It’s somewhat surprising how long it takes legislation to actually get implemented – two great examples are Real IDs and smoking bans

May 16 – PennDOT announced yesterday that only 21% of Pennsylvanians have received their Real IDs.

The federal government established the REAL ID Act to establish minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards and prohibits certain federal agencies from accepting for official purposes licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

The final deadline is apparently May 7, 2025 to have your Real ID.

You aren’t required to get one, but if you ever want to fly commercially, you have to have a Real ID.

Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “PennDOT seems a little bit surprised that that participation rate is so low. Maybe we’ll see a big spike over the next year.”

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM pointed out, “We’ve been talking about the Real ID as long as I can think. We’ve been talking about let’s see, we don’t want to pay for the lawmakers’ health care after they’ve left office. Don’t forget 81. It seems like we’ve been talking about real ID. Why is this so darn difficult?”

Barkdoll confirmed, “Isn’t it a weird issue? This goes clear back to post 9/11 that the government implemented this as an additional security measure for commercial flights and even entry into some federal buildings. But it’s weird how they just keep extending this deadline. I think it’s undermined the participation rate. Now supposedly, this is the final deadline. I know we’ve heard this song before. But it does look like this may be the last time to do it. But it’s really weird to me that it is just going on as long as it is.”

Another issue out of PA that’s germane to this topic – the smoking ban in casinos in the General Assembly.

Barkdoll said, “The General Assembly has been kicking around the casino smoking ban and it looks like it’s actually going to go to a full vote, but one of the reasons I’m interested in it, and this popped up again yesterday. It does look like there’s going to be some amendments inserted into this legislation that might extend that smoking ban to social clubs. You talk to anybody locally that’s involved with your VFW or your American Legion or whatever the club might be, this is a huge issue to those folks. There’s a lot of debate in Harrisburg about this. So clubs are watching this very closely because it would really change the way they operate if this gets extended to the clubs. We’ll watch that. This could be coming to a vote very quickly.”

Ryan said, “I can appreciate where the club’s stand on that and the membership stands on that. Certainly, I waited enough tables and cleaned enough smoke eaters and was in that world. I get it. I don’t know if it’s necessarily the fight that they want to continue here because of the people that are serving you and because of the lawsuits that they clearly could open themselves up for here. I get the argument. As an ex-smoker and enjoying a good smoke sitting at the bar, enjoying some fun and some friends. I get both sides of the argument. But it’s the long play on the lawsuits that I think is the protective one here.”

“One hundred percent,” Barkdoll confirmed. “That’s why the state of Maryland has already banned smoking years ago in their casinos. Our friends at (the casino) in Shippensburg, they’ve banned smoking in all of their facilities. This is the argument you’ll hear, there’s research that shows workers in the smoking environments have a much higher propensity to develop cancer or COPD. That opens the club or the employer to workers comp claims, other civil litigation so that definitely is what’s driving some of this. We’ll see what happens with it.”