Representative White voted in favor of four pieces of legislation that will: 1) close the revolving door of lawmakers becoming lobbyists by requiring them to wait one full year after the end of the term of their last election, 2) require candidates, elected officials and others to report their personal finances, which show personal or familial financial involvements, more often 3) ban elected officials from simultaneously serving as paid political consultants for other candidates (volunteer work is allowed), and 4) require that lawmakers disclose trips paid for by third parties more quickly. These measures will create more transparency in Jefferson City. He hopes the Senate will quickly address these bills without making many changes. There are several additional pieces of ethics legislation to be brought up this week dealing with lobbyist gifts to elected officials, investment of campaign funds, and expanding reporting requirements concerning special executive branch appointees.
Representative White also voted to pass HB 1631, Voter Identification, in the House of Representatives. This bill will protect the integrity of our voting system by requiring a voter to present a valid photo ID when voting. The bill has many safeguards to ensure that it does not disenfranchise any Missouri citizen. If a citizen cannot afford to acquire the photo ID or cannot afford to acquire a birth certificate, including an out of state birth certificate, necessary to get an approved photo ID, the State of Missouri will pay for one. If Missouri citizens do not bring an acceptable photo ID to the polls, they will still be allowed to cast a provisional ballot, with a supporting affidavit done at the polling place, and then have three days to bring in an appropriate photo ID to the election authority to have their vote counted. In any year that the State does not budget funds to pay for the IDs or birth certificates, the photo ID requirement is waived for that year.
The voters must approve a constitutional amendment, which has already been sent to the senate, authorizing the new voter ID law to go into effect.
REAL ID Driver’s License and Identification Cards
In response to Missouri not being compliant with the federal REAL ID Act, Representative White has cosponsored HB 2235 addressing our deficiency under the REAL ID Act of 2005. If passed, this bill will give Missourians the option to decide whether or not they would like a driver’s license or identification card that is compliant with the REAL ID Act. Under this bill when people go to a license bureau, they will be asked if they want a driver’s license or identification card that is Real ID compliant or noncompliant. If they want a REAL ID compliant identification they must provide the required documentation, including proof of identity (such as a birth certificate), proof of Social Security number, and documents proving they are a Missouri resident. If they do not want a REAL ID compliant license or identification then the existing requirements would apply.
What is REAL ID?
Passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act enacted the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the Federal Government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver's licenses.” The Act established minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting, for official purposes, licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards.
REAL ID is a national set of standards, not a national identification card. REAL ID does not create a federal database of driver license information. Each jurisdiction continues to issue its own unique license, maintains its own records, and controls who gets access to those records and under what circumstances. The purpose of REAL ID is to make our identity documents more consistent and secure.
As of January 10, 2016, visitors seeking access to military bases and many Federal facilities must have REAL ID compliant identification to be assured access. As this date has already passed, Homeland Security recommends that when planning a visit to a Federal facility or military base, visitors should contact the facility to determine what identification will be accepted.
Starting January 22, 2018, air passengers who have a driver’s license which is not compliant with REAL ID will need to show an alternative form of acceptable identification for domestic air travel.
Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP)
Fraudulently obtained prescription narcotics and other drugs is becoming an increasingly larger portion of our nation’s illegal drug problem. Missouri is the only state in the Union that does not have a prescription drug monitoring program. With five of our largest cities, including Joplin, being so close to one or more other state’s borders, the problem of fraudulently obtained prescriptions in the area is exacerbated. With several changes from last year’s bill, including the requirement to work with other state's PDMP systems and funding not relying on grants or donations to pay for the system, Representative White has cosponsored HB 1892, creating a prescription drug monitoring program. This bill will help stop individuals from fraudulently obtaining prescription drugs within Missouri and in the surrounding states. This law will also improve patient care in Missouri by providing an avenue where by a physician or pharmacist can check to see what medications other providers have prescribed.
Missouri Department of Conservation Events
A Sand County Almanac Book Discussions-Thursdays in February
Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center
Date: Tuesday, February 2, 2016, 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
We encourage you to read for the first time or re-read "A Sand County Almanac"—one of the most respected and beloved books about the natural world ever published. This collection of essays by Aldo Leopold—the father of the movement for wilderness and wildlife conservation—was published after his death in 1948. Leopold was a forester, philosopher, educator, writer, hunter, and outdoor enthusiast who spent his life observing, sketching, and journaling his natural surroundings. Join us for weekly book discussions led by retired Springfield-Greene County Librarian Lorraine Sandstrom on Tuesday mornings--February 2, 9 16, and 23. Ages 15-adult. Registration begins January 15. Call 417-888-4237.
Discover Nature Fishing Lecture Series-Walleye Fishing
Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center
Date: Wednesday, February 10, 2016, 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Missouri is blessed with some of the premier walleye fishing opportunities in the region. These toothy critters are not only fun to catch but absolutely delicious in the frying pan! Come learn about current walleye research and management activities from Fisheries Management Biologist Ben Parnell. Marty Thompson, from Thompson Fishing Guide Service will also present on walleye fishing techniques on Stockton Lake. This is one of several indoor programs aimed to put more fish on the end of your line! Ages 7-adult. Registration begins January 15. Call 417-888-4237.
Reserve by February 10, 2016