Update accurate as of 5-6-2013
Last Wednesday, May 1, 2013: The Senate Joint Committee on Administrative Rules called in acting DOR Director John Mollenkamp, the Division of Driver licensing Jackie Bemboom, and others for questioning focused on Title 12 Department of Revenue, Division 10 Director of Revenue, Chapter 24 Driver License Bureau Rules, Including, but not limited to, policies and procedures relating to issuance of driver licenses which require promulgation of rules pursuant to Chapter 536. RSMo. The results of which was an exposure of the fact that yet another violation of law (the seventh) has occurred with DOR’s secret scandal causing them to avoid legal rulemaking procedures in an attempt to hide system process changes from the Legislature. (Chapter 536. RSMo)
At noon last Wednesday the Senate Appropriations Committee questioned and took testimony from Special Agent Keith Schilb, Office of Inspector General, Social Security Administration (as per a special Subpoena) regarding the CCW endorsement lists supplied by Missouri State officials, to confirm details about the national implications related to the breach of public trust with DOR’s scandal. The Committee also took testimony from the Department of Revenue, Office of Administration and the Department of Public Safety regarding their conference budget lines.
Budget Bills for the Department of Revenue, Office of Administration, and the Department of Public Safety have had over $40,000,000. slashed from their budgets by the Senate for not being cooperative in the investigations over the DOR scandal. As the Senate Appropriations Committee is striving diligently to get officials to explain themselves to the Committee they are very frustrated and angered to keep finding the scandal goes deeper and wider every time they start a new line of questions. Officials unwilling to answer with transparency are being grilled. Note: The various line items in the budget are being cut in proportion to the level of difficulty officials make the Senate Committee go through! THE OUTSTANDING QUESTION IS: AFTER ALL THAT HAS BEEN UNCOVERED, WHY DO THESE BUREAUCRATS CONTINUE TO HOLD OUT AND REFUSE TO BE TRANSPARENT? WHAT ARE THEY STILL HIDING THAT HAS NOT YET BEEN DISCOVERED?
It is expected that the Conference Committee reports on budget bills for DOR will receive only half-year funding (6 months) and even that will be at a reduced amount. This will force DOR to come back to the table in early January for an emergency supplemental budget appropriation. This will allow the Legislature to keep tabs on their progress to conform to legislative mandates to change procedures and force DOR officials to continue facing questions.
Our recommendation is that the Legislature only provides a first quarter funding. This would require a Special Session that could run concurrent with the September Veto Session, to provide a supplemental appropriations bill for the second quarter taking the DOR into January. This would allow the Legislature to remain in control of the situation if Gov. Nixon chooses to veto policy bills directed at changing DOR operations (which he is likely to do in order to buy them time to entrench the current system further). Otherwise, a veto override in September would be of little value if the DOR already has funding in place.
It is also imperative that the current primary bills focused on DOR (HB 787 & SB 252) have criminal penalties attached to them. While MFN supports increased fees for local license offices to help make up for the loss they have suffered due to the new system processes, criminal penalties would create the kind of fee office blowback needed to force DOR to comply with the Legislature and Statutes. Of course such criminal penalties must also apply to DOR employees.
HCS HB 137 Introduced by Representative Hinson (R), requires all state agencies to obtain approval from the General Assembly prior to administering, implementing, or expanding any federal program. First read in the Senate on Monday. Second read and referred to the Senate Oversight Committee on Thursday 4-18-2013 and a public hearing was held on 5-1-2013. This bill could be (and needs to be) amended to include requirements that any agency receiving federal funds shall report such funding to the Legislature with criminal penalties for failure to do so.
HB 503 Introduced by Representative John McCaherty (R), Creates the Paperless Documents and Forms Act. Currently on the House Calendar with DOR scandal related amendments pending.
HCS HB 787 Introduced by Representative Richardson (R), Speaker of the House Tim Jones (R-110) along with 36 other House members. Prohibits the Department of Revenue from retaining copies of source documents used to obtain CCW endorsements on driver’s licenses and nondriver’s licenses. During debate on the House floor this bill was amended to include a prohibition against creating any kind of database of firearms, owners, ammunition, or other firearms accessories. The sovereign immunity for DOR employees has been removed and officials will now be subject to civil lawsuits. Referred to the Senate Transportation Committee, hearing held and a SCS voted “do pass” on Thursday 5-2-2013. HB 787 needs to have criminal penalties attached to it in order to guarantee compliance.
HB 818 Sponsored by Robert Ross and Jason Smith Specifies that no state agency or department shall construct, enable, maintain, participate in, or develop a database of the number or type of firearms, ammunition, or accessories that an individual possesses. 4/25/2013 Voted Do Pass (H)
HCS HB 840 Introduced by Representative Wanda Brown (R), requires the Department of Revenue to indemnify local fee offices if, during the course of its official duties and pursuant to state law or regulations, the fee office is sued. Voted do pass out of the House Oversight Committee on Monday 4-22-2013. The provision of this bill has been added to both HB 787 & SB 252.
HCS HB 859 Sponsored by Rick Brattin and John McCaherty Allows for conversion of concealed carry endorsements to concealed carry permits, eliminates concealed carry endorsements and replaces them with concealed carry permits. Third read and passed by the House, now assigned to the Senate General Laws Committee, as of 5-2-2013.
HB 872 Introduced by Dave Schatz and Glen Kolkmeyer Removes the renewal requirements for concealed carry endorsements making them valid for life if not suspended or revoked. 4/4/2013 Referred: House General Laws with a hearing on 4-23-2013.
HB 886 Introduced by Representative Bahr (R), authorizes the General Assembly to remove any department director or deputy director if it determines that the removal is necessary for the betterment of the public service. Heard in the House Oversight Committee on Monday 4-15-2013.
HB 887 Sponsored by Chris Kelly and Jay Barnes Prohibits the Department of Revenue from selling or disclosing certain driver record information. 4/4/2013 Public Hearing Completed (H)
HRM 1 Introduced by Representative Marshall (R) and 95 House members, condemns the release of private protected information on concealed carry endorsements, remonstrates against executive departments, and demands the Governor investigate, discipline and remove those responsible. Offered in the House on Thursday 4-18-2013. Referred to the House Rules Committee on Monday, 4-29-2013.
SS SB 252 Introduced by Senator Kraus (R), prohibits the Department of Revenue from retaining copies of source documents used to obtain driver’s licenses and modifies other driver’s license provisions. Amendments to the bill removes the final CCW endorsement step from DOR and places it with the local Sheriff (who issues the CCW certificate already). Additional amendments require the destruction of the new scanned database and the electronic records in it, prohibits any biometric photos or fingerprints, and extends the time CCW endorsements from 3 to 5 years. Voted do pass out of the Senate Oversight Committee on Monday, third read on Tuesday, with an emergency clause. Reported to the House and first read on Wednesday. Second read in the House on Thursday 4-18-2013. Referred to the House Oversight Committee and was voted “do pass”. The bill is currently on the House Calendar (fiscal review). This bill should be amended to include criminal penalties in order to guarantee compliance.
SRM 1 Introduced by Senator Ed Emery as a Senate Remonstrance against the Governor for the release by the Department of Revenue and the Department of Public Safety of personal protected information which has been publicly admitted by the departments, demanding that Governor Nixon comply with requests for information. Introduced and read on Tuesday, and referred to the Senate Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions and Ethics Committee on 4-30-2013.