For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano met with U.S. governors at the National Governors Association (NGA) Conference in Biloxi, Miss., on Sunday to discuss Gulf Coast emergency preparedness efforts, H1N1 flu and the Pass ID secure identification legislation—designed to fulfill the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation to establish national standards for secure driver’s licenses.
“Pass ID provides a strong yet flexible framework for states to implement secure identification,” said Secretary Napolitano. “I am proud to join our nation’s governors in supporting Pass ID—a cost-effective, common-sense solution that balances critical security requirements with the input and practical needs of state governments.”
Secretary Napolitano was joined by a bipartisan group of governors, including Haley Barbour of Mississippi, Jim Douglas of Vermont, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Jack Markell of Delaware, Martin O’Malley of Maryland, Mark Parkinson of Kansas and Bill Ritter of Colorado.
Together, the group called on Congress to act quickly to pass the legislation, citing the bill’s strong privacy protection provisions, reduced costs and greater flexibility for states, all of which would enable standards to be fully implemented a year ahead of the current REAL ID deadline of 2017.
Secretary Napolitano also spoke to the governors about H1N1 flu preparedness and response efforts going into the fall, and information sharing with state and local partners through fusion centers. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate attended the conference as well and met with governors about crisis communications and emergency preparedness at the federal, state and local levels.
Secretary Napolitano then traveled to Monterey, Calif., where she greeted members of the U.S. Coast Guard, delivered remarks at the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference and participated in a media availability today.