Suspicions that the state revenue department has been violating at least three state laws by gathering more information about Missourians have led the Senate to use a rare procedure to get information.
The Senate Appropriations committee has issued subpoenas for information that the chairman says the Revenue Department has denied having. The Senate hasn’t used subpoenas for almost 25 years. But Chairman Kurt Schaefer of Columbia says information on the federal homeland security website says Missouri has implemented the federal Real ID act. The legislature banned implementation in 2009. Schaefer won’t come right out and say the department; has been lying.. But “at this point we really can’t rely on what the Revenue Department has told us about what they’re doing and how they’re paying for it,” he says.
Schaefer says his committee has reason to believe the department has been collecting increased personal information from people getting driver’s licenses or gun permits so it can go into a national database available to all other states and the federal government.
He says the department appears to have been doing that without setting forth rules and regulations without telling the public what it’s up to, and without telling the legislature. “If Revenue was implementing this without public input and transparent debate before, we’re going to stop that and we’re going to have that debate.”
The subpoena demands the information by late next Tuesday afternoon. Schaefer says significant budget cuts are possible without cooperation.