Lawmakers sometimes take ridiculous actions that embarrass their state nationally. A few of Missouri’s more knee-jerk House legislators did that on Tuesday.
The vote came during discussion of a needed bill to finally put Missouri in at least partial compliance with the Real ID Act. It’s part of a federal effort to toughen up restrictions on residents applying for state driver’s licenses.
That’s Big Brother kind of stuff, Show-Me State lawmakers have argued for years, while keeping Missouri as one of the handful of states to not go along with the law.
But by next year, Missourians with driver’s licenses that don’t adhere to the Real ID Act won’t be able to board planes unless they have another legitimate form of identification. For many people that’s going to be a passport, which costs time and money to get. And the Missouri license won’t be accepted at some other federal facilities as valid ID.
Enter Robert Ross, a Yukon Republican, who offered this asinine amendment to the bill as it wound through the House.
— Jason Hancock (@J_Hancock) February 21, 2017
As The Kansas City Star’s Hancock reported 10 minutes later on Twitter, the House defeated requiring the “I would rather kneel” requirement on a vote of 119-21.
I was surprised such an amendment didn’t get more than 21 votes in a chamber that’s so ultra-conservative and radical in rejecting anything that smacks of federal “interference.”
Then again, the fact that this bit of irrational action even came up earned Missouri some more attention as a laughingstock of the nation.
There’s more nuttiness ahead.
Sen. Republican Ryan Silvey of Kansas City is on pretty much the right side of this issue, and he will be debating people like Republican Will Kraus of Lee’s Summit if and when a bill comes before that chamber.
Silvey argues, as do those who approved the House bill Tuesday, that residents can decide for themselves if they want to get a driver’s license following the Real ID requirements. If they don’t, they will at least know they are going to have to jump through more hoops to have valid ID in the future, such as a passport.
If residents do want to comply with federal rules, as I’m assuming most eventually will, they can join the rest of America in living in the real world.