Pleased to report that the Jefferson City News Tribune endorsed my campaign for re-election this morning – as well as those of fellow Cole County Reps. Mike Bernskoetter and Jeannie Riddle.
All have worked diligently and amassed admirable records, particularly with regard to the welfare of state employees, improving economic development and supporting expansion at the Callaway Nuclear Plant.
Barnes was among the leading backers of a state employee pay raise of 2 percent, which exceeded the governor’s recommendation.
As chairman of the House Committee on Government Oversight and Accountability, he has been instrumental in scrutinizing state tax credits, including investigating the state’s role in the failed Mamtek project.
He also has been a supporter of bringing small, modular nuclear reactors to the Callaway Nuclear Plant site….
Based on their accomplishments and efforts during their first terms, Barnes, Bernskoetter and Riddle deserve to be re-elected on Tuesday.
I’m honored that the largest organization of state employees in Missouri has endorsed my campaign for re-election. For the past two years, I’ve worked hard for state employees. This year I worked to double the pay increase proposed by Governor Nixon – a raise which was overdue and well-deserved. It had been five years since the previous raise. The raise means approximately $15 million in new salaries for state employees in the Jefferson City area. I realize, of course, that it’s not enough. And I’m committed to fighting for additional pay raises every single year. We have to get out of our last-in-the-nation ranking for state employee pay.
The text of the press release from the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees is pasted below:
AFSCME Council 72 Endorses Jay Barnes for State Representative
Jefferson City, MO – The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 72 today endorsed Jay Barnes (R-Jefferson City) in his re-election for Missouri House of Representatives District 60. Throughout his tenure in the House, Rep. Barnes has consistently shown a record of strong support for state employees and the issues that are important to them.
“Rep. Barnes has shown an unwavering commitment to state employees and the critical services we provide. AFSCME members are confident in Rep. Barnes’ leadership and look forward to working with him in the Missouri House,” said Scott Sapp, President of AFSCME Local 1764 in Jefferson City. “Rep. Barnes clearly knows the hard work and dedication public workers put into their jobs and will continue to work for us in the legislature.”
As a lifelong resident of Jefferson City, Jay also understands the important role state employees play in the local economy. He understands that in order to get our economy back on track, central Missouri has to have an effective, thriving state workforce.
Yesterday brought good news for state employees. MCHCP announced it would re-invest funds from reserves to ensure that state employees would not suffer from increased health care premium costs this year.
In a time of rising health care costs everywhere else, it’s great news for state employees that premiums will not be increased. I support the Board’s effort to re-invest an actuarially safe amount from reserves to ensure state employees don’t lose income through increased health care costs.
The Post-Dispatch reports on state employee wages set to increase July 1. My pull-quote:
Pay will still lag a couple thousand dollars behind the averages for South Carolina and Arkansas, and state workers in Kansas and Illinois will continue to make significantly higher than their counterparts here.
“It’s not enough, but in this budget climate, that’s probably the most we could have gotten,” said Rep. Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City. “We’ve got to keep moving the ball toward higher salaries.”….
Like Kehoe, Barnes also served on the committee to review state worker pay last year. He said that workers face other issues, including the fact that they are taking home less pay because of changes to their state pensions and health insurance.
The Senate passed the complete budget this afternoon. And its now official – state employees making up to $70,000 will get a well-deserved two-percent pay hike. In total, these pay raises will lead to nearly $15 million in increased income for state employees in Cole County.
The NewsTribune opines in support of the pay raise secured for state employees in this year’s budget. Looking forward to voting in support of the full pay raises this morning as the House passes the budget bills.
I’m pleased to be the first to report that the Budget Conference Committee just adopted the House position on state employee pay raises – meaning a full two-percent raise for all employees making up to $70k per year.
This raise isn’t as much as I wish it could be, but it’s a good start, and it’s well-deserved. It’s been four years since state employees last received a pay bump – and, in the meantime, take-home pay has actually decreased as a result of increased health care premiums and reduced retirement benefits.
Many thanks are due to Rep. Ryan Silvey and Sen. Kurt Schaefer for standing up for state employees.
The AP reports:
The Missouri Senate signed off on a $24 billion budget plan early Wednesday that would provide a raise to the lowest-paid state workers in the nation and spare blind residents from a potential cut to their government-funded health care plan.
Senate passage of the budget came only after a coalition of nine Republican senators agreed to drop a two-day stalling effort when they gained a variety of concessions that did relatively little to change to bottom line of the proposed spending plan for the fiscal year that starts July 1. In fact, after talking about the need for more cuts, some of the dissident Republican senators failed in an effort to strip the employee pay raise and then provided the winning margin on a vote to add money to the blind health care program.
This is a great win for state employees, whose pay is ranked 50 out of 50 in the country and who, not only haven’t had a raise in three years, but in fact have had take-home pay reduced by cuts to pensions and health care by Governor Nixon and prior legislatures. While a two-percent pay raise isn’t as large as I’d like it to be, it’s evident from the discussion in the Senate that it’s probably as far as we could go and get it passed. State employees owe a big thank you to Senators Kurt Schaefer and Mike Kehoe.
The Associated Press reports on $1.5 million in repairs that just started at the Capitol and Supreme Court. I get a quote at the very end:
The decision to put money into capital improvements has prompted questions from at least one lawmaker. Rep. Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City, said he would prefer just to block access to the stairs and use the savings to boost state workers’ pay.
“State employee pay raises are more important than Capitol facelifts,” he said.
I’m pleased to report the Missouri House has approved a full two-percent pay increase for all state employees making less than $70k per year and a one-percent increase for those making above $70k.
This delivers on a promise Governor Nixon made last fall but didn’t deliver on when he offered the budget. When the Governor faltered, the House stepped up to make things right with a full pay raise for those state employees who need it most.
Our state ranks 50 out of 50 in state employee pay in nearly every ranking available. It’s been three years since state employees received a raise. Since that raise, state employee pensions and health care have been cut and thousands have been let go – meaning that not only have they not only have state employees not received a raise, but they’ve actually had a decrease in take home pay and been asked to take on more work.
Today’s actions don’t get us as far as we need to go. (I’d like to see us move closer to our state’s ranking on national cost-of-living scales.) But it’s a step in the right direction.
Once again, I thank Rep. Ryan Silvey for understanding the problem, putting up with my persistent requests to make the Governor’s promise whole, and ultimate action to do the right thing.