[Nfbmo] Gov. Nixon to protect Blind Pension program, directs Missouri Department of Social Services to maintain pension payments to blind Missourians
Eugene S Coulter
escoulter at centurytel.net
Mon Dec 1 21:25:20 UTC 2014
Note this is very good news meaning that we will get the full amount of Blind Pension in January instead of the reduction. However, keep in mind that if the legislature does not give the governor the Supplemental Money that the Pension will be reduced later and since there will be fewer months to make up the shortfall the reduction will be larger.
From: Cory McMahon
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Subject: FW: Gov. Nixon to protect Blind Pension program, directs Missouri Department of Social Services to maintain pension payments to blind Missourians
From: Ansley, Channing [mailto:Channing.Ansley at mo.gov]
Sent: Monday, December 1, 2014 3:06 PM
To: Ansley, Channing
Cc: Holste, Scott
Subject: Gov. Nixon to protect Blind Pension program, directs Missouri Department of Social Services to maintain pension payments to blind Missourians
Contact: Scott Holste, (573) 751-0290
Scott.Holste at mo.gov
Channing Ansley, (573) 751-0290
Channing.Ansley at mo.gov
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec. 1, 2014
Gov. Nixon to protect Blind Pension program, directs Missouri Department of Social Services to maintain pension payments to blind Missourians
Governor to seek supplemental budget funding to compensate for a reduction in available fund balance
Jefferson City – Gov. Jay Nixon today ordered the Missouri Department of Social Services to reverse its plans to reduce benefits for Missourians who qualify for the state’s Blind Pension program. The Governor said he will request a supplemental budget appropriation from the Missouri General Assembly to make up for the reduction in available blind pension funds.
“For more than 90 years, Missouri’s Blind Pension program has provided vital assistance to Missourians in need,” Gov. Nixon said. “After being briefed about the Department of Social Services’ plans to reduce this assistance, I have directed them to abandon their plans so that no blind Missourian will have their pension reduced. I look forward to working with the General Assembly to protect this essential program.”
Missouri’s Blind Pension program is funded with a dedicated property tax of three cents on each one hundred dollars of assessed valuation. The annual revenue into that Blind Pension fund declined during the national recession and available Blind Pension fund balance was spent down to maintain the pensions at the required level. Even with property taxes potentially recovering, the fund balance is no longer available and less funding is available for pensions. The expected cost of pensions during the current fiscal year is $32 million, but just over $31 million in available revenue and fund balance is anticipated. Therefore, the Governor will request a supplemental appropriation to make up for the shortfall.
The Blind Pension program was established in 1921. This program provides assistance for blind persons who do not qualify under the Supplemental Aid to the Blind law and who are not eligible for Supplemental Security Income benefits. Each eligible person receives a monthly cash grant of $718, as well as state-funded health care coverage through Missouri’s Blind Healthcare Program.
In 2012, Gov. Nixon successfully reversed an effort by the Missouri House of Representatives to completely eliminate Missouri’s Blind Healthcare Program which helps provide vital home and community-based health services to thousands of Missourians who are blind and whose assets are limited.
Follow the Governor on Twitter @GovJayNixon
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