Updates | Ed Emery for State Senate 31

Public School Retirement System

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...

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Trading Away our Future: The Medicaid Expansion Debate

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...

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Nine Minutes of Fiscal Reality from our Neighbors to the North

Nine Minutes of Fiscal Reality from our Neighbors to the North

In an April 2012 speech to the Canadian House of Commons, Pierre Poilievre, MP for Nepean-Carleton and Parliament Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, delivers a dose of reality to members based on the U.S. and European Union debt situation. The statistics he presents are sobering, and he argues for a different path to prosperity for Canada. In light of the current discussion in Congress about the looming fiscal cliff, every responsible citizen of the United States should watch Poilievre’s presentation. As he said, “Through government spending, the indulgence of one is the burden of another. Through government borrowing, the excess of one generation becomes the yoke of the next.” Considering that U.S. government debt is now bigger than the entire American economy, we need to move away from more taxing and spending and toward economic freedom through Constitutional principles of limited government and individual liberty....

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Emery receives ‘A’ rating and endorsement from National Rifle Association

Emery receives ‘A’ rating and endorsement from National Rifle Association

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Friday, October 5, 2012 Lamar, Mo. — Former Missouri Rep. Ed Emery has received an “A” rating and endorsement from the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF). Emery is the Republican candidate for state Senate in Missouri’s 31st District comprising Barton, Bates, Clay, Henry and Vernon counties. The announcement was made by Trevor W. Santos, Missouri state liaison, NRA-ILA state and local affairs. “On behalf of NRA members in the Missouri Senate District 31, I am pleased to announce your NRA-PVF “A” rating and endorsement for the 2012 Missouri general election,” Santos said. “This endorsement is a reflection of your strong record of support on Second Amendment issues while serving in the Missouri State House, and your response to the NRA-PVF candidate questionnaire. “Our members will interpret your “A” rating and endorsement as being a solid pro-gun/pro-hunting candidate who is an advocate for the right to keep and bear arms.” “The NRA endorsement and ‘A’ rating is always welcome,” Emery said. “Their endorsement, along with that of the Western Missouri Shooters Alliance, should give constitution-minded Missourians assurance that I believe in the fundamental importance of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. George Washington, the father of our country, knew that when the citizens are armed, tyrants are disheartened. In his words: ‘A free people ought not only to be armed but disciplined.’ ” The National Rifle Association is America’s foremost defender of Second Amendment rights and is the premier firearms education organization in the world, representing nearly 4 million members. The Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the lobbying arm of the NRA. Established in 1975, ILA is committed to preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Emery is a native of Vernon County, Mo., where he worked with his father and grandfather in their feed and grain business. He graduated from Nevada High School and the University of Missouri-Rolla with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering. He worked in the oil and gas industry for 23 years, returning to Missouri in 1994. He also has worked as a petroleum engineering consultant. He currently serves as Executive Director of Missouri Fair Tax. Emery and his wife, Rebecca, a kindergarten teacher, reside in Lamar. They have four children, Elizabeth, Samuel, Daniel and Paul, and one grandchild....

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Emery receives key endorsements in Missouri State Senate Race

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                            Tuesday, October 2, 2012 Lamar, Mo. — Former Missouri Rep. Ed Emery has received a key endorsement from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) in his race for state Senate in Missouri’s 31st District comprising Barton, Bates, Clay, Henry and Vernon counties. The NFIB is the leading association representing small and independent businesses. Its mission is to promote and protect the right of its members to own, operate and grow their businesses. The announcement was made by Brad Jones, NFIB-Missouri’s state director. “Mr. Emery has received the support of NFIB-Missouri based on his voting record in the House of Representatives and his understanding of the needs of small business owners,” Jones said. “Ed Emery believes in protecting their rights, as well as fighting to keep unnecessary regulations from adding to the burden of running a successful business.” The endorsement comes from Missouri SAFE (Save America’s Free Enterprise) Trust, NFIB’s political action committee. The National Federation of Independent Business bases its political support on candidates’ positions and records on small business issues. “Ed Emery knows how important small businesses are to the economy of Missouri and will work to provide the tools small business owners need to operate their businesses,” Jones said. “NFIB’s endorsement brings with it the powerful support of thousands of small business owners from across the state. We are proud to endorse his candidacy.” Emery also has received the exclusive endorsement in this race by Missouri Right to Life. According to Dave Plemmons, chairman of Missouri Right to Life Political Action Committee, “This endorsement represents our selection of you as the only candidate in your race who will be an effective voice for the protection of innocent human life.” Missouri Right to Life is the leading pro-life advocacy organization statewide, representing thousands of pro-life Missourians. “We are dedicated to promoting the right to life of all persons, especially those who are unborn, disabled or elderly,” Plemmons said. “The election of pro-life candidates is of the utmost importance. We take great care in choosing candidates to support in elections.” When selecting candidates to endorse, Missouri Right to Life considers survey responses and pro-life involvement in the community, as well as past pro-life leadership, sponsorship and voting records, both in committee and on the floor. Emery served four terms in the Missouri House (2003-2010) representing the former 126th District where he consistently promoted pro-life legislation. Emery is a native of Vernon County, Mo., where he worked with his father and grandfather in their feed and grain business. He graduated from Nevada High School and the University of Missouri-Rolla with a Bachelor of Science degree...

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Ed Emery Extends Thank You to Supporters!

Ed Emery Extends Thank You to Supporters!

There is no adequate way to express my gratitude for the support I enjoyed last night in winning our state senate primary. When the margin is as close as it was, it is clear that every supporter played a critical role in the victory. Your perseverance and loyalty through the flood of negative media has renewed my spirit and prepared me to work even harder for a win in November. Should God grace us with a general election victory (and I believe He will), the real fight will begin toward restoring personal liberty and economic freedom wherever they have been surrendered in exchange for the empty promises of government. The answer to prosperity is not more government but less. It is accomplished by restoring constitutional limits to restrain the power of elected officials and thwart the ambitions of elitist...

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