- Featured Stories
- Douglas County
- City of Ava
- General Interest
Greetings one more time from your state capitol.
After about two weeks of meeting at different times the Senate and House met separately during the same time period and passed two pieces of legislation.
House Bill 2 allows a qualified manufacturing company or qualified supplier up to ten million dollars a year for ten years in tax breaks. This legislation is targeted at keeping the Ford Motor assembly plant in suburban Kansas City in Missouri. We have lost two other assembly plants from this state in the last ten years.
The Claycomo plant in the Kansas City area employs about 3,700 people. Scattered across the state are approximately another 11,000 jobs in small plants that supply components to the Claycomo plant. If the Claycomo plant was to leave the state most of these, if not all, would also probably go due to increased transportation expenses.
We have no assurance that this will keep Ford Motor Company in Missouri. But its loss would be devastating to the Kansas City area and would be felt across the entire state in lost jobs affecting our citizens.
It in turn would cause a greater loss of revenue to the state than we are already experiencing. People who don’t have jobs don’t pay income tax or have money to spend that creates sales taxes.
I voted for this bill because with it we have a better chance of retaining these jobs for our citizens and the taxes they pay will more than offset the concessions made by the state. This is not a bailout such as our federal government has done recently. This is very simply an effort to keep good paying jobs in Missouri rather then see them go elsewhere.
The other bill we passed was House Bill one. It makes some changes to the state retirement programs (MOSERS and MPERS). The biggest impact will be to new employees of the state by requiring them to contribute to their retirement plan. In the long term this will save the state millions of dollars.
Persons already in the systems will not be affected. It does not include a state investment board for these two or any other state retirement system. Many of you contacted me concerned about a state investment board and inclusion of public school teachers and other employees.
I voted for this bill also but would not have done so if school employees had been included in any manner or the state investment board had been included in the bill. The school employees system is very financially sound and teachers have been paying a portion of their salary (14% next year) into their system from the beginning of their teaching career. So requiring new state employees to pay 4% does not seem too demanding to me.
It is an honor to serve you in state government.