Missouri Considers Pension Changes to Solve Teacher Shortage

Man standing in front of a room, giving a lecture with a presentation

Legislators are considering changes to Missouri’s teacher and non-certified school employee pension plans to alleviate pandemic-related teacher and staff shortages.

HB2114, sponsored by Rep. Rusty Black, R-Chillicothe, will reduce restrictions on pensions if a retired public school teacher returns to the classroom or to a non-teaching position in a public school. The legislation also increases from two to four years the length of time a retired teacher or retired non-certified public school employee can work while still receiving their pension.

During testimony before the House pensions committee, Rep. Black, the committee vice chairman, said similar legislation was passed by the House and died in the Senate last year as the legislative session ended in May. He said the legislation simplifies and improves the amount retirees can earn before their pensions are restricted.

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Report: Democrats’ Stalled Budget Bill Includes $8 Billion a Year for Illegal Immigrant Parents

Democrats’ stalled budget bill includes $8 billion a year for 10 years for illegal immigrant parents, the Center for Immigration Studies announced on Tuesday.

The bill would replace a program that requires parents to work to receive welfare and increase the funds available to illegal immigrant parents because some who work “off the books” can’t verify their employment, according to the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS). Any illegal immigrant with a child born in the U.S. would be able to apply for aid through the program.

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Commentary: New Study Vindicates States that Canceled Expanded Unemployment Welfare Early

Debate over the welfare state is once again making headlines. On Monday, the expanded unemployment welfare system was finally allowed to expire after more than a year. Originally created as a “short-term” measure authorized for a few months in March 2020 then repeatedly extended, these benefits paid many of the unemployed more than their former jobs, with benefits reaching up to $25/hour in dozens of states.

Dozens of Republican-led states chose to end the benefits early. This week’s termination of enhanced benefits was in the Democrat-run states that maintained the expanded payouts, and with their lapse, the debate over whether these benefits were disincentivizing work was reignited.

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While Pennsylvania Democrats Want to Increase Welfare Payments, Some Experts Urge Focus on Bigger Picture

Democrats in the Pennsylvania General Assembly hope to increase monthly welfare benefits in Pennsylvania, reasoning that payments under the federally funded Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program have stayed flat since the 1990s, falling well behind inflation. 

Legislation being drafted by state Sen. Katie Muth (D-PA-Royersford) and state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D-PA-Philadelphia) would increase Pennsylvania’s TANF benefits, which average $403 per month for a family of three in most counties.

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Ohio Restaurants, Bars Struggle to Find Employees

An empty bar

As sales slowly improve, Ohio’s restaurants and bars now face another issue that threatens ongoing COVID-19 pandemic recovery efforts: lack of employees.

Ohio Restaurant Association President and CEO John Barker believes the intentions behind continued federal and state stimulus benefits are good, but a consequence is a lack of available employees as the state eases COVID-19 restrictions and customer traffic increases.

“Unemployment is an issue. There’s no question about it,” Barker said. “The intention by the government, both at the federal and state level, was to take care of people who are displaced and very much in need. It was the right thing to do. The problem we have now is these are looking like they’re going to be extended all the way through the fall. On top of that, people are getting big stimulus checks. And in some cases, they may be making more money staying at home than going back to work. And so, it’s a combination of factors.”

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Biden Signs Executive Order to Increase Welfare Dependency for Illegal Aliens

Joe Biden signed an executive order on Tuesday that aims to increase illegal aliens’ dependency on welfare programs funded by taxpayer dollars, according to Breitbart.

The order revokes a Trump Administration policy that would ultimately put financial responsibility for such welfare benefits directly on the illegals themselves, or otherwise on the family member or business sponsor seeking green cards for any incoming illegals who had previously used a welfare system. Biden’s revoking of that order ultimately puts the cost for such use of the welfare system back on American citizens who fund such programs with their tax dollars.

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Commentary: The Indispensable American Family

In August 1884, Washington Gladden, possibly the most famous Christian preacher in the America of his day, wrote an article in The Century Magazine on “Three Dangers” besetting the welfare of the nation he loved. Of the first and third dangers he named, intemperance and gambling, I have little to say here. I will note that Dr. Gladden concedes that alcohol may be used well, even for conviviality, though he himself did not drink.

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The Trump Administration’s Public Charge Rule for Immigrants Officially Goes Into Effect Following Supreme Court Victories

The Trump administration officially implemented its public charge rule for foreign nationals seeking permanent status, following two key victories in the nation’s highest court.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Monday put into effect the administration’s new public charge rule, which takes into account a foreign national’s past use of taxpayer-funded benefits when determining whether that individual qualifies for a green card. The rule, which the White House first introduced in 2019, survived a lawsuit that reached all the way to the Supreme Court.

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‘Self-Sufficiency, Not a Sinkhole’: JOBS Act Updates Work Requirements for Welfare Recipients

by Fred Lucas   Republicans in the House and Senate are making another legislative push to enforce work requirements for able-bodied adults on welfare. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., and Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday announced the Jobs and Opportunity with Benefits and Services Act. The…

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The Reparation Situation: Battleground State Report Discusses the Democrats Idiocracy with Recent Calls for Reparations

The Battleground State Report, airing Fridays at 8am CST with Steve Gill, Michael Patrick Leahy, and Doug Kellett – is a one hour radio show from Star News Digital Media in the early stages of a national weekend syndication rollout.  The team talked about the recent calls for reparations by…

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Jobless Welfare Claims Near a Five-Decade Low

by Tim Pearce   The number of Americans claiming unemployment insurance fell unexpectedly in late September after economists anticipated destruction from Hurricane Florence to hold claim numbers steady. The number of unemployment filings edged back toward the lowest rate in nearly five decades. The four-week moving average fell to the lowest rate since…

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