REAL ID bill expected to pass this week
JEFFERSON CITY - Proponents and critics of proposed REAL ID legislation said on Wednesday they expect a version of the bill to pass the General Assembly before the end of the week.
The REAL ID Act is a federal law passed in 2005 which requires drivers licenses to meet various security requirements. Missouri licenses do not currently meet that criteria.
If no action is taken, Missouri driver's licenses could not be used for airport security checks beginning in January 2018.
The Missouri Senate passed Senate Bill 37 early Wednesday morning which would present Missouri drivers with the option between licenses with the REAL ID requirements or without. The bill is now in the House for review.
The house passed similar legislation, House Bill 151, in March by a 99 to 40 vote.
House Bill 151 was sponsored by Rep. Kevin Corlew (R-Kansas City). He said he approves of the senate version of the bill and will ask the house to approve it.
"I think that we can get this done this week," Corlew said.
He said he is confident the house will support the measure.
Rep. Rick Brattin (R-Peculiar) said he doesn't approve of the REAL ID bills but said there are a lot of concerned parties involved.
"I think there is a lot of support behind it, people are upset knowing they are going to be prohibited from engaging in an activity," Brattin said.
He said he has concerns with Corlew's bill about possible hacking of government data bases of REAL ID users information.
"It exposes them to hacking, cyber-security is considered to be one of our number one threats, and we're going to allow a government data base to be created electronically of everything that makes you, you," he said
Corlew said the senate version of the bill would not have a data base connected to the internet.
Lieutenant Governor Mike Parson sent out a memo to the General Assembly Tuesday urging lawmakers to pass a REAL ID bill before the end of the session on Friday.
"I think we know by Friday it has to be done," Parson said.
He said if any legislation on REAL ID fails to pass, Governor Eric Greitens will be forced to call a special session to address the issue.