Missouri Senators are sifting through thousands of subpoenaed documents related to new driver’s license, conceal-carry endorsements, and other permit procedures. The state Department of Revenue has been at the center of controversy over concerns that personal records provided by a license applicant are being shared with the federal government or third-party entity. Click to hear KMZU’s Chelsea Wade talk with Senator David Pearce, R-Warrensburg:
“This is unprecedented,” Sen. Pearce said. “In the five years that I have been in the Senate we have not had a subpoena. In fact, the last time was in 1990 when then-State Senator Jay Nixon requested a subpoena dealing with the issue of state surplus property. It has not been done very often. It’s very serious. Those of us in the legislature are very concerned and want to ensure that the Department of Revenue isn’t making arbitrary decisions with the personal information of our constituents.”
The investigation by the State Senate came on the heals of a lawsuit filed in Stoddard County, which claimed the department asked for a man’s birth certificate and other documents to keep on file.
Senator David Pearce, of Warrensburg, vows to get to the “bottom of it.” “Huge decisions like this, in my opinion, should have gone through the legislative process. The public should have had an opportunity to participate in that discussion. They didn’t. We didn’t. So I am really concerned that the Department of Revenue has somewhat, indiscriminately made some of these very important decisions,” Sen. Pearce stated.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon vehemently denied the allegations, saying “they are not collecting a bunch of useless data to send to some sort of magical database some place to mess with people.” He added that those who are spreading the rumors are trying prey on people’s concerns and thinks the focus needs to be on other issues.
Revenue Director Brian Long recently told a State House committee that his agency is not sharing information from scanned documents with the federal government, and that they began the practice as a means of combating fraud.
A hearing is expected to be held in a Senate Appropriations Committee meeting in the coming weeks.