Senator Jeanie Riddle – Bill to Help Local Government Retirement Plans Heard During Week Two

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The second Regular Session is off to a great start in Jefferson City! During the second week of session senators presented bills to various committees, where we heard from witnesses and constituents on several important pieces of legislation.  Once again, the Capitol halls are bustling with lawmakers, reporters, staff, and engaged citizens.

On Tuesday, I presented one of my new pieces of legislation, Senate Bill 639, to the General Laws and Pensions Committee. The bill saves money by allowing local governments to assign the operation responsibilities of frozen or discontinued employees’ retirement systems to the Missouri Local Government Employee’s Retirement System (LAGERS). The political subdivisions, whether a county, city, village, police department, fire district, etc., would be able to enter into an agreement by making the necessary changes to the plan’s governing documents, receiving a concurring resolution from the prior plan’s board of trustees and getting approval from a majority of the members on the frozen pension plan. The retirement plans would not change with the switch in responsibilities, and the savings would be beneficial for both the local government and its employees. This bill will have no fiscal impact to the state.

Last week, the Director of Agriculture, Richard Fordyce, approved a petition for a referendum of Missouri cattle producers to establish a $1.00 per head state beef checkoff assessment. Cattle producers will be required to register in order to vote on whether the state beef checkoff should be established. Producers can register online at the Missouri Department of Agriculture website or by visiting their county USDA-FSA office. Producers can also request a voter registration form by calling (573) 751-5633 or sending an e-mail to  Voter registration will end March 4, 2016.

In addition, I realize for many of my constituents, much time and money has been spent dealing with the damaging effects of the historic flooding we recently experienced. An estimated 7,100 structures were damaged as a result. Luckily, our state is receiving assistance with debris removal under the “Operation Recovery” program. Many agencies are also offering aid to flood victims. For more information or assistance with debris removal and help for flood survivors go to I understand the recovery process will not happen overnight, and I hope to help get assistance to all those who were affected.

Finally, I would like to conclude this week’s column with a notification about an upcoming event. The governor’s State of the State Address will occur at 7 p.m. next Wednesday, Jan. 20 and can be watched live on the state’s website.

It is an honor to be your State Senator, and my door is always open to your concerns, questions or comments. Please feel free to contact me at (573) 751-2757, or visit my web page at