The legislature has adopted a bill that would put the state in compliance with stricter federal identification requirements so that Missourians don’t have air travel problems starting next year. Rep. Charlie Davis, R-Webb City, supports the measure that would let residents choose whether they want a so-called REAL ID for access to planes, military bases and federal facilities.
“I grew up in Texas and we use to play chicken all the time with another car,” says Davis. “But, only we got hurt. If we play chicken with the federal government and they don’t balk, then who hurts from us not doing anything? So this isn’t a game of chicken where we’re going to play against the federal government and you and I are going to get hurt. About six million Missourians could be affected.”
Davis says he’s received 327 emails from his constituents about the issue, compared to 12 emails about a tax credit for low-income renters.
A small coalition of legislators, primarily Republicans, are concerned about privacy issues. The bill would ban Social Security numbers from being stored in databases that can be accessed by state or federal governments. It would also add criminal penalties for misuse of driver’s information or unlawful distribution of data.
Rep. Rick Brattin, R-Harrisonville, says the federal government is mandating states to comply.
“This was a voluntary system. That was a selling pitch. This is a completely voluntary system and now here we are being coerced into adopting this,” says Brattin.
The proposal is headed to the governor.