Raise the Age SB 793 passed!


It’s all because of YOU!

SB 793, also known as #RaiseTheAgeMO, passed by a nearly-unanimous vote!  This bill changes the the age from 17 to 18 at which youth are automatically charged as adults.

Previously, Missouri law incarcerated children who were charged as adults in adult prisons.  While they have been charged with serious offences, these children have not yet been convicted of a crime. SB 793 requires children to be prosecuted in juvenile courts unless the child is certified as an adult or is being prosecuted for a traffic or curfew violation. Additionally, the bill specifies that no person under the age of 18 may be detained in an adult jail unless the person has been certified as an adult. This bill does NOT change the ability of the court to certify youth as adults for heinous crimes and hold these offenders in adult facilities.

“This is a good decision that is both obvious (better age-appropriate treatment, protection from the extreme dangers of incarceration with adults) and far-reaching (reduced recidivism, increased employment). It will bring with it long-term economic benefits for the state as a whole.

When the law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2021, Missouri will join 45 states and Washington, D.C., that consider 18 the age of criminal responsibility.” -Kansas City Star May 28, 2018

Thank you to all who sent emails, calls, and advocated on social media. You made a difference for Missouri youth!

For all children,

Kristina Wilmoth, Vice President Legislation & Advocacy


JC/DC Action Alert: Gun Violence Prevention

This Friday, 6/1/2018, is Gun Violence Awareness Day.  National PTA is a partner in Everytown for Gun Safety’s Wear Orange Weekend, a weekend where people all over the country will show their support for gun violence prevention both online and at community events.

Missouri PTA encourages all of our membership to take a picture of yourself in your orange and post on social media using the hashtags #PTAProud #Enough and #EndGunViolence.  Make sure you tag Missouri PTA and National PTA so we can share the message nationally.

I think National PTA said it best in their position statement.

“School safety is a critical priority for all parents, educators, students and community members that cannot be taken for granted. We must make every attempt to reduce violence, especially incidents that involve firearms. National PTA recognizes the importance of parent involvement in the decision-making process in the development and implementation of school safety policies, including crisis response plans.
National PTA recognizes the importance of a safe learning environment in attaining the highest level of student learning and achievement. National PTA believes the most effective day-to-day school climate to be gun-free but defers to local collaborative decision-making to allow for the presence of law enforcement deployed in community-oriented policing.”

Join me and PTA advocates around the country this weekend and wear orange!  Show your support for gun violence prevention and share your story!

For every child,

Kristina Wilmoth, VP Legislation & Advocacy
Missouri PTA

Resources:
https://wearorange.org/about/
MOPTA.org
PTA.org


***JC/DC Alert CALL and EMAIL TODAY! Session ends at 6:00 pm today, May 18th. Please call NOW! ***

Missouri legislators may soon be considering separate tax bills that would make Missouri’s tax system even more unfair and would take away critical resources our communities need to prosper. These cuts include funding for public schools. Missouri PTA opposes any measure that would take away funding for schools in Missouri. The loss of revenue generated from individual income tax is a large portion of funding for Missouri schools. Without quality schools it will be hard to attract new businesses and may even cause the loss of existing businesses, which hurts all of Missouri.

 Contact your legislators today to let them know you OPPOSE this bill.

The irresponsible tax giveaways included in SB 884 far outweigh the positive changes they include.

Lawmakers are set to give a huge tax break to profitable corporations while undermining our ability to fund schools, health, roads, and other things Missourians need.

Yesterday, the House approved a massive corporate tax cut, once again putting corporate profit margins before people.

The House approved an amended version of Senate Bill 884, which would cut Missouri’s corporate income tax by more than one-third, taking it from 6.25% to just 3.9%.  If approved, Missouri would have the second lowest corporate income tax rate in the nation.

Year after year, lawmakers have chosen costly tax cuts aimed at profitable corporations and the richest households, and yet Missouri has little to show for it except an inability to adequately support the building blocks of our state’s economy.

 Cutting the Corporate Income Tax rate will predominantly help large out-of-state businesses and their out-of-state shareholders.

Legislators should put people first. Instead of rushing a poorly constructed tax measure through at the tail-end of the legislative session, lawmakers would be better off to take advantage of a proven strategy and approve of the Working Families Credit-EITC.

Thirty states and the District of Columbia have similar state-level credits, which have proven to have lasting benefits, particularly in the educational, health and economic outcomes for children.

What’s more, this ill-conceived corporate tax giveaway is being considered at the same time that Missouri is unable to afford basic services and infrastructure that our communities, families and economy need to prosper.

Missouri already ranks well below other states in terms of the services it provides its residents. Recent budget cuts have diminished those services further, and the continued phasing in of 2014’s tax cuts will likely make the situation even more dire. The bill passed by the House would be another big step in the wrong direction.

Not only have services been cut over the last decade, each year they compete against each other for more limited increases. Services for our grandparents are pitted against services for our children; and education competes against transportation needs.

Moreover, Missouri’s budget struggle is likely to worsen due to the implementation of the 2014 Kansas-like tax cuts that are still being phased-in. When fully implemented, the 2014 tax cuts will reduce state revenue by $720 million per year – the equivalent of all mental health services in Missouri.

Schools are already struggling in part due to gaps in the budget created by the passage of SB 641 and SB 1025 in 2016. When Missouri is unable to fully fund its portion of schools every district and every child suffers. This can be felt most strongly in districts that are struggling to pay for the cost of education due to lowering property values and tax revenue. The corporate tax is vital to these schools to help to make the playing field level for all Missouri children no matter the school district.

There are a few districts in Missouri that will be better able to adjust to such a loss in income. However, what about the districts that cannot? There are several districts that already have cut music and extra-curricular activities out of their budget. They already have had to lay off support staff and may have to eventually lay off teachers. How are those schools going to be competitive with the schools that are better able to make up for decrease in funding? The further lack of funds that the loss of income tax would create a greater disparity between school districts.

Furthermore, with an educated population comes a qualified work force. This work force will help attract new businesses to Missouri. These new businesses in turn create new employment opportunities for Missourians. If we cannot fully invest in education we dissolve the very force that will propel Missouri onward. The children of Missouri deserve to have an equal chance no matter from which district they attend. We need to ensure they have career opportunities waiting for them to encourage them to stay in Missouri. Please tell your Representative and Senator to vote NO to SB 884.

Tell your legislators to oppose these bills.

Dear Representative or Senator,

Missouri PTA opposes any measure that would take away funding for schools in Missouri. The loss of revenue generated from individual income tax is a large portion of funding for Missouri schools. Without quality schools it will be hard to attract new businesses and may even cause the loss of existing businesses, which hurts all of Missouri.

 In the current fiscal year, the tax is budgeted to reduce $720 million for the general revenue budget. These cuts would come at a time when Missouri is already struggling to meet its budget needs due to previously enacted tax changes and would require additional and steep cuts to services including education.

 Schools are already struggling in part due to gaps in the budget created by the passage of SB 641 and SB 1025 in 2016. When Missouri is unable to fully fund its portion of schools every district and every child suffers. This can be felt most strongly in districts that are struggling to pay for the cost of education due to lowering property values and tax revenue. The corporate tax is vital to these schools to help to make the playing field level for all Missouri children no matter the school district.

There are a few districts in Missouri that will be better able to adjust to such a loss in income. However, what about the districts that cannot? There are several districts that already have cut music and extra-curricular activities out of their budget. They already have had to lay off support staff and may have to eventually lay off [i]teachers. How are those schools going to be competitive with the schools that are better able to make up for decrease in funding? We have seen several schools across Missouri lose accreditation and the fall out of students moving to other districts. The further lack of funds that the loss of income tax would create a greater disparity between school districts. This will severely impair how students can be accepted into colleges and how schools will be able to attract quality staff.

Furthermore, with an educated population comes a qualified work force. This work force will help attract new businesses to Missouri. These new businesses in turn create new employment opportunities for Missourians. If we cannot fully invest in education we dissolve the very force that will propel Missouri onward. The children of Missouri deserve to have an equal chance no matter from which district they attend. We need to ensure they have career opportunities waiting for them to encourage them to stay in Missouri. Please tell your Senator to vote NO SB 884.

Sincerely,

 Your Name
PTA Unit

 

Not sure how to contact your state legislators? Click here and insert your street address or 9-digit zip code.

Kristina Wilmoth
VP and Director of Legislation and Advocacy
kristinaw@mopta.org


HB 2540 and SB 674 House Full Vote

Missouri legislators may soon be considering separate tax bills that would make Missouri’s tax system even more unfair and would take away critical resources our communities need to prosper. These cuts include funding for public schools. Missouri PTA opposes any measure that would take away funding for schools in Missouri. The loss of revenue generated from individual income tax is a large portion of funding for Missouri schools. Without quality schools it will be hard to attract new businesses and may even cause the loss of existing businesses, which hurts all of Missouri.

 

Contact your legislators today to let them know you OPPOSE these bills.

The irresponsible tax giveaways included in HB 2540 and SB 674 far outweigh the positive changes they include.

Senate Bill 674 would cut Missouri’s corporate tax rate nearly in half, benefiting large corporations, and changes are being made to House Bill 2540 that remove positive components that were in the original bill, like closing loopholes. Instead, the changes are doubling down on tax cuts that are weighted to benefit the wealthiest Missourians. Already in Missouri:

  • The vast majority of Missouri families already pay a higher portion of their income in taxes than the top 20%.
  • This unfair system has caused a budget crisis that is leaving our communities without the resources they need to prosper.
  • This bill would place Missouri on a fiscal path that would make Kansas’ recent experience with tax cuts look like a cake walk.
  • This bill would provide large tax cuts to wealthy Missourians, at the expense of everyone else. SB 617 would give Missourians with average incomes of $1.387 million a tax cut of $11,096 in 2019, while most working Missourians would see little impact or even tax increases. In fact, an analysis by the Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy found that 91% of the tax cut would flow to the wealthiest 20% of Missourians.
  • As in the Kansas experience, Missouri would have little alternative but to move toward regressive consumption taxes (sales tax), increasing the burden on working Missourians.

 Both HB 2540 and SB 674 give more unfair tax breaks to the wealthiest, leaving our families and communities to pay the price.

Schools are already struggling in part due to gaps in the budget created by the passage of SB 641 and SB 1025 in 2016. When Missouri is unable to fully fund its portion of schools every district and every child suffers. This can be felt most strongly in districts that are struggling to pay for the cost of education due to lowering property values and tax revenue. The corporate tax is vital to these schools to help to make the playing field level for all Missouri children no matter the school district.

There are a few districts in Missouri that will be better able to adjust to such a loss in income. However, what about the districts that cannot? There are several districts that already have cut music and extra-curricular activities out of their budget. They already have had to lay off support staff and may have to eventually lay off teachers. How are those schools going to be competitive with the schools that are better able to make up for decrease in funding? The further lack of funds that the loss of income tax would create a greater disparity between school districts.

Furthermore, with an educated population comes a qualified work force. This work force will help attract new businesses to Missouri. These new businesses in turn create new employment opportunities for Missourians. If we cannot fully invest in education we dissolve the very force that will propel Missouri onward. The children of Missouri deserve to have an equal chance no matter from which district they attend. We need to ensure they have career opportunities waiting for them to encourage them to stay in Missouri. Please tell your Representative to vote NO to HB 2540 and SB 674.

Tell your legislators to oppose these bills.

Dear Representative,

Missouri PTA opposes any measure that would take away funding for schools in Missouri. The loss of revenue generated from individual income tax is a large portion of funding for Missouri schools. Without quality schools it will be hard to attract new businesses and may even cause the loss of existing businesses, which hurts all of Missouri.

In the current fiscal year, the tax is budgeted to reduce $464 million for the general revenue budget. These cuts would come at a time when Missouri is already struggling to meet its budget needs due to previously enacted tax changes and would require additional and steep cuts to services including education.

Schools are already struggling in part due to gaps in the budget created by the passage of SB 641 and SB 1025 in 2016. When Missouri is unable to fully fund its portion of schools every district and every child suffers. This can be felt most strongly in districts that are struggling to pay for the cost of education due to lowering property values and tax revenue. The corporate tax is vital to these schools to help to make the playing field level for all Missouri children no matter the school district.

There are a few districts in Missouri that will be better able to adjust to such a loss in income. However, what about the districts that cannot? There are several districts that already have cut music and extra-curricular activities out of their budget. They already have had to lay off support staff and may have to eventually lay off teachers. How are those schools going to be competitive with the schools that are better able to make up for decrease in funding? We have seen several schools across Missouri lose accreditation and the fall out of students moving to other districts. The further lack of funds that the loss of income tax would create a greater disparity between school districts. This will severely impair how students can be accepted into colleges and how schools will be able to attract quality staff.

Furthermore, with an educated population comes a qualified work force. This work force will help attract new businesses to Missouri. These new businesses in turn create new employment opportunities for Missourians. If we cannot fully invest in education we dissolve the very force that will propel Missouri onward. The children of Missouri deserve to have an equal chance no matter from which district they attend. We need to ensure they have career opportunities waiting for them to encourage them to stay in Missouri. Please tell your Senator to vote NO to HB 2540 and SB 674.

Sincerely,

Your Name
PTA Unit

 Not sure how to contact your state legislators? Click here and insert your street address or 9-digit zip code.

Kristina Wilmoth
VP and Director of Legislation and Advocacy
kristinaw@mopta.org


JC/DC ACTION ALERT: Children in Adult Prisons

**CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVE NOW**

SB 793 has been placed on the calendar for full House vote.

Currently Missouri law incarcerates children who have been charged as adults in adult prisons.  While they have been charged with serious offences, these children have not yet been convicted of a crime. SB 793 would require children to be prosecuted in juvenile courts unless the child is certified as an adult or is being prosecuted for a traffic or curfew violation. Additionally, the bill specifies that no person under the age of 18 may be detained in an adult jail unless the person has been certified as an adult. This bill does NOT change the ability of the court to certify youth as adults for heinous crimes and hold these offenders in adult facilities.

*Thank you to all who sent emails to the House Judiciary Committee for getting this important bill out of committee. THIS IS THE LAST STEP BEEFORE THE BILL GOES TO THE GOVERNOR’S DESK FOR HIS SIGNATURE!!!! Please continue to engage legislators on social media using the #18in18 because 17 is too young! @molegislature @missouripta @raisetheageMO.

Dear Representative,

Children who commit serious crimes should be held accountable for their actions.  However, incarcerating children charged, but not convicted, in adult facilities is a sentence in itself.  Children are not the same as adults and until they are found guilty should be afforded extra protections.  When children are incarcerated in adult prisons they face a dramatically increased danger of sexual assault and have higher risks of suicide.  These facilities do not afford children the opportunities of education and rehabilitation services available in the juvenile detention system.  Instead of working to rehabilitate these children when their mental development is at its’ capacity to learn we are teaching them to be hardened criminals.

 The Missouri Model has long been the national model with regard to state juvenile justice systems. This allowance to house charged but not convicted children with adults is a flaw we need to recognize and correct.  Please vote yes on SB 793 to keep kids 17 and younger out of adult prisons.

Sincerely,

Your name and PTA

 

Not sure how to contact your state legislators? Click here and insert your street address or 9-digit zip code.

 

Kristina Wilmoth
VP Legislation and Advocacy
Missouri PTA
kristinaw@mopta.org