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Missouri's opioid drug database hurdle cleared, but House delays vote; REAL ID a step further

A proposal to finally create a prescription drug monitoring program was revived in the Missouri House on Tuesday, while the Senate came to terms with a 12-year-old federal ID law.Friday is the end of the 2017 legislative session. Here’s a more detailed look at the action Tuesday (and very early Wednesday), as well as a count of how many bills were sent to Gov. Eric Greitens:

Prescription drug monitoring program


The last-in-the-nation statewide opioid prescription database has been revived — a change from Monday.


Rep. Holly Rehder, a Sikeston Republican who’s been pushing for such a database in the last few years, said Tuesday night that she’ll accept the Senate’s six-month record purge provision in its version of the bill.


"This is our best path forward," she said, asking to dissolve conference committee and approve the Senate version. But she delayed a vote after some debate to get House members more information.

GOP Rep. Holly Rehder in the House chamber on Tuesday.
Credit Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio
GOP Rep. Holly Rehder in the House chamber on Tuesday.

Senators said Monday that they wouldn’t budge from their version of the bill, which included the purging of records thatRehderbelieves makes it harder to spot drug abuse. 

If the House passes the bill as-is, it will go to the governor.


The statewide database is meant to help tamp down the state’s opioid crisis, though several cities and counties already have set up their own.


The Senate version also requires physicians to participate in the database for certain prescribed painkillers, while Rehder’s bill had called for a voluntary program and would have permanently kept prescription records for a broader range of drugs.


Real ID

The Missouri Senate approved an amended REAL ID billthat passed 28-5 at about 12:15 a.m. Wednesday. It’ll have to return to the House before going any further.

The measure addresses some Republicans’ concerns about privacy and allows Missouri to issue two types of licenses: one that adheres to federal standards and one that doesn’t.

Missouri is one of four states that haven’t adopted federal REAL ID standards put forth by former President George W. Bush’s administration as a means of fighting terrorism.

Tuesday’s amendments will:

  • Allow driver’s license applicants to choose between a compliant or noncompliant license; original House version would give compliant license unless specifically requested otherwise
  • Add criminal penalties for misuse of driver’s data or unlawful distribution of said data
  • Ban storage of Social Security numbers in any database accessible by the federal or state governments, except as otherwise provided
  • Prohibit use of RFID (radio frequency identification) chips; GOP Sen. Ryan Silvey of Kansas City says they’re no longer a part of the federal law

Also, Missouri’s free voter IDs would not comply with federal Real ID law with the Senate's changes.Lt.Gov. Mike Parson urged the legislature in a news release to pass the law to avoid "a possible special session," an ideaGreitensalso has floated.


“The Real ID Act was born out of concern for terrorist threats across our country," he wrote, "and while those concerns are valid, Missourians should not have to pay the price for the Legislature’s inaction." 


Number of bills sent to the governor Tuesday: 2

The Senate passed a measure saying a city's or county's population changes won't keep it from the "operation of any particular law." Essentially, it allows St. Louis to remain a city or a county and it'll still be covered by some laws that refer to it indirectly as "a city with a population of," even if the population is lower.

The chamber also gave Greitens a bill that limits a member of the Missouri National Guard to file a complaint against his or her commanding officer with Adjutant General, removing the governor as an option. 

Of note

Credit Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

  • Senators noshed on barbeque before their afternoon meeting. 

On a voice vote, the House approved an amendment, sponsored by St. Louis Democratic Rep. Fred Wessels, to allow the city of St. Louis to ask its voters for a property tax hike to raise more money for city police. The amendment was added to a broad bill dealing with local governments around the state, and Senate approval would still be needed. He noted St. Louis  County voters approved a sales tax hike in April for policing. 

  • The House adjourned at about 10:30 p.m.

    Krissy Lane contributed to this report.

    Follow Marshall on Twitter: @marshallgreport ; Jo: @jmannies ; and Jason: @jrosenbaum

    Copyright 2020 St. Louis Public Radio. To see more, visit .

    Marshall Griffin is the Statehouse reporter for St. Louis Public Radio.
    Marshall Griffin
    St. Louis Public Radio State House Reporter Marshall Griffin is a native of Mississippi and proud alumnus of Ole Miss (welcome to the SEC, Mizzou!). He has been in radio for over 20 years, starting out as a deejay. His big break in news came when the first President Bush ordered the invasion of Panama in 1989. Marshall was working the graveyard shift at a rock station, and began ripping news bulletins off an old AP teletype and reading updates between songs. From there on, his radio career turned toward news reporting and anchoring. In 1999, he became the capital bureau chief for Florida's Radio Networks, and in 2003 he became News Director at WFSU-FM/Florida Public Radio. During his time in Tallahassee he covered seven legislative sessions, Governor Jeb Bush's administration, four hurricanes, the Terri Schiavo saga, and the 2000 presidential recount. Before coming to Missouri, he enjoyed a brief stint in the Blue Ridge Mountains, reporting and anchoring for WWNC-AM in Asheville, North Carolina. Marshall lives in Jefferson City with his wife, Julie, their dogs, Max and Liberty Belle, and their cat, Honey.
    Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.
    Since entering the world of professional journalism in 2006, Jason Rosenbaum dove head first into the world of politics, policy and even rock and roll music. A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Rosenbaum spent more than four years in the Missouri State Capitol writing for the Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri Lawyers Media and the St. Louis Beacon. Since moving to St. Louis in 2010, Rosenbaum's work appeared in Missouri Lawyers Media, the St. Louis Business Journal and the Riverfront Times' music section. He also served on staff at the St. Louis Beacon as a politics reporter. Rosenbaum lives in Richmond Heights with with his wife Lauren and their two sons.
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