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State legislature approves REAL ID law; measure goes to Gov. Greitens’ desk

ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – Heading into Friday, the question in Jefferson City was if Missouri lawmakers would end their session by sending the governor legislation to get the state in line with the federal REAL ID law.

Signs posted around St. Louis-Lambert International Airport are notifying travelers that beginning next January, if the state doesn't comply with the act, which requires states to issue a universal ID monitored by a federal database, passengers would have to show a passport to travel, even on domestic flights.

“We think that would impact both the traffic through here and the airlines’ decisions to say is this an airport that we want to continue to fly throw and grow with?” said Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge, director of St. Louis-Lambert International Airport.

Hamm-Niebruegge has worked with lawmakers in Jefferson City to pass legislation to make the state compliant, but have run into roadblocks with opponents arguing privacy issues.

“The bill works because it lets every Missourian decide for themselves which ID is most convenient for them,” said State Sen. Ryan Silvey, who authored the bill.

On Wednesday, a bill passed in the senate that would allow Missourians the choice to comply and use the federal ID, or use a passport to travel. Silvey called it a win-win.

“This bill allows them to not be put in the database, not turn over that information, but it doesn't keep everyone else who may not share those concerns from being inconvenienced by getting a passport,” Silvey said.

The bill made it through the House late Thursday night.

Having passed the Senate and House, the bill goes to the governor's desk, where he has said he supports the legislation.

“The indication is that we've crossed the biggest hurdle and the governor has been very proactive in this as well saying he would support it, so we hope that we can get it done this week and it doesn't have to go to a special session,” Hamm-Niebruegge said.