With fights over tax cuts and budgets out of the way, the Missouri General Assembly appears poised to spend its final week focusing on some familiar topics: guns, abortion and voting rights.
Measures to restrict enforcement of federal laws, triple the waiting period for an abortion and to ask voters to mandate photo IDs at the polls are among the hot-button proposals expected to eat up some of legislators’ precious floor time during the final five days.
A Missouri Senate committee heard testimony Monday on the latest effort by Republicans to require voters to show photo identification at the polls.
The proposal comes in two pieces of legislation: Senate Joint Resolution 31 would amend the state constitution to allow for photo ID requirements at the polls, and Senate Bill 511 would implement those requirements.
This week the Politically Speaking crew welcomes Secretary of State Jason Kander to the podcast. Kander, a Democrat from Kansas City, narrowly captured the statewide office in 2012 after a hard-fought contest with Republican Shane Schoeller.
The Missouri Legislative Black Caucus is speaking out against legislation in both the House and Senate that would require voters to show photo ID’s at the polls.
In each chamber there are proposed constitutional amendments that would allow for photo ID requirements, along with accompanying bills that would enact the proposed requirements -- HB 48 and HJR 1 in the Missouri House, and SB 27 and SJR 6 in the Missouri Senate. State Senator Jamilah Nasheed (D, St. Louis) chairs the caucus. She and other caucus members say Republicans are trying to suppress the voting rights of minorities, the disabled, the poor and elderly.
Republicans in the Missouri House are making another attempt to pass legislation that would require voters to show photo identification at the polls.
No one testified in favor of the proposal at a House hearing today -- everyone who testified either opposed requiring photo ID’s for voting or were neutral and speaking for informational purposes only. In addition to mandating photo identification, House Bill 48 would allow anyone who does not have a photo ID to vote with a provisional ballot, which would not be counted until the voter’s identity is verified. John Scott with the Secretary of State’s office told the House Committee on Elections that Missouri voters would still be disenfranchised.
Jason Rosenbaum is out this week, so we have St. Louis Public Radio's Marshall Griffin filling in. Marshall joins Jo Mannies of the St. Louis Beacon and Chris McDaniel of St. Louis Public Radio to discuss the week in politics.
On this week's show: the special elections bill that's speeding through the statehouse, the early morning voter ID committee and the $6 million plane.
Editor's note: after the recording, the voter ID committee was pushed back to 8 a.m.