MRTA Issues of Importance

2018 Legislative Platform

This document will be updated throughout the 2018 Legislative Session.

As of March 28, 2018

PRIORITY #1 – MRTA strongly opposes HB 2660 (Miller R-124)This legislation requires the PSRS/PEERS Board of Trustees include an elected school board member.  In its 70 year history, the law has not allowed for any elected officials to serve as a trustee on the PSRS/PEERS Board.  This has kept politics out of the decision-making process.  This legislation also requires the employer contribution to the system to go back to the employer if an educator leaves before being vested; currently, those funds stay in the system.  This provision will greatly harm the system financially by increasing the systems’ liability by at least $508 million.  If this bill passes it would, in effect, eliminate the possibility of COLA and mean an increase of 2.07% in contribution rate for members and employers.  Please stay tuned and feel free to write your Representative in opposition of HB 2660.

  • Halftime Report – This bill has not been referred to a House Committee as of this date. 

 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.

  • Halftime Report – The House Budget Committee added $46 million to Governor’s recommendation budgeting $98 million thus fully funding the Formula.

PRIORITY #3 – 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.

  • Halftime Report – This bill is still in committee.

PRIORITY #4 – MRTA opposes HCS HB 2247 (Roeber R-34).   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.

  • Halftime Report – Voted out of Committee – on House Calendar for debate.  Now stalled – lack of votes.

PRIORITY #5 – MRTA opposes HB 2200 (Rhoads R-154).  This bill creates “schools of innovation” which is another term for charter schools.  MRTA is very concerned the legislation, as written, changes the Work-After-Retirement (W.A.R.) provisions, which will allow PSRS retirees to work full time for these new schools.  According to PSRS/PEERS actuaries, this will increase the fund liability of the PSRS/PEERS systems by up to $187 million.  This could jeopardize your pension benefit and COLA.

  • Halftime Report – Voted out of Committee Do Pass.  Not on House Calendar.

PRIORITY #6 – 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 $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 – All bills on priority #5 and #6 are on SB 612 and being debated in the Senate.  Now stalled – lack of votes.

PRIORITY #7 – 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. 

  • Halftime Report – No Committee Hearing scheduled.

PRIORITY #8 – MRTA supports HB 2335 (Black R-7).  This legislation is regarding Work-After-Retirement (W.A.R.) requirements and would allow retired PSRS educators to work more than 550 hours as a PEERS employee.  Comment: This legislation is a win-win for school districts needing to fill positions such as bus drivers and also allows for retirees to obtain extra employment.  The school district is required to pay the employer contribution to the PEERS system.

  • Halftime Report – Voted out of Committee Do Pass – Awaiting placement on the House Calendar for debate.

PRIORITY #9 – MRTA supports HR 2619 (Brattin R-55).  This bill changes the Working After Retirement (W.A.R.)  provision from 550 hours to 700 hours.

  • Halftime Report – Awaiting assignment to a Committee.

PRIORITY #10 – MRTA supports HB 2184 (Bondon R-56) and SB 856 (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).

  • Halftime Report –  Voted out of Committee Do Pass – Awaiting placement on the House Calendar for debate.

 

 

10 thoughts on “MRTA Issues of Importance

  1. Currently live in MS which has a sales tax on services, ie labor; plumbers, electricians, auto mechanics, installers, etc. BAD!!! High sales tax on groceries. Striving to get more charter schools, give money to private schools. Education here is in bad shape. Hard to figure why legislators are wanting more charter schools and providing public money to private schools. Perhaps it is the best way to eliminate public schools, which have been the salvation of America.

  2. i worked 32 years in St. Louis….and no COLA since 2008. I worked an additional 5 years in a district participating in the PSRS. I have been an MRTA member since fully retiring. Our sisters and brothers at the East and West ends of Missouri need our support. The politicians in St. Louis and Jefferson City have made sure that their nests are feathered and have literally destroyed St. Louis through design or benign neglect. Check out what it takes to receive a pension and the insurance perks for state legislators! ,,,,,,and this does not preclude any perks for “consulting”. I remember going to hearings as early as the 60’s for 50/50! , The easiest way for Missouri to meet funding goals is to LOWER the goals!

  3. I have read this carefully and am against the 401K plan. I am in favor of keeping the DC plan. I will be watching and listening to our state representatives and vote for those who feel as I do on this matter..

    • I hope you meant to say you’re in favor of keeping DB (Defined Benefit ) plan, That is the plan we have now. The DC plan is comparable to a 401K plan.

  4. This bill looks to me that the individual (Mr. Sinquefield) is trying to get access to the PSRS funds by making our program a “401k” program. Most “401k” programs are not as stable as the program the that Educators have for their retirement. If Mr. Sinquefeild were to look at the success of our program. The Missouri PSRS program is number 1 in the United States. I don’t think Mr. Sinquefield can match that with a “401k” program. Plus this is our program and the government has no reason to change our program or even get involved it our program. I don’t believe that what they are trying to do is steal from our funds. This the same thing that the federal government did when they took millions of dollars out of Social Security. The money that we are receiving is the money that we put into the program. I put 40 years working in Education and I see no reason to make changes now.

  5. I don’t believe that one ultra wealthy person from St. Louis should have any say about the teacher retirement program and structure of Missouri. He is set for his retirement so why should he have any influence on the teacher system. The fact is that teachers from most all districts couldn’t save enough from the salaries they earn to keep them through their retirement years. We need to closely watch all elected representatives regarding these serious issues. The great system we have in Missouri is one of the true recruitment tools for the schools of Missouri. Let’s all help teachers statewide to have a good retirement and not let Rex ruin it forever.

  6. Dear President Pro Tem Richard:
    I am a MIssouri retired educator and member of MRTA. I no longer live in the state but depend on my Missouri public pension. I hope as leader of the Senate that you will defend and promote our public pension system. Today you were delivered our 2018 MRTA Issues of Importance by members of MRTA. I ask you to review them and consider our positions.

    Thank you for your willingness to serve the state of Missouri. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can answer any questions. I wish you the very best.

    Please support the teachers of Missouri no matter where they live now.

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