There is an uproar surrounding the Real ID issue for us to deal with. While it appears from all the news hype that Missouri and three other states are the only ones not in compliance, there are actually nearly half the states that have not issued the ID's. Each state had a different compliance deadline and we and the three others are the first to be called out. In 2009 when we addressed the issue first, nearly the entire General Assembly and Governor Nixon were opposed to certain provisions of the requirement. Nothing has changed since 2009. The issues that we took exception to are exactly the same now as they were then. Once again, election year hype is making far too much of the problem. There are two or three sticking points to the requirements that we are not willing to roll over on. No one is going to be refused access to air travel as the penalty doesn't even take affect for two years. Hearings are scheduled to begin this week. We will deal with the issue without causing Missouri travelers to take the bus.
There is also a huge amount of pressure for us to deal with the funding shortfall for MoDot. This problem has no easy answers. We were asked to attend a reception for the new head of MoDot last week and his assessment of the problem and his suggestions for solving the monetary shortfall were identical to his predecessor. We will probably take a good look at the proposal to increase gasoline taxes by 1.5 cents and diesel by 3.5 cents. This measure will insure that we have the necessary funds to match the Federal money and allow some additional time to work on more permanent solutions.
Elaine in my office is available to help people plan trips to the Capitol. We can help plan for any size of group. It is arguably the most beautiful Capitol building in the nation and if you haven't toured it, you are really missing something. We can book tours of the Supreme Court, the Governor's Mansion and The Old Prison as well. Call her at least a couple of weeks ahead of your visit and we can be sure to get you scheduled.