Democrats and Republicans remain deeply divided over the issue: The 104-54 vote split along party lines, with every Republican present voting “yes,” and every Democrat “no.” Supporters argued that the bill would help prevent voter fraud. But State Representative Leonard Hughes (D, Kansas City) countered that the bill is unnecessary.
House leaders had intended to hold a first-round vote on the measure Monday, but it was delayed because of the large number of Democrats who spoke against the bill. Joe Aull (D, Marshall) used former Missouri Congressman Ike Skelton (D) as an example of how he says some elderly citizens could be disenfranchised by the bill. Aull says Skelton attempted to get a photo ID for himself after the 2006 voter ID law was passed, but he was turned down.
Voters who don’t have a photo ID would be required to use provisional ballots, which would be counted once their identities are correctly verified. It passed 7 to 3 on a straight party line vote, with every Republican on the House Elections Committee voting “yes” and every Democrat voting “no.” The sponsor, House Speaker Pro-tem Shane Schoeller (R, Willard), says the bill shouldn’t be divisive.
A Missouri House committee that’s been looking into natural disaster response has released a list of recommendations for lawmakers to take up next year.
One of them would create a joint House-Senate committee that would have oversight into the use of the state’s Rainy Day fund for disaster expenses. Speaker Pro-tem Shane Schoeller (R, Willard) supports the idea.
It will include a bill requiring that voter-approved laws cannot be overturned by a simple majority vote by lawmakers.
Take, for example, the state minimum wage hike, which 76 percent of Missouri voters approved five years ago. Schoeller says under his bill, that law could only be overturned if more than 76 percent of House and Senate members voted to do so.
Missouri House leaders will now attempt to get rid of the state’s presidential primary and replace it with party caucuses. A similar move fell short in the Missouri Senate.
Some Senate Republicans tried and failed Monday night to swap out the bill to move the primary from February to March with one that would have replaced it with caucuses. Speaker Pro-tem Shane Schoeller (R, Willard) has filed a new bill in the House that would do the same thing.
A Missouri House committee formed to look into how the state handles natural disasters conducted its first public hearing today in Sedalia, nearly a month after a tornado there destroyed several mobile homes and damaged numerous businesses.