Last week there was quite a bit of good news for job growth in Missouri. This week, there is more good news, but this time for Missouri travelers. The Department of Homeland Security granted Missouri an extension to implement REAL-ID compliant driver licenses. The extension means Missourians will be able to use their current forms of identification to fly domestically and enter federal facilities until Oct. 10 of next year. More on this topic in the first section of the report.
Missouri Travelers Receive Good News with REAL ID Extension
Missourians with travel plans in 2018 received good news earlier this week as the Department of Homeland Security granted Missouri an extension to implement REAL-ID compliant driver licenses. The extension means Missourians will be able to use their current forms of identification to fly domestically and enter federal facilities until Oct. 10 of next year.
During the 2017 legislative session, the Missouri General Assembly approved legislation to allow residents to obtain a photo ID that is compliant with the federal REAL ID Act. Because the current version of the Missouri driver’s license is not compliant, DHS announced in January of 2016 that Missourians would not be able to enter federal facilities and would not be able to fly domestically beginning in 2018. The federal government granted an extension to allow Missourians to continue to use their existing IDs for these purposes until January 22, and now the new extension gives Missourians additional months to utilize their existing licenses.
The state will continue to work toward the implementation of the new REAL ID-compliant licenses, and is on track to have them in place by March 2019. The state will have to apply for a second waiver next year in order to cover the gap between October, when the current waiver expires, and March, when the new IDs will be in circulation.
Pancreatic Cancer Awareness in Missouri
Before November comes to an end, it is important to note that this month has been Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, which is a time to highlight the need for greater awareness, funding, and research for pancreatic cancer. In 2013, the state legislature passed HB 68 to designate the awareness month in Missouri to encourage citizens to participate in activities and events to increase awareness of pancreatic cancer, which is incurable and has a low rate of survival due to the advanced stage of the disease when symptoms typically present themselves.
Pancreatic cancer begins when abnormal cells within the pancreas grow out of control and form a tumor. The pancreas is a gland in the abdomen that lies behind the stomach and in front of the spine, with two main functions: digestion and blood sugar regulation. Every day, more than 1,000 people worldwide will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Of that, an estimated 985 will die from the disease. Additionally, pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate among all major cancers, and in nearly every country it is the only major cancer with a single-digit five-year survival rate.
There is currently no screening test or early detection method for pancreatic cancer, and though research is being conducted in these areas, knowing the symptoms and risks remains the key to early diagnosis. Research shows that patients diagnosed in time for surgery are more likely to live five years and beyond. To learn more about the symptoms and risks, please visit www.worldpancreaticcancerday.org.
It is an honor to serve the 51st District in the Missouri House of Representatives. Each week I will issue a capitol report to keep you informed of activities in Jefferson City. Any concerns or issues you might have are of great interest to me. I look forward to your input and thoughts, so please feel free to contact me at any time if you have questions, concerns, or ideas to improve our state government and the quality of life for all Missourians. My telephone number is 573-751-2204 or you may contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for working with me to make Missouri a great place to live.