MRTA Legislative Halftime Report 2019

Great job so far, MRTA! Please remember, MUCH can happen before Session ends on May 17th. Please stay tuned, check your e-mail often, and please act on any CALL TO ACTION from your MRTA. We are here 24/7 to be YOUR PENSION WATCHDOG!

PRIORITY #1 – MRTA opposes HB 864 (Taylor Rep. – 139) Establishes a new retirement option for certain teachers in Missouri.

Click here for a report and talking points on HB 864.

  • Halftime Report – This bill has not been assigned to a committee as of March 28th. We have “put the brakes” on this legislation. GOOD JOB, MRTA!

 

PRIORITY #2 – MRTA supports HB 723 (Pike Rep.– 126) This legislation is an MRTA priority and allows pension benefits to “POP UP” after a divorce with the ruling on assets by a court.

HB 723 makes this provision retroactive for those divorced prior to Sept. 1, 2017. This bill is similar to HB 304 of 2017.

  • Halftime Report – Voted Do Pass Out of Committee. Awaiting floor debate

PRIORITY #3 – MRTA supports HB 77 (Black Rep.-7), SB 17 (Romine Rep.-3.) Exempts any person retired or receiving allowance from PSRS and employed by a public community college from current law related to working-after-retirement (W.A.R.) provisions.

  • Halftime Report – HB 77 will likely become law soon. Passed the House by consent and Senate Committee. Awaiting final vote of the Senate.

PRIORITY #4 – MRTA supports HB 69 (Dinkins Rep.-144). This legislation re-establishes the 2.55 factor for those working 31 years or longer.

This legislation has a positive financial effect on the PSRS system. The longer one works the fewer benefits that will be paid as one gets closer to death.

  • Halftime Report – No action.

PRIORITY #5 – MRTA supports full funding of the Foundation Formula and opposes the use of public tax dollars for private schools.

The Missouri Constitution mandates adequate funding of K-12 education through HB 2 which requires education funding as the second priority of state expenditures. Comment: Due to several tax cuts enacted by the legislature over the past few years general revenue is expected to be reduced significantly. MRTA asks funding for Public Education be the #1 priority.

  • Halftime ReportBudget debate by the House this week. The House has proposed fully funding the Foundation Formula – a $62 million increase! GOOD JOB, MRTA!

PRIORITY #6 – MRTA supports SB 78 (Sater Rep.-29) This legislation would restore to over 60,000 elderly Missourians state assistance for prescription drugs.

Many older MRTA members are at minimum retirement benefit and many are not eligible for Medicare. This legislation would be of great help to their quality of life.

  • Halftime Report – On Senate Calendar for debate and vote.

PRIORITY #7 – MRTA opposes SB 160 (Koenig Rep.-13). This act establishes the Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program.

Comment: These are voucher schemes which create a new 100% tax credit allowing up to $25 million per year of state revenue to be used for private school tuition and other expenses for students. This will result in up to $25 million less state revenue for public education per year. These bills take scarce tax revenue away from public education.

  • Halftime Report – On Senate Calendar for debate and vote. Stalled at this time due to lack of votes and filibuster. GOOD JOB, MRTA!

PRIORITY #8 – MRTA opposes HCS/HB 581 (Roeber Rep. 34) and SCS/SB 292 (Eigel Rep. – 23).

Charter School Expansion – This bill would allow charter schools outside entities and operate in districts around the state. Charter schools are not subject to the same standards of accountability as public schools. Comment: Charter schools take scarce tax revenue from public education. Currently, charter schools are only allowed in St. Louis and Kansas City.

  • Halftime Report – On House Calendar for debate and vote. Stalled at this time due to lack of votes. GOOD JOB, MRTA!

PRIORITY #9 – MRTA supports and asks for legislation to allow a Cost of Living Adjustment for St. Louis City and Kansas City retired educators.

Currently, St. Louis City retired educators have not had a COLA since 2006. Their spending power has been significantly reduced. COLAs are essential to the quality of life of education retirees.

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