One of the most routine tasks of state transportation committees gained more attention today (Wednesday).
Rachel Schaff reports on the rise and impact of political license plates in Missouri.
Missouri drivers are used to specialty license plates.
Over the years, State Transportation Committees have approved over a hundred specialty plates to promote everything from the Boy Scouts to Missouri pet lovers.
But right now, a pair of proposed specialty plates in causing a jam in the House Transportation Committee.
The committee is hearing two separate pieces of legislation -- one to create a "freedom equals choice" license plate, and the other a "respect life" plate.
Money from the sales of the plates would go to family planning support programs and alternatives to abortion programs.
Representative Hilgemann, sponsor of the pro-choice plate, says the measure is causing a stir among legislators.
Representative Crawford, sponsor of the pro-life plate, says that license plates have always been a highly disputed issue.
However, Crawford expects his bill to sail through the House.
Hilgemann says he is not as sure about his bill's fate because previous resistance to similar legislation has made him wary.
Jon Dolan, Senate Transportation Committee Chair, says such political messages are not appropriate for state-owned license plates.
He thinks the plates have the potential to be disruptive.
If the bills pass, legislators could open the door for more political messages on license plates.
But Dolan says the development could have a negative impact on Missouri drivers.
Dolan also says he seriously believes the legislature's time could be better spent discussing more pressing issues like education or the budget.
From the state capital, I'm Rachel Schaff.