Bill would provide inmates with state ID cards on release
A Senate panel Monday unanimously passed a bill that would require state agencies to waive their fees to provide inmates being released from prison with the identification documents necessary to get and hold jobs.
The measure (SB 274) by Sen. David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs, would require the Department of Corrections to provide every Florida-born inmate with a certified copy of his or her birth certificate and a state ID card before release.
It would also require the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to waive the fees for ID cards and the Department of Health to waive fees for copies of birth certificates.
“This is a very important bill,” said Bob Dillinger, the public defender for Pinellas and Pasco counties. “Without an ID, you cannot get a job.”
Dillinger said the problem was exacerbated about two months ago when the U.S. Social Security Administration started requiring ID cards to provide the print-out that Dillinger’s office had used to establish an inmate’s work history.