voting or obtaining public benefits, such as food stamps. Critics say the legislation is an attack on local control and is targeting a plan recently approved by city and county officials in Milwaukee to issue local identification cards to the homeless, immigrants in the country illegally and other residents unable to obtain state driver’s licenses or other government-issued ID cards. They also say the bill is an example of anti-immigrant discrimination. The measure’s sponsors, state Sen. Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) and state Rep. Joe Sanfelippo (R-New Berlin), say they’re trying to fight fraud and prevent confusion.
“Preventing fraud and abuse in voting and state government programs has been a priority for this Legislature,” they wrote in memo seeking co-sponsors. “Creating another government photo identification card that people may believe qualifies them for benefits is potentially misleading, confusing, and unfair to the card’s recipient, and unnecessary.”
They added that counties and towns have “no specific authority to issue photo identification cards,” and said the proposal would simply block such photo IDs, other than for employment-related cards for town or county employees.
The bill would also prohibit an ID card issued by a city or village from being used for voting or registration for voting, or for obtaining public benefits such as food stamps, Wisconsin Works and medical assistance programs. Under the legislation, any local ID cards would be required to state clearly that the card isn’t authorized for voting purposes.
Full Article: Republican bill seeks to limit local photo ID cards.