Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Ed Emery: I attended a wonderful ALEC meeting and learned about right to work and pension reform

(From Sen. Ed Emery, R-Lamar)

Last week, the Senate completed its version of the 2019 fiscal year budget. It will now go to conference committees to reconcile differences between the Senate and House of Representatives and will then return for a final vote. Once again this year, the cost of state government has gone up – this time to approximately $28 billion. Just under $10 billion comes directly from your state taxes. Twenty-eight billion dollars is over $4,600 per Missourian or almost $6,000 per tax payer. That does not include federal or local taxes. It also does not include the approximately $7.9 billion in under-funded pension liabilities which is another $1,300 per Missourian. I don’t know where this ends, but with Medicaid costs increasing from $300 to $400 million a year, something must be done.

The Senate budget would provide K-12 education an additional $68 million this year over last plus $25 million in transportation dollars unless that lobby can convince the conference committee to increase it. That’s a combined increase of approximately $1,400 per classroom. Total spending is about $10,000 per student per year or roughly $140,000 per classroom. There may be some concern that even though the student enrollment has fallen every year for the last five years, the budget keeps increasing.

Last weekend, I was in Michigan as a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force. We heard from a number of think-tanks as well as legislators from other states. One especially encouraging panel discussion described the “Michigan Comeback.” According to the panelists, Michigan had been an “economic basket case” for over a decade. They were rated dead last according to “Rich States, Poor States,” an economic competitiveness index. Today, however, after major reforms that included removing over 2000 regulations, cutting business taxes, passing Freedom-to-Work and reforming their pension system, they are celebrating the largest private sector job growth in the Great Lakes region. In the last seven years, Michigan’s per capita income has grown by 28 percent or $10,000 per year per individual. Michigan’s population is growing for the first time in almost 20 years. Michigan is about 1.7 times the size of Missouri, and given their success, maybe we should enact more of their reforms.

As an ALEC State co-chair, I am always challenged and encouraged by the policies shared at ALEC summits, forums and annual meetings. Missouri has a platform for sharing our successes with other state lawmakers and the opportunity to learn about the public policy successes and the failures in other states. ALEC’s principles of Limited Government, Free Markets and Federalism set a course that consistently leads toward individual and collective prosperity.


Anonymous said...

"major reforms that included removing over 2000 regulations, cutting business taxes, passing Freedom-to-Work and reforming their pension system"

This is what Ed Emery is admiring. Sounds like the businesses get more freedom and the workers will be carrying more load.

Doing the math: In 7 years raising the average salary by 28/100 = $10,000/x means the average salary is about $35,715.

Compare: "Missouri lawmakers among best paid part-time officials in the nation ...
Mar 5, 2013 - The exact pay for Missouri legislators is $35,915 per year plus a $104 a day per diem for miscellaneous costs such as food and lodging."

Anonymous said...

Ed and Randy have been friends for years. Going back to when Randy was bagging groceries and working as a cub reporter working the sports beat in the Lamar area.

This has nothing to do with anything, I just thought I would put it out there.

Randy said...

To Anonymous 5:29: Considering that I never bagged groceries in Lamar or anywhere else and I never met Ed Emery until he came to one of my book signings sometime around 2006 or 2007, many years after I covered my last ball game in Lamar, there is really nothing in your comment that needed to be put out there.

Anonymous said...

The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other people--robbers, evildoers, adulterers--or even like this tax collector.

Anonymous said...

What crap about Michigan's per capita income growth in the last 7 years. Lets see, 7 years ago the state of Mich was still recovering from the Bush era recession. Michigan lost some 240, 000 high paying union jobs and the economy was in the gutter. Of course the per capita income rose since then, but the wages are now where near what they had been. Oh yeah, and since you are crowing about these improvements since 2011, who was guiding this comeback at the time? Wasn't his name Obama?

Unknown said...

Good morning Randy,
Anonymous 5:29 AM’s logic is exactly the way the drive-by media and Fake News present their reports on CNN, MSNBC, Washington Post, and New York Times.
Perhaps he is their coach and mentor!
Harvey HUTCHINSON 303-522-6622 voice&text

Anonymous said...

Is anyone going to defend this garbage about how much conservatives care about Michigan? Lets recall when all of the conservatives, including D Trump, were calling for Michigan auto workers to die on the vine and many did not want the auto bailout to happen. The auto bailout was a fraction of the bank bailouts. Those quarter of a million auto jobs will never be replaced with equal paying jobs. Emery and his kind are going screw you over as hard as they can and give you "scraps."