Last week the New York City Council passed a municipal I-D program aimed at making life a little easier for undocumented immigrants. New York would follow the lead of cities such as San Francisco and New Haven, Connecticut. It would allow individuals to get library cards, sign leases and possibly even open bank accounts to take away some of the stigma of living off the books.

Last week Governor Cuomo opted not to weigh in on the debate over municipal I-D’s. Some believe it legitimizes and rewards illicit behavior. And we all remember what happened to former Governor Eliot Spitzer when he advocated for driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants. In an interesting twist, Cuomo’s running mate Kathy Hochul was a leading voice against Spitzer’s plan during that 2007 debate.

So where is Governor Cuomo on this more modest plan now embraced by the city? As noted yesterday in the Daily News, and not much of anywhere else, Cuomo believes reform needs to come from the federal government. But that’s not all he said. the Governor was asked whether it was appropriate for the city council to take the action it had, and Cuomo said,

I leave it to the localities. Different localities have different approaches. But this is all piecemeal. The answer has to be federal legislation.

So, if you are keeping score, the Governor will not adopt a similar statewide policy, and doesn’t necessarily support municipal I-D’s. Although he would not likely take any action to try and block them if localities move ahead.