September 1, 2014

Rep. Schoeller files voter ID bill, election reform legislation (AUDIO)

The perennial fight over whether voters should have to produce a valid ID to cast elections ballots is set to begin.

Rep. Shane Shoeller of Willard — who is also running for Secretary of State — has filed a bill that would require a photo ID requirement for voters. He says it’s common-sense legislation.

AUDIO: Jessica Machetta reports (2:21 min.)

The measure was vetoed by Gov. Jay Nixon last year, and the Supreme Court struck down the requirement in 2006. Opponents of the measure say it disenfranchises poor and elderly voters. Nonetheless, Schoeller thinks it will gain approval by the Republican-led General Assembly, and hopes if it does that Nixon will pen the legislation into law.

Schoeller is also proposing legislation that would create two state commissions — one would have authority over ballot summaries for initiative petitions, the other would be responsible for drawing new borders for Missouri’s 163 state House districts and 34 state Senate districts.

The legislative session begins January fourth.

Schoeller says the budget will undoubtedly be front and center of this year’s legislative agenda. It’s the one thing legislators are required by the constitutional to pass each year. Schoeller says he’ll be watching closely how the state’s public schools fit into that budget, and doing his part to make sure schools aren’t short-changed. Schoeller says another issue that will likely come before legislators is whether to make Interstate 70 a toll road. He says he will vote against that measure.