A primary focus at the Capitol is the continued investigation into the actions of the Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR) and how it is handling your private information. Countless citizens throughout the state are worried that DOR is sharing your personal information with the Department of Homeland Security. Your information does not belong under the watch of a federal government that, all too often, over-regulates citizens’ lives and can even be a roadblock to living the American dream.
Last week, the Senate issued a subpoena demanding that DOR provide emails, grant applications, and other written communication between DOR and federal agencies, such as the Department of Homeland Security, regarding changes in procedure for issuing driver’s licenses and the federal Real ID Act. The subpoena seeks records dating back to January 2009 and requires that they be supplied to the Senate Appropriations Committee chairman. On Tuesday (4-2), DOR made available thousands of documents in as many as 50 boxes. It would have been easier to review the information in a digital format; however, lawmakers are determined to review all the documents and get to the bottom of DOR’s actions.
The Missouri Legislature passed a bill in 2009 (HB 361) that states that DOR cannot amend procedures for applying for a driver’s license or other identification cards to comply with the goals or standards of the federal REAL ID Act of 2005, which shares citizens’ private information with third-party entities or the federal government. The act was designed to improve security for state-issued driver’s licenses and identity cards after the tragic Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. However, concerns regarding Missourians’ privacy and the federal government’s motives came to light, and the Legislature took action to protect citizens’ personal information. It’s aggravating to know we are, again, dealing with an issue we thought was resolved four years ago.
A Senate bill to help protect your privacy has been voted out of its respective committee and will hopefully receive debate soon. Senate Bill 252 states that DOR cannot retain copies of source documents presented by Missourians applying for or renewing driver’s licenses or non-driver’s licenses. DOR also cannot use technology to capture digital images of source documents so that the images could be retained in electric storage in a transferable format. If passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor, DOR must destroy any source documents that have been obtained from driver’s or non-driver’s license applicants by Sept. 11, 2013. The Missouri Senate is dedicated to protecting your private information and working to get these issues resolved.
Also this week, my sponsored SB 432 was voted “do pass” in the Senate Small Business, Insurance and Industry Committee and may now move to the full Senate for consideration. This bill would allow a non-profit organization to prepare food, in a private home or other area, for distribution at a fundraising event for a charitable purpose. Consumers must be clearly informed that the food was prepared in a kitchen that is not subject to regulation and inspection by the regulatory authority.
If you have any questions about the matters I’ve addressed in this legislative report, please don’t hesitate to contact my Capitol office.
Welcoming Guests to the Capitol
The energy of school groups and Missouri organizations was alive at the Capitol this week, and I was thrilled to meet with several good citizens. I was happy to meet with the Mizzou Alumni Association, University of Missouri Extension members, representatives from Missouri State University-West Plains and the Missouri Beer Wholesalers Association, numerous eighth grade students from the Cabool R-IV School District, constituents advocating for quality child care programs and autism awareness, and members from the Ozarks Technical Community College.
If you would like to arrange a time to come and visit me in Jefferson City, please don’t hesitate to contact my Capitol office at (573) 751-1882.