JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missourians will soon have the option to use their driver’s license to board airplanes and go on military bases, though not as soon as 108 representatives would like.
Rep. Kevin Corlew’s REAL ID bill passed through the House late Thursday evening by a wide 112-39 margin, with members of the house’s informal Conservative Caucus comprising most of the no votes. However, when it came time to vote on the emergency clause, the body only had 108 of the 109 required votes.
Corlew said that no vote means should Gov. Eric Greitens sign the bill, the Department of Revenue will not be able to begin implementation on the bill until Aug. 28, 2017, instead of starting as soon as the governor’s signature was dry.
Still, Corlew said the signing of the bill was a big win for Missouri, as it will allow residents of the Show-Me State the choice of getting a driver’s license that complies with federal REAL ID standards.
“It’s quite a relief because we’ve heard from a lot of citizens, a lot of Missouri businesses, a lot of military families and a lot of travelers that were very concerned about this,” Corlew said. “Being able to get this done for them is gratifying.”
Despite the lopsided vote, several opponents to the legislation made their displeasure with the policy known.
“It takes away more sovereignty from the state,” Rep. Bill Kidd said. “I’m concerned about the long term issues of what happens if we submit to national ID.”
Rep. Charlie Davis, however, did not agree with their assessment, and seemed to imply that opposition was a false bravado putting the state’s citizens at risk.
“This isn’t a game of chicken we’re going to play against the federal government and we’re going to get hurt,” he said, referring to the General Assembly. “This is going to be 6 million Missourians that are going to get affected.”
Rumors had abounded that the failure to pass REAL ID could have been a bill that prompted a special session, but it appears that has been averted, for now.