Putnam Passes Resolution Opposing ‘Green Light’ Law

Argues that it places burden on DMV staff

By Holly Crocco

The Putnam County Legislature approved a resolution on Tuesday (Aug. 6) asking Gov. Andrew Cuomo to repeal a newly enacted state law that allows undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.

The Driver’s License Access and Privacy Act, known commonly as the Green Light Bill, was enacted on June 17. Twelve other states have similar laws.

The resolution passed by a 6-1 vote, with Nancy Montgomery (D-Philipstown) voting “no.” Two lawmakers were absent.

County Clerk Michael Bartolotti, who oversees the Department of Motor Vehicles in Putnam, earlier expressed concern to the Legislature that the agency would be issuing licenses without requiring evidence of lawful presence in the U.S. or a Social Security number. He also worried that undocumented immigrants may erroneously be placed on voter registration rolls.

Legislator Carl Albano (R-Carmel) said he is in favor of non-citizens obtaining a driver’s license, if it is “done correctly.”

“You should be documented,” he said. “We should know where you live, we should know your background. We need to have some indication of who we’re dealing with when we give out licenses.”

Legislator Paul Jonke (R-Southeast) said he is concerned that the law will increase voter fraud, and Toni Addonizio (R-Kent) alleged the bill was “pushed through” the state Assembly and Senate.

“There needs to be more information,” she added. “Polling has shown that most New York State residents oppose this law.” A Siena College poll released Aug. 6 of registered voters found that 53 percent opposed the law; it found far greater support among Democrats than Republicans and independents.

5 thoughts on “Putnam Passes Resolution Opposing ‘Green Light’ Law

  1. The state Green Light Law, which allows illegal immigrants to get driver’s licenses, only encourages illegal immigration. New York State is also pushing bills that will allow illegal immigrants to vote. If you think driver’s licenses are to help the illegals, think again. It’s about votes. You want people who don’t pay taxes deciding your future? [via Facebook]

  2. An international driver’s license is all that is needed. The law is such a waste of time and money. [via Facebook]

  3. What a waste of county business time and what a deep, deep shame for our county. This resolution does not represent the values of all county residents. [via Facebook]

  4. Good for the county Legislature! Most people tend to forget that Putnam is still a red county, not blue. Let’s hope it stays that way. [via Facebook]

  5. The Putnam County Legislature is mistaken in calling for the repeal of the so-called Green Light law. It should welcome the reinstitution of licensure for all residents who drive in the state, a privilege that was restricted after the Sept. 11 attacks.

    Our immigration system is broken due to more than 30 years of inaction by Congress, but that is no reason to sacrifice road safety. Let’s leave immigration enforcement to the Department of Homeland Security and let the Department of Motor Vehicles concentrate on making sure that all drivers are licensed, trained and insured.