View from the Capitol by State Rep. Ed Schieffer
As the Nov. 6 election nears, hopefully everyone who reads this is a registered voter. If not, you have until Wednesday, Oct. 10 to register to vote.
Absentee voting for the Nov. 6 general election is underway. Absentee ballots are available to voters who expect to be out of their home county on Election Day or those who are unable to make it to the polls due to illness, disability or religious belief.
Voters can vote in person at their local election authority by absentee ballot through Nov. 5. They can also request an absentee ballot by mail until 5 p.m. on Oct. 31, with completed ballots returned to the local election authority by the time the polls close at 7 p.m. on Nov. 6.
Also be aware that if you cannot go from your car into the voting booth, you can have election judges come out to your car so you can vote the date of the election. Remember your vote counts and this election, from the president down to the county officials, could very well be determined by just one vote. Let all of us remember that our soldiers are fighting for our freedom and other people’s freedom to vote. Over 2,000 men and women have sacrificed their lives in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Let them not die in vain. Please vote.
The cost of the Missouri State Employees Retirement System will increase by about 20 percent, or $55 million, for the 2014 fiscal year, which begins on July 1. Approximately $274 million is budgeted for the pension fund for the current fiscal year, FY 2013, and will rise to $330 million next year.
The MOSERS board approved the increase by a vote of 10-1. State Treasurer Clint Zweifel, the lone dissenter, said the board’s expected eight percent of return on investments next year is overly optimistic. During the last completed fiscal year, FY 2012, MOSERS earned just 2.24 percent on its investments.
Most state employees pay nothing into their pension and are vested after five years. However, those hired after Jan. 1, 2011, pay four percent of their salaries into the fund and must work for the state for ten years to become vested.
As always, I respect your trust and value your advice, comments and questions. Let me know how I may serve you and your family. Please call me at 573-751-9459, toll free at 855-285-3781, locally at 636-299-3270 or 636-462-7295. If you wish to fax my office, our fax number is 573-522-0411. You may e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.