Press | Ed Emery for State Senate 31

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Achieving Education

Posted by on January 28, 2017 in Capitol Reports, Recent | 0 comments

Achieving Education

Legislative Report for Jan. 27, 2017

“Principle 1 –The only reliable basis for sound government and just human relations is Natural Law.” – Found in “The 5000 Year Leap.”

 

Labor law was front and center this week as we spent the entire legislative week debating and passing Senate Bill 19, which states no laborer can be forced to join a labor union as a condition of employment. If passed by the Missouri House and signed by the governor, Missouri will become the 28th Right to Work state in the country. There was passionate debate, but the bill was perfected and finally passed with 21 votes in favor and 12 opposed.

 

This was a busy week for my office with three of my bills being heard in Senate committees. Senate Bill 31 was heard in the Education Committee. This legislation would assign a simplified letter grade to each school (attendance center). The states that have employed this method of informing parents have generally seen both increased parental involvement and improved school performance. Although the language of the bill may be modified somewhat before it is voted out of committee, the intent is to determine the grade of each school by a weighted average that is derived from measures already used to determine a school’s accreditation. Instead of just three levels of performance, there would be five: A, B, C, D and F. Grades would be reported to parents annually along with an indicator of whether the school was improving, staying the same, or worsening.

 

Another of my bills, Senate Bill 32, was heard in the Government Reform Committee. Known as the Empowerment Scholarship Program, it would set up a tax-credit funded scholarship program to allow parents more choice in tailoring their child’s education to his or her particular situation or condition. New language is being drafted after considering the public hearing testimony with the hope of having a committee vote as early as next week. States that have implemented similar programs have had extremely positive results. One state – Arizona – polled all parents who had taken advantage of their scholarship program and found 100 percent of parents were either satisfied or extremely satisfied with the program. Satisfaction in another state came in a little lower, but still impressive at 91 percent.

 

Offering Missouri students the very best in education is the goal of every Missouri teacher, administrator, or regulator. These programs, if implemented, would assist in that lofty and important goal. Neither bill is in its final form, but both offer previously unavailable opportunities to both students and parents.

 

Finally, I presented Senate Bill 190 in the Senate Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy and the Environment Committee. Senate Bill 190 is an attempt to address the extreme age and deterioration of Missouri’s electricity distribution grid. The structure and materials of the current grid, in many if not all cases, will not support the technological advancements and new demands being imposed upon it. The problem is that the current regulatory environment simply does not support the investment costs that are becoming more and more critically important to maintaining safe, reliable, and cost-effective electricity. Senate Bill 190 is a bill designed to address these concerns and foster grid modernization. In its current form, SB 190’s impact on the average homeowner could be about 1 percent, but I expect the value of ultimate cost savings along with significantly improved consumer services should far exceed that number.

 

Thank you for allowing me to serve you here in state government.

 

Thank you for reading this legislative report. You can contact my office at (573) 751-2108 if you have any questions. Thank you and we welcome your prayers for the proper application of state government.

Advancing Liberty

Posted by on January 20, 2017 in Capitol Reports, Recent | 0 comments

Advancing Liberty

“A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A Society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.”

– Milton Friedman

Missouri’s new governor’s State of the State address to a joint session of the Legislature was delivered on Tuesday of this week. One difference from the typical address to the Legislature was the absence of a budget proposal. The budget is expected later than is tradition. One reason is the challenge of learning the budget process while dealing with countless appointments, an emergency ice storm and demands on the governor’s time that increase daily. This year’s budget offers uncommon challenges and opportunities – reflections of the lagging-behind condition of Missouri’s economy.

I have high expectations that Governor Eric Greitens’ leadership and a significant shift in state policies will produce new levels of prosperity. But while we are waiting, what some characterize as a fiscal crisis is being viewed by a group of fiscally conservative legislators as a divinely timed opportunity. We cannot spend what we do not have, and both of the House and Senate can choose to see this year’s state budget as a prime opportunity to carefully spend each dollar by rooting out waste and focusing on the biggest bang for the buck. We must also begin a new pattern of forecasting and appropriating that supports such a philosophy.

The absence of budget numbers did not prevent our new governor from challenging the threats to liberty on several fronts. Those fronts included calling for advancements in worker freedom – he promised to work for Right to Work as well as project labor agreement and prevailing wage reforms. Bills have been advancing quickly through both the House and the Senate.

The governor’s plans for education include new liberties for parents, students, and teachers. Those freedoms will come in the form of parental options. The governor’s reforms, if enacted, will free families from the chains of zip codes and tight family budgets so parents can choose the learning environment that best suits their son’s or daughter’s needs. Education Savings Accounts, Charter Schools, and Virtual education will all contribute to this advance in liberty. The governor also seemed to be calling for increased salaries for the most effective teachers and for the shift of funding to the classrooms rather than overhead and administration.

Another proposal that represents a major advance in liberty was Gov. Greitens’ commitment to eliminate unnecessary and ineffective regulations on businesses and individuals. Akin to regulatory reform was his call for major “tort reform.” Missouri has the costly reputation of being the worst judicial environment in the union for business. Attorneys take extraordinary legal steps to ensure their lawsuits are heard in Missouri where excessive awards are the norm, and our courts have become a magnet for every imaginable personal injury lawsuit.

I hope you are as encouraged as I am about Missouri’s new direction. We have a new administration that seems resolute in their commitment to empower you, the people, rather than government officials and bureaucrats – who seem to take the oath of office seriously and wants to protect your liberty, not tell you what to do. You can read the full text of the governor’s address to the legislature here: www.governor.mo.gov/news/speeches/2017-state-state-address.

Thank you for reading this legislative report. You can contact my office at (573) 751-2108 if you have any questions. Thank you and we welcome your prayers for the proper application of state government.

Divine Providence

Posted by on January 17, 2017 in Capitol Reports, Recent | 0 comments

Divine Providence

“…I have lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth – that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured, sir, in the Sacred Writings, that “except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel…”

– Benjamin Franklin, calling the 1787 Constitutional Convention to prayer

This was a very big week at the Capitol with the inauguration of a new governor and four new constitutional officers in what might have been the largest ever event of its kind. It was a real blessing to have many of my constituents in Jefferson City as well as my wife, Rebecca, and family from Minnesota and New Mexico.

Senate Committees also began meeting this week, and the Government Reform Committee, which I chair, held our first public hearing for Senate Bill 31 – Collateral Source on Wednesday morning. Multiple bills have already been assigned to the Government Reform Committee, and I look forward to hearing many of them in future hearings. The committee on Gubernatorial Appointments is another committee to which I have been appointed, and we will be busily examining and vetting the governor’s countless appointments as he staffs his administration. Several appointees have already been by to introduce themselves, and their abilities and qualifications are encouraging.

Last week I promised to publish excerpts from the prayers offered at the local prayer breakfast held to kick off the 2017 legislative session. Prayers were offered for each branch of government. Following is the prayer offered for the Missouri Supreme Court:

“Heavenly Father, we are thankful for the privilege and freedom we have to gather together in Your name.  I agree with the prayers that have been spoken, and I come to lift up our Supreme Court judges. I pray your blessings on them and their families and ask You to provide for their every need and protect them as they carry out their duties. Help them to fulfill their oath of office to judge equally without partiality in accordance with our laws and Constitution.

“Where our laws conflict with Your Word, I pray You would turn their hearts to do what is right in Your sight. Sadly, we have laws that are in conflict with Your Word. We have abortion, which is premeditated murder of the unborn in the womb, and Your Word says “thou shall not murder,” and “before I formed you in your mother’s womb I knew you. I numbered your days before there was yet one of them.”

“We have same-sex marriage that is in direct opposition to marriage that You established between one man and one woman, and Your Word says that homosexuality is an abomination before You. We are confusing our children with the transgender agenda that says a man can be a woman and a woman can be a man, when Your Word clearly states that You created us male and female.

“In these and all matters that come before the Supreme Court, may You convict them to search Your Word and seek Your face and let truth, justice and righteousness be their guide. I repent for the sins of our nation where we have called good evil and evil good. For America cannot be great and we cannot be blessed unless we turn back to You. In Jesus name. Amen.”

I hope you agree that the prayers of God’s children are essential to our nation, state and citizens reaching their God-given potential. There is nothing more beneficial than God’s favor and nothing more frightening than His curse. Ben Franklin was right; please keep me, our state, and your government in your prayers.

Thank you for reading this legislative report. You can contact my office at (573) 751-2108 if you have any questions. Thank you and we welcome your prayers for the proper application of state government.

A day which will live in infamy

Posted by on December 7, 2016 in Recent | 0 comments

A day which will live in infamy

December 7, 1941 – “a day which will live in infamy.” The United States will never forget the catastrophe of Pearl Harbor. An almost precision series of mistakes and miscues resulted in military disaster. Multiple things had to go wrong and did for the surprise to be so complete and the preparation so lacking. Our country and hundreds of thousands of our brave warriors were thrown into World War II. Thousands of our warriors died as the enemies of liberty felt our sting and our resolve.

After the war was won, the world learned another measure of United States exceptionalism – our capacity for mercy and restoration. It was largely the United States that rebuilt Japan and the axis powers of Europe. I thank God for the United States, and so should the world. May God bless us and direct our path in the days and years to come.

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The Oligarchy Speaks on Marriage

Posted by on July 9, 2015 in Capitol Reports, Recent | 0 comments

The Oligarchy Speaks on Marriage

“When absolutes are denied, there is no basis for truth; the absence of truth leaves only opinion; in a world of opinions, the tyrant wins.”               Anonymous

Freedom is greatest for those with the greatest power. America’s founders intended for the greatest power to rest with the people. Their writings make it clear that it was not their intention for an unelected oligarchy of nine to rule with unrestrained power. Last month, five justices of the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) bullied their way past federalism and the separation of church and state in the latest attempt to crush both with their statist gavel. Thirty states had previously defined marriage as between a man and a woman, and since the opinion, governors and legislatures across the U.S. have declared their intentions to protect their states from the anti-religious Supreme Court decision. Missouri’s governor, on the other hand, has declared his full support of the reprobate opinion. Elections really do matter!

The gradual demise of any moral restraint or even the legitimacy of moral values has introduced this nation to a political no man’s land where there are no moral absolutes and hence no right and wrong – only opinion. Marriage was not conceived, designed, nor imposed by the state, but it has suddenly been discovered by five judges in the U. S. Constitution. They even discovered its definition secretly coded therein. These five jurists, whose oath to support the constitution took second place, intend to impose their existential creativity upon fifty sovereign states from which they supposedly derive their jurisdiction. By their hand, federalism has been cast aside in favor of a social agenda. What happened to a “nation of laws, not of men?”

The violation of separation of church and state by this opinion was unprecedented. An institution which has always been the jurisdiction of the church was hijacked and neutered. Heretofore pledged to the propagation and benefit of children, these five elitists decreed it to the pleasure of adults. Apparently, marriage is no longer about the children. The state can no more redefine marriage than it can redefine death or birth. We make laws to accommodate all three and to describe any agreed-upon legal status, but their inherent character is beyond the reach of the state. Contracts are the legitimate jurisdiction of the state. However, marriage is not a contract but a divine relationship.

Had federalism prevailed, the SCOTUS would have acknowledged the absences of any constitutional status for marriage and would have left jurisdiction to the states. Some states would have taken the same reprobate approach as the SCOTUS and would have seen the exodus of those most offended by the redefinition of marriage and the immigration of same-sex proponents. In due time, populations would be affected as some states enjoyed increased birth rates while others declined. Prosperity would be affected and some public policies would be validated while others would not. Absolutes really do exist even if denied. Even if morality is ignored and all is left to mathematics, economics, anatomy, physiology, and nature, federalism and liberty eventually sort out the good from the bad; it takes time but absolutes prevail. The only way to implement and sustain bad public policy is by the mandatory hand of government via king, dictator, or oligarchy.

Several states have already begun attempts to mitigate the harmful effects of this unconstitutional SCOTUS opinion. The Missouri legislature must seek out the most effective ways to protect religious freedoms and the principles of righteousness, but we will need your prayers and divine intervention to get it right. As Justice Thomas wrote in his minority opinion: “This distortion of our Constitution not only ignores the text, it inverts the relationship between the individual and the state in our Republic.” The question we must ask is whether this violation of their oath to support the Constitution of the United States justifies impeachment of five Supreme Court judges. I believe it should.

Thank you for reading this legislative report. You can contact my office at (573) 751-2108 if you have any questions. Thank you and we welcome your prayers for the proper application of state government.

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The Value of Life

Posted by on June 11, 2015 in Capitol Reports, Recent | 0 comments

The Value of Life

“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” –  Moses

Since the deadly Roe v. Wade Supreme Court opinion of 1973, nearly 58 million babies have been mechanically or chemically killed in the womb. Most Missourians take life seriously and believe it their duty to defend these most vulnerable human beings – an obligation growing out of their acknowledgement of the sanctity of innocent human life. There is also that sense of personal responsibility to counsel or assist mothers who find themselves in a desperate situation without the resources and education they feel they need. There is that deeply held understanding that every life is priceless intrinsically, not just because of its utility.

On the heels of a successful legislative override of a pro-life bill requiring a 72-hour waiting period last September, this session continued with an emphasis on life. There was the creation of a more reliable funding source for those laboring to reduce the number of abortions in Missouri and to provide for women who find themselves in desperate circumstances.

In April, the Legislature passed a budget that secured funding for services for pregnant women at risk for abortion, as well as $2.6 million to fully fund the Missouri Alternatives to Abortion Program. Those funds will help support the state’s maternity homes and pregnancy resource centers. There was also additional funding for Show-Me-Healthy Babies, a program that ensures low-income unborn children receive adequate health care through the state’s Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. Until societal norms return to the conviction that individuals and families are better caregivers than governments, these programs may help prevent aborted children by clarifying to expectant mothers that they do not face life alone.

As part of the General Assembly’s efforts to reform welfare this past session, we added a provision that will guarantee about $4.34 million in Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) funds to promote healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood. The bill was originally vetoed by the governor, but the Legislature overrode his veto in early May. Many of those provisions will take effect next year, making Missouri one of the states with the largest funding commitments to abortion alternatives. Senator David Sater, R-Cassville, and his staff deserve much of the credit for this advance in pro-life funding.

According to the Department of Health and Senior Services, from 2009 – 2013 abortion rates in Missouri have continued to decrease. There have been significant increases in the number of maternity homes and pregnancy resource centers in the Show-Me State as well, and no new abortion facilities have surfaced. Missouri has one of the lowest abortion rates in the nation.

Thank you for reading this legislative report. You can contact my office at (573) 751-2108 if you have any questions. Thank you and we welcome your prayers for the proper application of state government.

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Public School Retirement System

Posted by on May 11, 2015 in Capitol Reports, Recent, Updates | 0 comments

Public School Retirement System

As the 2015 legislation session is drawing to a close, there are several issues that remain in the legislative process. One issue receiving multiple inquiries deals with a segment of Missouri’s public pensions. Over the last decade, due to the turbulent investment environment, public pension issues have gained increased attention across the country. Missouri’s public pensions have had a more positive experience than many others across the country and for that we are all thankful.

 

A public pension provision moving through the Missouri Legislature this session deals with the permanent extension of the 2.55 percent benefit multiplier for public school teachers or administrators with 31 or more years of service within PSRS (Public School Retirement System of Missouri). PSRS is a defined-benefit pension plan providing lifetime pension benefits for most public school teachers in Missouri. It is based on the following formula:

  • The average of the highest three consecutive years of a teacher’s salary multiplied by a Benefit Multiplier (2.5 percent under normal provisions) multiplied by the teachers years of Service.

 

The bill before the General Assembly this session permanently extends a “bonus” program for teachers and administrators with 31 or more years of service. This program expired July 1, 2014 and an extension is being heavily lobbied for by the teachers’ unions. There is, however, the rest of the story:

  • The 2.55 percent bonus program was enacted in 2001 under HB 660 which was a public school pension package with a cost to taxpayers of $595 million in pension liabilities. When originally passed, this provision was set to expire in 2008.
  • When reauthorized in 2007 under SB 406, the 2.55 percent bonus program was extended to 2013 at a cost to taxpayers of $25.4 million in plan liabilities.
  • When extended for one additional year in 2013 under SB 17, the 2.55 percent bonus program cost taxpayers an additional $16 million in plan liabilities.

In the General Assembly, we are now charged with the policy decision of permanently extending the 2.55 percent bonus program for public school teachers and administrators with 31 or more years of service which is now reported to produce a savings of $69.9 million in pension liabilities. Reducing pension liability is a positive endeavor, no doubt about it. The dramatic difference between multiple reports of cost associated with this bonus program and now a savings gives me pause for concern. I also find it in conflict with projections that in 1994 the average service of a teacher was 33 years without any kind of retirement incentive while the average service for new 2013 PSRS retirees is 23.2 years.

 

First, let me be clear, Missouri’s teachers are charged with one of the highest callings – cultivating our most precious blessing and resource: our children. Those that choose this honorable occupation have my highest respect. However, there are multiple concerns I share with a number of my Senate colleagues who, like me, are reluctant to endorse this proposal.

 

There appear to be two perspectives relative to the extension of this bonus program. One is that the retirement system actually becomes more solvent with the passage of this proposal according to PSRS actuarial professionals. Another perspective surrounds the individual school districts. As this bonus program works to keep long term teachers in the profession, some school districts, including Raymore-Peculiar in my district, have offered retirement incentives to move longer term, higher compensated teachers off of payroll as a budget savings measure. Through these kinds of measures school boards can create career opportunities for a new generation of teachers, lower personnel expenses, and free up budgetary resources.

 

There have been conversations at the Capitol as to whether it is better to keep long term experienced teachers on payroll or whether “burned out” teachers should be monetarily incented to stay in the classroom. No one seems to have a final answer to that discussion because each individual educator and situation is unique. The General Assembly over the last several decades has worked to craft a rewarding retirement package for Missouri teachers, and Missouri has one of the nation’s best. I believe teachers who want to continue teaching our children will do so without a bonus program. I am concerned about projected savings of a legislative proposal that is built on actuarial assumptions including an assumed annual investment return of at least 8 percent. Missouri’s taxpayers, along with the teachers, contribute the cost of providing these retirement benefits. Should assumptions such as investment returns not perform as assumed, a loss is experienced and must be made up by the taxpayers and teachers.

 

While Senate concerns and resistance with continuing this bonus program is not popular with teachers, it is important to consider all stakeholders, not just those with the most to gain, when considering legislative proposals. Missouri taxpayers must have a seat at the table in any proposal that exposes them to increasing risk or liability.

 

Thank you for reading this legislative report. You can contact my office at (573) 751-2108 if you have any questions. Thank you and we welcome your prayers for the proper application of state government.

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Trading Away our Future: The Medicaid Expansion Debate

Posted by on April 3, 2015 in Capitol Reports, Recent, Updates | 0 comments

Trading Away our Future: The Medicaid Expansion Debate

“Bad ideas are not removed by assassination but by exposing them to evidence and reason.” –Anonymous

The contrast in world views or at least political philosophy was front and center Tuesday night when an amendment was offered to expand Medicaid under pressure from Obamacare supporters. The amendment failed on a party-line vote of 25 to 9. The nature and content of debate as well as the party-line vote revealed the sharp contrast in party perspectives regarding government accountability, national debt, and the importance of considering the long term consequences of public policy decisions.

The contrast of positions was occasionally punctuated by the question of whose numbers and analyses were most accurate, but the contest more often was between fiscal realities versus emotion. Those of us declaring that Medicaid expansion was already happening by around $300 million annually and that expansion would potentially bankrupt the state and heavily penalize education funding were labeled as heartless and uncaring. If we pointed to the constitutional mandate to balance the budget, we were accused of having no regard for the poor and uninsured.

Concern is mounting that entitlement spending is growing such that for several years any increase in state revenue is immediately consumed by the growth in welfare-program demands. For example, last year’s revenue growth was approximately 2 percent greater than anticipated, but that entire amount – and then some – was required to balance the growth of Medicaid spending.

It is difficult to reverse your position when it is rooted primarily in emotion. Additionally, a counter argument based on financial history, budgets, and forecasts may never overcome a point of emotion. One is an argument about how government can take better care of people; the other is an argument about how the taxpayer will pay for it. From the vote count, after the lengthy debate, it appears the practical argument won out, and we will not be expanding Medicaid in Missouri.

On a lighter note, the Missouri Conservation Department has asked me to inform constituents that a number of outdoor activities are scheduled in or near the 31stSenatorial District. The following link can connect you to information on two Kid’s Fishing Days, Hunter Education Classes, and a pond management workshop: http://mdc.mo.gov/events

Thank you for reading this legislative report. You can contact my office at (573) 751-2108 if you have any questions. Thank you and we welcome your prayers for the proper application of state government.

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Liberty is Choice

Posted by on March 3, 2015 in Capitol Reports, Recent | 0 comments

Liberty is Choice

“If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess highest seats in government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”  — Samuel Adams

Much of last week was applied to the “perfection” of Senate Bill 1, the so-called School Transfer Bill. Senate Bill 1 will receive one more vote in the Senate, the third-read vote, and then will move to the Missouri House for further consideration. A similar House bill,House Bill 42, has already passed the Missouri House and is awaiting a Senate hearing. Both bills address the pressing need to provide students a path out of failing schools. The bills will offer new options to parents who, regarding their children’s opportunity to learn and succeed, feel hopeless and helpless.

New options for student learning include transferring within their district to schools that are succeeding, the expanded use of charter schools, and the availability of virtual schools. Senate Bill 1 also addresses the tragedy of “social promotion” – passing students to the next grade level, ready or not. The results of social promotion can include graduating seniors that can’t read or even make change. There are additional details and provisions in the two education bills, and of course the bills will likely be further refined throughout the process as one or both make their way to the governor’s desk. Fundamentally, SB 1 is about giving parents and student’s choice; liberty is choice.

By now you have heard about the tragic death of State Auditor Tom Schweich last Thursday. A large group of us attended a memorial service in St. Louis on Tuesday, March 3. Besides the unspeakable grief for his wife and children, Missouri has lost a brilliant statesman and incredibly effective auditor. Please pray for Tom’s family and all who mourn his passing.

Monday, March 2, included a coordinated trip to Fort Leonard Wood for 23 state senators, a large number of House members, as well as statewide elected officials and federal legislators. The purpose of our visit was to support the incredible community, business, and state effort to win military support for keeping Fort Leonard Wood at its present staffing and mission level. Military budget cuts and base reductions are threatening thousands of military and support jobs in Pulaski and surrounding counties. Nearly 2,000 local citizens and military personnel attended the public hearing in support of the fort.  I have not attended any of the other 20-plus meetings in support of other bases, but the public support and the information provided could not have been more compelling. Now it is up to the military.

Thank you for reading this legislative report. You can contact my office at (573) 751-2108 if you have any questions. Thank you and we welcome your prayers for the proper application of state government.

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Public Perception

Posted by on February 20, 2015 in Capitol Reports, Recent | 0 comments

Public Perception
“We must look at the lens through which we see the world, as well as the world we see, and that the lens itself shapes how we interpret the world.” 
― Stephen R. Covey

 

We have recorded and tallied responses from a total of 2,326 constituents who returned my recent survey. The most responses (2,294) were received in reply to the question of whether a student should be able to transfer to another district if one better fits their needs. Of those, 68 percent agreed that they should, with 38 percent disagreeing. The lowest number of replies (1,628) came from the question of how Missouri should fund any increase in Medicaid. Medicaid expansion was rejected by 68 percent against the 24 percent in favor, and, if expanded, funding by increasing taxes was preferred by 33 percent; 16 percent of respondents favored cuts in education funding; and 40 percent selected neither but without agreement on another approach. Possibly the reason for the low number of responses on Medicaid funding was the nearly 3 to 1 opposition to any expansion.

Most survey questions supplied five possible choices: strongly agree, somewhat agree, no opinion, somewhat disagree, and strongly disagree. Combining the for and against positions produced the following results:

  • Eliminating the state income tax
    49 percent for – 39 percent against
  • Right-to-Work
    75 percent for – 21 percent against
  • Option to transfer to private school
    76 percent for – 18 percent against
  • Assigning a letter grade to school buildings
    72 percent for – 18 percent against
  • Eliminating teacher tenure
    76 percent for – 22 percent against.

Much has been made of the 76 percent no vote on Amendment 3 last November, but survey results would suggest that was not a vote in support of tenure.

The other two questions asked whether Missouri entitlements were too high – 48 percent; too low – 15 percent; or about right – 37 percent; and who should be in control of choices regarding a child’s education? Parents, by 77 percent, were selected as the right place for control of education choices with local school boards coming in second at 16 percent. The full survey results will be posted soon on my Senate website. Thank you to all who took time to complete the survey and those who sent additional comments. The survey confirms that we do not all agree on everything, but there was significant agreement on some of the most controversial issues.

Thank you for reading this legislative report. You can contact my office at (573) 751-2108 if you have any questions. We welcome your prayers for the proper application of state government.

Paid for by Citizens for Ed Emery - Rex Rector, Treasurer