Legislative Column for the Week of Monday, April 8, 2013
New Developments in DOR Investigation

Over the last two months, the Senate has investigated allegations that the Department of Revenue is scanning and collecting private information as part of a new policy to renew or issue drivers’ licenses and concealed carry permits. The charges came to light after a lawsuit was filed in Stoddard County. The Senate has since spear-headed the inquiry into this troubling issue. Unfortunately, the more we find out, the worse the situation looks.

It has now been discovered that the Missouri Highway Patrol sent an extensive list of concealed carry permit holders to the federal government, not once, but twice, and as recently as January. The Patrol gave a disc of more than 163,000 names to the Department of Social Security Administration.  Supposedly, they were looking into fraud and checking social security disability against CCW permits.

At this point, it’s hard not to believe that the Senate and the public have been purposefully misled. We’ve had to fight for every answer and even then, we’re not given all the facts. The entire situation is appalling. The privacy of our citizens has been violated. A list of more than 160,000 concealed carry permit holders in the state is now in the hands of the federal government, a direct violation of Missouri law. On top of all that, select state departments are completely disregarding the law and willfully ignoring the authority of the General Assembly. This will not stand.

We will continue the investigation and I will keep you updated on any new developments.  Keep in mind as Floor Leader I publicly stated we would not go to the Department of Revenue’s budget on the floor until Senator Schaefer was satisfied with the answers he was getting.  We will also be sending a cease and desist letter to the Department of Revenue.


Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the federal government is planning to scale back what are known as disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments, which go to hospitals to offset the costs of treating uninsured patients. It’s nothing more than a strong-arm tactic to get us to go along with the Medicaid expansion. Many states were incensed by the move and made their feelings known.

On Wednesday, the Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions and Ethics Committee, which I chair, approved Senate Concurrent Resolution 5, which urges the federal government to stop the ACA’s DSH payment reductions. This resolution sends a direct message to Washington that we’re opposed to this move. 

Appropriately enough, on Thursday, the president requested Congress to postpone the planned reductions in DSH payments for at least a year. It is imperative that we continue pushing back against this federal measure that could have devastating effects for our state.


This week, the Senate approved Senate Bill 67, which updates references to higher education statutes that are outdated. The bill removes Missouri Southern State University’s designation as a statewide institution of international and global education, and also allows colleges to establish regulations to control traffic on their campuses. The bill now goes to the House for consideration.

We also approved Senate Bill 267, which creates the Civil Liberties Defense Act. The legislation mandates that any court ruling based on a foreign law which violates the Missouri or U.S. constitutions are unenforceable. We have to remain vigilant in protecting the rights of our citizens. This act ensures our constitutions remain the highest law in the land.

Last week, the Senate approved Senate Joint Resolution 14, which, if approved by voters, reaffirms Missourians’ right to bear arms. The measure also requires the State of Missouri to uphold these rights and protect against their infringement. We must ensure that our Second Amendment rights are protected and not subject to knee-jerk reactions at the federal level. The legislation is now in the House.