House Speaker Tom Murphy said the idea has been under discussion for years but only recently won the support of all the state agencies involved. One obstacle may be Gov. Ray Barnes who, according to Murphy, wants to appoint the board that would oversee the agency. The bill gives the governor three appointments on a nine-member board. The Lieutenant Governor and the House Speaker would each appoint three.
The bill passed after defeating Republican amendments to permanently suspend the licenses of speeding drunk drivers convicted of vehicular homicide and to curb the state patrol's policy of requiring fingerprints of those obtaining or renewing their licenses.