If you've had a chance to check the news lately I'm sure you've seen mentions of the REAL ID Act. I'd like to give you a little bit of background information about the REAL ID Act. When it was passed in 2005, the act required state driver's licenses to meet certain minimum standards, and some state legislatures were concerned the federal government would use the new policies to invade American citizens' personal information and privacy. Therefore, many states chose not to comply with the act, and the Missouri Legislature passed a law banning compliance with the act in 2009.
Due to Missouri's non-compliance, starting Jan. 10, 2016, our state-issued licenses were no longer considered a valid form of identification for accessing certain military bases and some federal facilities. As my district is home to Whiteman Air Force Base, this is a big concern. Until January 2018, you will be able to enter Fort Leonard Wood and Whiteman Air Force Base with a current Missouri license and a second form of identification including U.S. passports, social security cards and certified birth certificates.
As it currently stands, Missourians will not be able to fly, enter a federal building or go on a military base without an escort starting January 2018, unless the REAL ID fix is passed. The "REAL ID Fix," or Senate Bill 280, would require the Department of Revenue to issue REAL ID compliant cards to Missourians who wish to have one. Without a solution for REAL ID, there will be a financial strain on families to purchase passports if they choose to fly domestically. Missourians should have the right to decide for themselves if they want a REAL ID compliant photo ID, and the passage of this bill would allow that. The bill was voted out of the Veterans and Military Affairs Committee this week and I look forward to debating it on the Senate floor.
Also this week, I filed the Missouri Video Lottery Control Act, Senate Bill 452, which would require the state lottery to develop a licensing structure for manufacturers, operators, handlers and retailers of video lottery terminals. This bill is intended to start a discussion and take a serious look at how we can grow revenue. With that in mind, this bill would direct revenue to higher education, while the licensing fees would go to the Veterans Commission. Missouri already has lottery products in bars and restaurants, as well as fantasy sports and pay-at-the pump games at gas stations. It is obvious the technology and interest in these games is at a point where there will possibly be lottery games on our hand-held devices in the near future.
I urge you to contact my office with any questions or concerns you have about state government so I can better represent you during the 2017 legislative session.
I always appreciate hearing your comments, opinions, and concerns. Please feel free to contact me in Jefferson City at 573-751-4302. You may also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.