Missouri moves to align with federal Real ID law

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After a long debate and the adoption of several amendments, the Missouri House perfected Rep. Kevin Corlew’s (R-Kansas City) legislation that aims to bring Missouri into compliance with the federal Real ID law. Most of the amendments were offered by members of the conservative caucus who want to ensure Missourians preserve their right to privacy.

There was also movement on the Real ID legislation in the Missouri Senate where Sen. Ryan Silvey’s (R-Kansas City) version of the legislation was debated for a few hours and then laid over with no action taken.

Both the House and Senate versions allow Missourians to choose an ID that complies with the federal law or continue using a non-compliant Missouri ID. If Missouri does not comply with the federal law, Missourians will not be able to fly domestically without a passport or enter federal facilities including military bases.
The legislation is expected to be third read next week.

Budget Situation

Governor Eric Greitens announced on Thursday afternoon that he will recommend to the legislature that the $50 million the state was recently awarded from a tobacco settlement be used to fill two budget holes in the state’s $27billion budget. First he wants to use a portion of the money to increase the state’s portion of the K-12 transportation costs. In the 2003 the state paid roughly 47% of the state’s K-12 transportation costs. Without this infusion of money, the state would be funding about 16% of the costs in the current fiscal year.
Second, the Governor wants to use the remaining money to replace funds he cut from elderly and disabled Missourians who receive in-home care. Both the House and Senate budget chairs cautioned that this was one-time money that was not going to solve the state’s budget issues long-term.

Education

The House third read Rep. Bryan Spencer’s (R-St. Charles) Course Access legislation that will now move to the Senate. The House approved the legislation by a vote of 124-31 signaling strong bipartisan support. The bill will now be sent to the Senate.

Sen. Andrew Koenig’s (R-Manchester) education savings account legislation was heard in the Senate Education Committee. Koenig’s bill allows children who are foster children, have special needs, or who have parents serving on active duty in the military to receive a scholarship that will give them and their parents the flexibility to create an education program that meets the child’s education needs. No action was taken on the legislation.

Transgender Bathrooms

On Tuesday the Senate Education Committee had a two hour hearing on Sen. Ed Emery’s (R-Barton County) legislation that would require students in Missouri’s public schools to use the restroom that aligns with the gender on their birth certificate. No action was taken on the bill. There are two similar bills filed in the House.

Pay Check Protection

The Senate General Laws Committee heard and voted on Rep. Jered Taylor’s paycheck protection legislation this week. This legislation would require certain unions to get authorization from members before it could use dues and fees to make political contributions. The legislation also requires unions to get consent from members before withholding earnings from paychecks.
Paycheck protection has long been a priority of many Republicans and has faced stiff opposition from labor unions.

Time Limited Demand

On Tuesday the House Judiciary Committee approved Rep. Joe Don McGaugh’s (R-Carrolton) legislation that would set a time limit for accepting settlement offers of some tort claims. A similar bill sponsored by Sen. Caleb Rowden (R-Columbia) is moving through the Senate.