I've fielded hundreds of questions about the Department of Revenue and their new program of issuing driver's licenses. Let me share what I know at this point. The DOR approved a program whereby the fee offices take our personal information (proof of identity etc.) scan it, and forward it to a center in Georgia where it is processed and our licenses are then mailed back to us. A man in the Sikeston area went to the fee office and when they informed him that he would have to surrender his license and carry permit for scanning and transmittal to Georgia, he refused and told them it was illegal. It is, in fact, a violation of Missouri law to collect or share our personal information. He then contacted a lawyer and a Judge issued a restraining order stopping the fee office from scanning any more documents. The Senate held hearings this week and it appears as if the DOR was sharing our information with Homeland Security in flagrant opposition to our laws. We are just beginning to get to the bottom of this mess. We still don't know where all the money came from to finance a scanner for every fee office and who is financing the document center in Georgia. Senator Schaeffer was extremely upset to find out that he had been given false testimony by the Director and cancelled his committee hearing until they could get the truth. I'll keep you posted on this mess as it unwinds.
We were able to pass several bills last week and send them to our friends in the Senate. There were two different bills dealing with Prevailing Wages. The Governor indicated that he would consider changing some of the rules for School Construction and for smaller counties. We sent a bill for each proposal over for the Senate's consideration. We also reinstated the Charitable Tax Credits. These were unfortunately cut by the Governor last year and deal with things like food pantries. We had an emergency Clause attached in order to get early action. We also had a bill that encourages Amateur Sports events. This proposal would allow cities to bring in things like Wrestling or Softball Tournaments and get a partial tax credit to help offset the costs. That would really be good for our area.
A lot of schools are out on Spring Break this week so please drive carefully! More next time, until then, I am and remain, in your service.