Two new laws; two different deadlines

11:10 AM, Jul 3, 2012   |    comments
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Georgia State Capitol

transparency log
Rebecca Lindstrom's Log for 7-2-12

ATLANTA -- There's one new law that will affect just about everyone. It's part of Secure ID, a program sparked by a list of recommendations from the 9-11 Commission.  

The list strives to improve the integrity and security of Georgia's driver's license, applicants will now have to appear in person and prove their identity.

DDS has created a website to allow driver's to answer a few questions and create a custom checklist of what to bring.  You'll need proof of identity, two proofs of residency (such as pay stubs, utility bills, health insurance statements, school records, and mortgage documents) and your Social Security Number. 

The state is also supposed to start drug testing families that receive Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, or TANF, but the governor's office says that program is on hold.  A US district court judge will hear arguments in a lawsuit brought by the ACLU in October on a similar law enacted in Floriday. The ACLU sued that state, arguing the drug test violated the fourth amendment, for unreasonable searches.

Lawmakers behind the bill believe the law will be upheld in court.  That's why Georgia's Department of Human Resources says it is still working on the guidelines which could take another two months to finish.  It then plans to hold a public comment period before finalizing the program. 

Cherisma Dixon is applying for TANF and isn't worried about passing a drug test.  Still she says constitution aside, she believes the test is a bad idea.

"Because it's going to be a lot of families out of benefits because of what their parents are doing, it's not the children's fault, what the parents do," said Dixon.

In the 2011 fiscal year the state says there were 19,256 TANF cases.

The ACLU and Southern Center for Human Rights promise to challenge the program in Georgia's courts if and when it does go into effect.

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