DHS can still delay REAL ID implementation—if Gov, Legislature find agreement

The Department of Homeland Security says that if the governor and State Legislature can agree on a fix state drivers licenses to comply with REAL ID, the federal government will grant a waiver for implementation. That is from a news release from the four Democratic members of the congressional delegation and comes after months of confusion and political grandstanding on REAL ID compliance. The four said in the release that they met with DHS Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas recently. In it, Mayorkas pledged if an agreement can be found, a waiver can still happen. Right now, New Mexico drivers licenses will not be suitable identification for federal facilities as of Jan.

Is the latest REAL ID threat for real?

New Mexicans may not be able to use their state-issued driver’s licenses to board airplanes by next year, according to a letter from the federal Department of Homeland Security. The federal agency recently rejected a waiver the state applied for to comply with the federal REAL ID Act. Congress passed the law 10 years ago in an attempt to shore state driver’s licenses into a national I.D. program follow the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001. The Associated Press first reported on the DHS letter, which was addressed to New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department Secretary Demesia Padilla. “New Mexico has not provided adequate justification for continued noncompliance with the REAL ID standards that would warrant granting your request for another extension,” the letter reads.

Secretary of State Dianna Duran

Sec of State answered ethics complaint with accusation of intimidation

© New Mexico Political Report, 2015. Contact editor@nmpoliticalreport.com for info on republishing. Secretary of State Dianna Duran has had plenty of eyes on her in the past month after being charged by the state Attorney General’s office for illegally using campaign funds for personal use. But Duran’s very job includes fielding ethics complaints against public officials and candidates, and she’s seen her share of them in her nearly five years in office. So, how does a public official struggling with her own ethics issues handle others?

Sheriff’s department management cashed in on OT funded by DHS

An audit of Department of Homeland Security funds used for a border program showed that some grant money went to funding overtime for upper management in the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s office. The audit of the use of funds by the sheriff’s office was conducted after a new sheriff was elected and “became aware of the issues.” The office of State Auditor Tim Keller released the forensic auditor’s report on Monday morning. The full report on the findings of the forensic audit is available at the bottom of this post. “The use of public funds along our border should be transparent and accounted for no differently than all other tax dollars that are spent in our state,” Keller said in a statement.