Special Session Moves to Senate
The Senate special session started at 11 am Thursday and senators seemed ready to work into the night. They are trying to come to an agreement on the two bills the house passed Tuesday. Senators debated the state worker pension bill and said they were going to focus on it before moving forward with the Ford bill.
The key difference between the House's pension bill and the Senate's pension bill is the retirement formula. The House wants to move the formula of age plus years of service from 80 to 84. The Senate wants it moved to 90. The pension reform decision will impact the Ford Bill, which will be a hot topic of discussion in the Senate.
Republican Senator Chuck Purgason representing Caulfield said, "The state of Missouri is broke. We're looking at a billion dollar shortfall next year and we're laying off eight to ten thousand workers because we can't pay for things anymore. Yet, we continue to give government bailouts to companies that posted two billion dollars in profits last quarter."
Democratic Senator Yvonne Wilson thinks that the Ford bill will create more jobs. She said, "It will keep jobs here in Missouri, and there are other states that would like to have the Ford Plant close so that the next line will move to those states and not Missouri. It would be a loss for us."
While the Senate continues to debate, the House is in a holding pattern. The deadline to sign bills from the special session into law is July 14th.