Legislation to satisfy federal REAL ID regulations has passed the Missouri House and is headed to the Senate.
Currently, the state doesn’t comply with security requirements that’ll be needed to board a commercial airplane starting in January.
Republican Governor Eric Greitens thinks state lawmakers should wait and see if the Trump administration makes changes to existing law.
“When I was in Washington D.C., I talked with some folks in the Trump-Pence administration about this” said Greitens. “We need to look at whether or not the Trump-Pence administration is going to actually keep the Obama era rules in place. They actually may be considering a change. If that change happens, then the ID’s that we have today will actually be functional for people to fly.”
Greitens is referring to a requirement that documentation needed to obtain a driver’s license, such as a birth certificate or social security card, be scanned and stored on a database.
The rule actually predates the Obama administration. It was passed by Congress in 2005 to beef up security in response to the September 2001 terrorist attacks.
Now, a group of Missouri Senate Republicans think the federal statute constitutes an invasion of privacy. Majority Floor Leader Mike Kehoe (R-Jefferson City) confirms that Governor Greitens contacted the Trump administration by letter to express the chamber’s concern.
“The governor has delivered that letter to Washington D.C. to let the Trump administration know that the Missouri Senate’s preference would be that we unwind some of the effects of REAL ID, and the problems that it’s caused to some of our citizens.”
Kehoe says the Senate will seek to pass legislation later in the current session if the administration fails to change the requirement. He said the chamber wouldn’t wait until the last well to take action.
The House approved the measure by a 99-40 vote last Thursday.
Democratic Senate Leader Gina Walsh doesn’t think the chamber can afford to delay the measure. She says workers will need to gain access to the nuclear power plant in Calloway County for an upcoming maintenance project.
“If you do not have a passport or a federal ID, you’re not getting into that plant. If you only have a Missouri driver’s license, you’re not getting into that plant.”
A delay for the legislation in the Senate would ironic, given that Ryan Silvey (R-Kansas City) pre-fild a REAL ID bill before the current session began. It would allow Missourians to choose if they want the identification by requiring the Department of Revenue to create a REAL ID-compliant license, and a non-compliant ID to offer to residents.