Mo. officials consider suing federal government over ID issue
By Jack "Miles" Ventimiglia | The Daily Star-Journal, Warrensburg, Mo. | Published: December 29, 2015
Warrensburg (Tribune News Service) — Jefferson City is stirring toward action on an identification issue expected to affect those seeking entry to Whiteman Air Force Base, Fort Leonard Wood and other military installations around Missouri.
Sen. David Pearce said Saturday he has heard from constituents concerned about the federal government saying Missouri residents will not be allowed to use this state’s driver’s license as identification at the bases and other federal facilities.
Lawmakers could ask Attorney General Chris Koster to take action.
“One thing that we might do when we convene is to possibly have the attorney general ... to file a temporary injunction or actually sue the federal government,” Pearce said.
Senate general counsel Todd Scott is researching options, Pearce said, to provide guidance for the Senate.
“We want to make sure that Missourians, and those that work at the military installations, are able to do their jobs,” Pearce said. “At the same time, if this is a policy decision with states rights versus federal rights, then those are things that could be worked out.”
The Department of Homeland Security warned Missouri that licenses could not be used after Jan. 10 at federal installations, The Associated Press reported. Most other states comply with the federal Real ID rules.
Washington seems focused on creating a federal ID card, Pearce said.
Homeland lists requirements for an acceptable driver’s license, including:
• Information and security features that must be incorporated into each card;
• Application information to establish the identity and immigration status of an applicant before a card can be issued; and
• Physical security standards for facilities where driver’s licenses and applicable identification cards are produced.
Lawmakers could, if motivated, take up the issue immediately upon convening in January. They could vote to require the Missouri Department of Revenue to meet Real ID criteria. Or the state could fight the decision.
Whether lawmakers would go along with 2005 Homeland Security ID rules is unclear. Missouri lawmakers voted in 2009 to prohibit compliance with the rules due to concern about gathering personal data, but some of those lawmakers have left the House and Senate.
Pearce said lawmakers should address the issue one way or another.
“Obviously not being able to use Missouri driver’s licenses as identification is a concern and it would be one that I would be willing to take up immediately,” he said.
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