October 26, 2014

House Republican reaction to CCW scans carries into budget, legislation

House Republicans are moving to stop the scanning of source documents provided by applicants for driver’s and non-driver’s licenses and concealed carry permits.

Representative Todd Richardson (photo courtesy; Tim Bommel, Missouri House Communications)

Representative Todd Richardson (photo courtesy; Tim Bommel, Missouri House Communications)

That includes a change to the House’s budget proposal. Representative Todd Richardson (R-Poplar Bluff) was successful in moving to strip $156 thousand from the Office of Administration’s information technology budget, that goes to pay for those scans and their handling.

Richardson told the House the change would protect Missourians.

“As the Department testified in our committee, the inability to scan and retain these documents will not in any way change their ability to issue a driver’s license, however it will prevent the Department (of Revenue) from creating a database that by the end of the year may have as many as 1.7 million documents. Documents that they don’t need, and documents that don’t do anything to improve the security of our driver’s license issuance process.”

The House also adopted an amendment offered by Richardson that put in the budget $1 each to fund the scanning and retention of those documents, and for the purchase of a related photo validation system. He says that will keep the Department from finding another way to pay for those processes.

“To put a further line item in … that says, ‘Under no circumstances can you spend more than $1 for scanning or for photo validation.’ Which means whether they have a grant, whether they have another line item of General Revenue, whether there’s highway money, whether there’s money from another department, the Department or Revenue can’t spend more than $1 on on those services.”

The House Budget Committee already pulled $85,000 from the Department of Revenue over dissatisfaction with the Department’s explanation of the scans.

A House Committee has also endorsed Richardson’s legislation, HB 787,┬áthat would strengthen state law barring scanning and retention of those documents, and require copies the Revenue Department has, be destroyed.

“Anybody that’s recently gone into a licence bureau and had their documents scanned as part of issuing a license, the documents that were scanned and are now being retained by the Department are required to be destroyed.”

An change to that bill also specifies that the Department cannot require the scanning of source documents from applicants for concealed carry permits, and would have the Department issue separate cards for those permits. Currently concealed carry endorsements are put on driver’s and non-driver’s licenses.

The Department told a House committee it is scanning and retaining the documents in an effort to weed out fraud. Richardson doesn’t buy that.

“I don’t believe that justification to be a good one because we’re only canning 50 out of 20,000 documents a week. 99.8 percent of these documents never get scanned, and so we’re creating a big huge database full of personal information that’s potentially at risk for, in my view, no benefit.”

The House is likely to vote today on whether to send its budget proposal to the Senate.