We wrapped up the special session this week by passing the "Ford Bill" and pension cuts for State employees. Nixon immediately signed the Ford bill up at the Claycomo plant. The pension cuts for State employees bill was much quieter.
The Ford/Claycomo bill passed the House 101-40. I voted for it. The bill is an attempt to keep Ford here in Missouri. The bill lets Ford keep a portion of the employment taxes they would otherwise pay on employees. So it is not as if we gave them a barrel of money we only give them a break if they stay.
The pension bill was much more difficult. I fought the details of this issue during the House debate. I lost one amendment by a vote of 70-75 which would have taken the judges out of the pension cuts. As it is it will increase judges retirement age to 67.
The pension bill was debated in the House and voted on June 29th. The final vote on the House version was 92-54. The House version was much more employee friendly than the version the Senate sent back to us. The retirement age was raised to 67 and the old formula of Eighty and out was raised to Ninety and out. In addition now for the first time state employees will have to contribute 4% of their salary to the pension fund.
That new "bad" version still passed the House by a vote of 84-53 this week. It required a Constitutional majority of 82 votes so you can see it was very, very, close. The interesting part of that analysis was that 4 Democrats, including one from KC, voted against the first version (which was much more pro-employee) and FOR the Senate version.
I voted no on both versions of the pension cuts.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Burnett opposes both versions of pension bill
While Rep. John Burnett, D-Kansas City, had no problems voting for the Ford/Claycomo bill, he voted against the pension bill that accompanied it. He explained the votes in his latest newsletter: