The Missouri Senate has given first-round approval to legislation requiring health insurance navigators to take an exam and undergo a background check.
Senators also advanced a measure that would let people collect up to $50,000 in a lawsuit if a navigator unlawfully releases personal information about a client.
Navigators help consumers sign up for health plans on the exchange marketplace.
Republican supporters said the bills would protect Missourians from fraud. Democrats said the legislation would create barriers for people trying to buy health care on the exchange.
A federal judge has granted a preliminary injunction against an existing Missouri law that requires navigators to be licensed by the state.
Both measures require one more Senate vote before moving to the House.
Exchange navigator bills are SB 498 and SB 508.