Dear MRTA Members and Legislative Leaders
At MRTA the retiree and their financial security are the #1 priority. I am pleased to report that because of your outstanding efforts, your many calls and e-mails to the elected officials, our retirement systems are still intact!
#1) HB 1682 (Koenig (R) - St Charles) was never voted on by the House Retirement Committee. MRTA testified against the bill that would have mandateda type of 401(k) retirement system for public employees.
|MRTA - Your Pension Watchdog!|
#3) DECLINE TO SIGN. The petition called "The Children's Education Initiative" which would allow vouchers through tax credits did not turn in signatures to the Secretary of State for verification. This means they did not have enough signatures! GOOD JOB MRTA!!
#1) MRTA's 2014 Legislative Platform (click here) speaks to full funding of the public school Foundation Formula. The Legislature owes the Foundation Formula in excess of $600 million to fully fund K-12 public education. They decided to give just $114 million for budget year 2015 with no plan to fully fund the formula in the future. The Legislature also rejected the Governor's plan to fully fund the formula in two years. At the same time they passed and put on the Governor's desk SS #3 SCS SB 509 cutting corporate taxes by at least $800 million per year. The Governor vetoed the bill. MRTA issued a "Call To Action" joining all other education associations asking the General Assembly to vote NO on the motion to override the veto. To override the veto 109 votes were needed, they did override the veto 109 Ayes to 46 Noes in the House. (Click here to see how your Representative voted.) The substitute for SB 509 is now law. Expect a continued and growing shortfall in regard to funding the Foundation Formula as well as other school funding issues such as transportation. The enactment of SB 509 will put further pressure on the retirement systems as there will be even more motive to reduce costs. As you know employee pay and benefits are a large percentage of school budgets. (Click here for Senate vote on SB 509)
#2) MRTA's 2014 Platform also speaks to opposing vouchers, tax credits, etc. CCS CCR HCS SCS SB 493 was passed and sent to the Governor. This was the bill to deal with the "transfer" issues in Kansas City and Saint Louis with unaccredited districts. The bill ended up with voucher provisions. MRTA issued a "Call To Action" but we were not successful. This will once again take scarce tax dollars away from public school funding and give them to private and parochial schools. The Governor is expected to veto the bill and may ask for a special session of the Legislature. Please stay tuned on this issue through summer. (Click here for Senate vote and click here for House vote.)
#3) Our Missouri Billionaire Rex Sinquefield was successful in turning in enough signatures to the Secretary of State for verification of the "Teacher Performance Evaluation Systems" initiative petition. DECLINE TO SIGN did not work in this case but there was huge amount of money spent in collecting the signatures. It is expected to be on the ballot this fall. This petition is about eliminating teacher tenure, Reduction In Force regulations elimination, performance based teacher pay, and other provisions of so called reform. We all should start talking to all those we know about this attempt to devalue our teachers and public schools, and eventually eliminate defined benefit pension plans such as ours in favor of 401(k) type plans. (Click here for Letter to Editor.) Educate your acquaintances, ask them to vote NO!
#4) HB 1550 was a bill pushed and authored by MRTA to help Saint Louis City educators to receive a COLA. These retirees have not had a cost of living adjustment in seven years! HB 1550 was never heard in committee because of the sudden death of its sponsor Representative Rory Ellinger (D) - University City. MRTA will be pushing for a solution next session. MRTA encourages the Saint Louis City School System and the PSRS of Saint Louis to make this injustice for a lifetime of public service right by approving a COLA immediately.
IT REALLY DOES MATTER WHO YOUR
ELECTED OFFICIALS ARE! STAND FIRM!