The Missouri House has approved legislation requiring employers to use a federal system for checking potential employees' legal resident status.
Missouri already requires public and private employers that receive loans, contracts or grants from the state to participate in a federal work authorization program. The bill would extend the requirement to all Missouri employers.
The legislation also increases penalties for businesses found guilty of employing people residing in the U.S. illegally. Businesses could have their licenses suspended for up to 30 days on the first offense. Current law requires a 14-day suspension.
The House voted 104-50 Thursday to send the measure to the Senate.