With state funds for roads, bridges and urban transportation falling short, university tuition and pupil/teacher ratios climbing because education funding has stagnated, and the governor refusing to activate Medicaid changes that would provide health insurance for hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians, why is the voter ID law being vigorously defended in court -- for a second time -- and at what cost?
Estimates are that several hundred thousand Pennsylvanians would need a state ID if the law stands. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has the task of issuing them. What is the cost of the IDs and the PennDOT staff time to administer this program? How much of the attorney general's budget is being devoted to trying to defend the law in court?
Last year, the state paid a public relations firm, filled with GOP lobbyists, a quarter-million dollars to promote the ID law and "educate the public." This year, according to the July 19 Post-Gazette, the state has budgeted $2 million to "sell" the plan ("Critics Keep Heat on Voter ID Law").
That's an awful lot of money going not to education, transportation and social services, but to promote a program its supporters claim is needed to stop voter fraud. However, in court last year, the state stipulated under oath that it has no evidence of past voter fraud, and no evidence that it had occurred or would likely occur in the pending 2012 elections.
Whether you are progressive or conservative, you have to agree that passing laws and spending taxpayer funds to deal with problems that don't exist just doesn't make sense.