JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A new report says Gov. Jay Nixon's administration displayed an "indifference to the privacy rights" of Missourians through its driver's license policies.
The report released Friday comes after a group of legislators, law enforcement officers and other House appointees spent the summer looking into state driver's license procedures that have already been largely abandoned.
The panel said Nixon's administration disregarded state law by making digital copies of birth certificates and other documents submitted by driver's license applicants and by buying equipment to analyze biometric information about people.
Nixon signed a law in July that put a halt to those practices. His administration has consistently denied that the procedures were intended to implement the federal Real ID proof-of-identity law. A 2009 Missouri law bars state officials from implementing Real ID.
The Illinois trooper who hit and killed a pair of Illinois sisters while driving a police cruiser, is not getting his driver's license back.
Matt Mitchell was driving 126 miles an hour, using his cell phone, and using his computer to send emails, when he hit the car carrying 13-year-old Kelli and 18-year-old Jessica Uhl. In 2010, Mitchell pled guilty to all charges. He served probation and lost his license.
This summer, Mitchell appeared in court to ask for his license to be reinstated, saying he needed it to find a job. Thursday, his appeal was denied.
Mitchell now lives in Texas.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich says officials violated state law by requiring driver's license clerks to make electronic copies of applicants' personal documents.
Schweich released an analysis Monday concluding the Department of Revenue broke state law by implementing the policy last December without publishing a formal rule change.
That policy ended in July as a result of a bill passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor. But Schweich had been asked in April by senators to look into the policy.
The auditor's office says the document scanning policy did not technically violate a separate state law prohibiting Missouri from amending its procedures to comply with the federal Real ID proof-of-identity law. But had the department published a rule, Schweich said it would have violated the anti-Real ID law.
Members of Governor Jay Nixon's staff will testify voluntarily this week before a Missouri House panel that had tried to subpoena them.
Republican Representative Stanley Cox says six current members of Nixon's administration and a former Revenue Department director will testify Tuesday and Wednesday.
The panel is investigating the Revenue Department practice of making electronic copies of birth certificates, concealed gun permits and other personal documents of applicants for driver's licenses and state IDs.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The leader of the Missouri House says an attempt to access a secure website listing Missouri's concealed gun permit holders was part of an investigation into whether the state had appropriately shielded the information.
In an interview with The Associated Press, House Speaker Tim Jones declined Monday to identify the person who tried to access the information last Thursday. But Jones said it was an appropriate action.
Gov. Jay Nixon's administration revealed last week that someone using a House computer address repeatedly tried to access the site. It said those attempts were unauthorized because information on concealed gun permit holders can only be shared with law enforcement.
The information was posted online for a federal fraud investigator, who testified last week that he opted not to download the information.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri House has passed a bill that would allow county sheriffs to issue concealed weapons permits instead of the Revenue Department.
Missouri sheriffs already have the responsibility of receiving concealed-carry applications, reviewing applicants' backgrounds and issuing paper permits. But under current law, recipients take the paper permits to a local licensing office overseen by the Department of Revenue to receive a photo ID card noting their concealed-carry status.
Republican lawmakers want to allow sheriffs to print the permits after learning the Revenue Department compiled a list of concealed weapons permit holders to share with a federal agent at the Social Security Administration.
The measure passed 123-34 Monday. It would also allow designated school personnel to carry concealed weapons in schools buildings. It now heads to the Senate.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri senators are considering a nearly $25 billion budget plan that may be most notable for what it doesn't contain.
Senate debate on the budget began Monday with education funding among the first items up. The budget includes a $66 million increase on top of the current $3 billion in basic aid for public schools. But that still falls $620 million short of what's called for by a state formula.
Later Monday, senators were to discuss more contentious topics. The Senate budget plan wipes out funding for the motor vehicle and driver's license division. The intent is to register senators' disapproval of licensing procedures that include making electronic copies of applicants' personal documents.
Like the House, the Senate plan includes no money for Gov. Jay Nixon's proposed Medicaid expansion.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Department of Revenue Director Brian Long has resigned amid a controversy over the agency's handling of concealed gun permit documents.
Gov. Jay Nixon announced Long's resignation Monday and said it was effective immediately. The governor's statement did not say why Long resigned or whether he was asked to do so.
Long was appointed to the job by Nixon on Dec. 13.
That came shortly after the Department of Revenue had launched a new process for issuing driver's licenses in which clerks are making electronic copies of applicants' personal documents, such as concealed carry permits. Republican lawmakers have raised concerns about the potential for people's privacy rights to be violated.
During a Senate committee hearing last week, Long had declined to stop scanning the documents.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The way Missouri processes concealed weapons permits has fueled the fire in Republican lawmakers' fight over the state's new driver's license procedures.
Missouri appears to be the only state to have concealed weapons endorsements printed on driver's licenses. Permit holders can choose to have the endorsement printed on the license or on a separate card issued by the Revenue Department.
In most other states, county sheriffs or police issue the concealed weapons permits. Some states don't require a permit at all to carry a concealed weapon.
The department began scanning applicants' concealed weapons permits and other documents in December when it switched licensing protocols. Republicans say the department could share that information with the federal government or a private company. Revenue department officials deny that information is being shared.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri House wants to block the scanning and computer storage of personal documents needed to get a driver's license or state identification card.
Legislation given initial approval 141-14 on Wednesday would bar the Revenue Department from scanning documents needed for driver's licenses or concealed weapons permits. Documents that have been scanned would need to be destroyed.
The bill needs another vote before moving to the Senate, where members have criticized the driver's license procedure.
Previously, license clerks looked at applicants' documents, took a photo and printed the license. Under the new system, licenses are printed and mailed by a contractor several days after people apply. Revenue Department officials have said the new procedure makes licenses more secure and saves money.
Some Missouri senators are pressing the state's driver's license agency to stop collecting documents from people with concealed gun permits.
But the head of the agency said Wednesday he's reluctant to halt the practice.
Since December, clerks in Missouri's local license offices have been making electronic copies of concealed weapons permits for a state database of driver's license applicants. Concealed gun endorsements are noted on driver's licenses.
Some Republican lawmakers have expressed concern about the document database. During a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing Wednesday, Chairman Kurt Schaefer asked the Revenue Department to stop making and keeping copies of concealed gun permits.
Revenue Director Brian Long said he's unwilling to commit to that, because the scanned documents provide protection against fraud. But Long also said he will consider it further.