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Funds lack for municipal IDs, city and county leaders remain optimistic

Funds lack for municipal IDs, city and county leaders remain

EL PASO, Texas - El Paso city and county leaders continue to discuss municipal IDs to help undocumented immigrants obtain services.

On Wednesday, Phoenix Arizona City Council approved a municipal ID program; however, it differs from El Paso's plan.

Both city and county leaders remain optimistic, however funds are lacking to move forward.

County Commissioner David Stout says the initial investment for municipal IDs is about $800,000. County Commissioners budgeted $320,000 for next fiscal year to help fund the project, but city council didn't budget any funds.

"I am optimistic that the city will want to move forward," Stout said. "The program cannot move forward without their help and support."

City Counselor Lily Limon said the taxes were already increasing for other priorities, but that the city's support is crucial.

"It's not like we are not in it, and we certainly want to have skin in the game because it is good for the community," Limon said.

In El Paso taxpayers in the city and county of El Paso would fund the startup of the ID program. Phoenix City Council members decided to go with a public-private partnership, which means the vendor would cover the costs and keep any profits.

County Commissions and City Counselors didn't want to use a third party. The leaders are hopeful it will ultimately become a money maker.

Limon says she hopes the City Council will use salary savings after the first quarter to fund the project. With the support from council, Stout is optimistic Municipal IDs will be available by next August.


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