Real ID debate stalls in Senate

After an almost three-hour debate filled with long speeches and abstract rhetorical arguments Wednesday, Missouri’s nearly 12-year trek toward compliance with Real ID has hit another roadblock.

The Missouri Senate debated a bill sponsored by Ryan Silvey (R-Kansas City), which would make Missouri compliant with the Real ID Act.

Senators decided to table the bill until possibly late March.

Passed by Congress in 2005 as a response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the law mandates that states store the personal information needed to obtain a state-issued identification. The federal government argues that the standards protect the United States from potential terrorists and against identification fraud by immigrants living in the country illegally.

After years of extensions, the federal government has set a hard date for Missouri to comply: Jan. 22, 2018. The state is one of five that are currently non-compliant.

If the Missouri General Assembly fails to pass Real ID legislation, Missourians will be unable to board domestic flights, enter federal buildings or military bases with state-issued identification and will instead need to obtain passports, which can cost more than a hundred dollars.

Historically, opposition to the law has cited privacy concerns stemming from the Missouri Department of Revenue retaining copies of personal documents such as birth certificates and social security cards.

In 2009, the Missouri legislature, with the approval of former Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon, forbade the Department of Revenue from complying with the federal law.

Sen. Will Kraus (R-Lee’s Summit) has taken the mantle of opposition this year.

“I see this as a simple case of government overreach and a violation of the 10th and 4th amendment of the Constitution” said Kraus, referring to the amendments governing search and seizure and state’s rights.

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