By Brad Tregnago of KSSZ contributed to this story
State Senator Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia, says there’s still a lot of work to do before the Missouri Legislature’s regular session ends on Friday. He wants bills about REAL ID, liability lawsuits, and worker compensation to pass this year.
Missouri must comply with a federal REAL ID law that requires stricter identification standards so that residents don’t have problems boarding planes starting next year. The Senate has passed a REAL ID bill and has sent the proposal back to the House with changes. The latest version of the bill says residents could choose whether they want an REAL ID-compliant license for access to planes, military bases and federal facilities.
“Next January, there’s a deadline of Missourians not being able to ride on commercial aircraft without a passport if we don’t pass this measure,” says Rowden.
Missouri is one of four states not compliant with the federal law. The others are Maine, Montana, and Minnesota.
Critics of the legislation say it invades people’s privacy. The bill would ban Social Security numbers from being stored in databases that can be accessed by state or federal governments.
Rowden says relations are getting better in his chamber, but they’re still tense. Work has slowed in recent weeks from Republicans fighting with each other. He says everyone has come together to pass a budget.
“I think everyone is going to have to pick their fights a little better,” says Rowden. “You can’t pick every fight in Jefferson City because you’ll end up losing all of them.”
Republican Governor Eric Greitens has not ruled out calling a special session to fulfill some of his legislative priorities, including REAL ID and a bill that would alert the public when a law enforcement officer is attacked.