This document will be updated throughout the 2018 Legislative Session.
As of February 6, 2018
MRTA Issues of Importance
PRIORITY #1 – MRTA opposes SB 747 (Emery R-31). This act provides that statewide elected officials and members of the General Assembly serving for the first time on or after January 1, 2019, shall participate in a 401(k) defined contribution plan instead of the current defined benefit plan (DB). Comment: This does not include educators at this time. It is only one amendment away if this bill is not stopped. DB plans are a proven better use of tax dollars and provide for better retirement security.
PRIORITY #2 – 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 priority.
PRIORITY #3 – MRTA opposes HB 2247 (Roeber R-34) and SB 618 (Eigel R-23). This legislation allows for the expansion of charter schools statewide. Comment: Charter schools take scarce tax revenue from public education. Currently, charter schools are only allowed in Kansas City and St. Louis City.
PRIORITY #4 – MRTA opposes HB 2188 (Matthiesen R-70), SB 612 (Koenig R-13), and SB 565 (Emery R-31). These acts establish the Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program. Comment: These are voucher schemes which create a new 100% tax credit allowing up to $50 million per year of state revenue to be used for private school tuition and other expenses for students. This will result in up to $50 million less state revenue for public education per year. These bills take scarce tax revenue away from public education.
PRIORITY #5 – MRTA opposes HJR 55 (Shumake R-5). This is a proposed Constitutional Amendment that eliminates the prohibition of public funds for the use of any religious or sectarian educational purpose. Comment: This allows for public tax dollars to be used for private schools which will take unlimited tax revenue from public education.
PRIORITY #6 – MRTA supports HB 2184 (Bondon R-56) and SB 586 (Curls D-9). These bills modify provisions relating to the Public school retirement system of Kansas City, MO. The legislation sets the contribution rates of the employing school districts. These bills are needed to strengthen the financial health of the system, protecting employee benefits. This legislation will allow for a better opportunity for retirees to be awarded cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs).
PRIORITY #7 – MRTA opposes SJR 30 (Koenig R-15). This Constitutional Amendment, if approved by voters, phases out the individual income tax and modifies the state sales tax law. The state sales tax shall be imposed on sales and services. This is very bad for retirees very dependent upon services which will be taxed.