Last Day to Update Voter Registration
The final day to register or update registration leading into the April municipal elections is Wednesday, March 6th. Check if your information is up to date and to view the ballot at http://www.kceb.org or www.jcebmo.org. Absentee voting has already begun.
Some Updates to Missouri's REAL ID Issues
(from Rep. Judy Morgan)
As you may recall, the REAL ID Act of 2005 was passed during the GOP presidency of George W. Bush. The law's intent was to prevent terror attacks by setting minimum standards for state-issued identification that individuals use for entering federal buildings or military bases or boarding planes.
Missouri held out for many years and refused to comply with REAL ID. Finally in the waning days of the 2017 session, the General Assembly passed HB 151 which allowed the Department of Revenue (DOR) to pursue compliance with the REAL ID Act.
Thank you to the (DOR) for providing us with updated information on REAL ID. Beginning March 25, 2019 the Missouri DOR will begin offering REAL ID-compliant driver licenses and nondriver identification cards. Under Missouri law, applying for a REAL ID-compliant license or ID card is optional.
However, you don't need to be in a rush to apply for your REAL ID as your current driver license or nondriver ID card will afford the same access as a REAL ID-compliant license or ID card until October 2020. However, beginning on October 1, 2020, residents of every U.S. state and territory will be required to present a REAL ID-compliant driver license or ID card or another form of ID accepted by the Transportation Security Administration to:
- Board federally regulated domestic flights,
- Access federal facilities, including military bases and federal courthouses, or
- Enter nuclear power plants.
Missouri law allows for a one-time waiver of the duplicate transaction fee for persons who have not been issued a REAL ID-compliant license or ID card. License office processing fees, however, will not be waived and are $2.50 for a three-year issuance or $5 for a six-year issuance.
In a press release, the DOR stated that it anticipates increased foot traffic and longer wait times at license offices in the weeks after March 25 when the REAL ID-compliant license and ID cards become available. In addition, license offices will be unable to provide driver license services on Saturday, March 23, 2019, due to necessary system updates regarding REAL ID processing capabilities.
Josh Hawley Finds Himself Back in the News
Basically all of now Senator Josh Hawley's time in political office has been marked with violations of the law and not facing consequences. As Attorney General, Missouri law required him to live in Jefferson City which he refused to do for well over a year. He eventually rented an apartment and claimed to be in compliance but then voted under a different address, meaning he committed voter fraud. After using his office to protect disgraced criminal Eric Greitens while breaking his promise to not seek higher office, he launched his US Senate campaign and there have been reports the AG's office was being operated through Washington DC political consultants, which is against the law as well. Last week, the Kansas City Star showed Hawley was illegally mixing public and political resources by using government cars for campaign purposes. Read about that here
Hawley's luck may finally be running out. After his attorneys said that Hawley was too high profile to have to follow laws
, Hawley was served with a subpoena after delivering remarks to the alt-right nightmare circus known as the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Baring a judge's order, Hawley will have to answer questions about his connections to dark money groups that have been infecting Jefferson City and Missouri elections. We should all hope important information is presented by those involved with this lawsuit and people like Hawley learn that nobody, especially elected officials, is above the law.
Good News from the Missouri Supreme Court
The Missouri Supreme Court issued a pair of rulings in separate cases on Feb. 25 that slightly expand anti-discrimination protections for gay and transgendered people under state law in certain circumstances. In both cases, the Supreme Court said claims of discrimination should proceed, although the high court did not rule on the merits of either claim.
The Missouri Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination in employment, housing or public accommodations based on race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, gender, disability or familial status. Since it doesn’t currently bar discrimination based on sexual orientation or sexual identity, lower courts ruled both cases said the plaintiffs had no legal basis for their cases.
In Harold Lampley v. Missouri Human Rights Commission, a gay man fired by the Missouri Department of Social Services sought to sue for employment discrimination based on the claim that he was fired because didn’t comply with male gender stereotypes held by his superiors, which would be a type of gender discrimination covered by the MHRA. Five judges reversed the trial court’s ruling against the man and sent the case back for reconsideration.
In R.M.A v. Blue Springs School District, a transgender student claimed he was discriminated on the basis of sex in a public accommodation when school officials denied him access to the boys’ rest rooms and locker rooms. In a 5-2 ruling, the Supreme Court said the trial judge improperly dismissed the case and remanded it for further proceedings.
Thank You Wiggins Fund Sponsors
We appreciate all who donated to the Wiggins Fund which allows Jackson County Democrats to maintain full time staff.
St. Louis-Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council
Pipefitters Local 533
IBEW Local 53
Greater Kansas City AFL-CIO
Powerful Performance Solutions
Teamsters Local 41
Plasterers' and Cement Masons' Local 518
Councilwoman Katheryn Shields