Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

160715digest

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

160715digest

Article excerpt

JEFFERSON CITY > Private company to verify welfare rolls * Missouri is poised to hire a private company to scrub the state's welfare rolls.

On Thursday, the deadline passed for Gov. Jay Nixon to sign legislation requiring the Department of Social Services to contract with a company that would verify whether Missourians are eligible for Medicaid, child care subsidies and food stamps.

By Nixon not signing the legislation, the measure became law.

Supporters said the plan could save as much as $25 million by 2019 if the company finds scofflaws or improper benefits. The law is patterned after one in Illinois that removed about 120,000 people from the welfare rolls.

Nixon, a Democrat who is in his final year in office, did not immediately respond to questions about why he chose not to sign Senate Bill 607.

"I guess the governor couldn't find it in his heart to sign another one of my bills," quipped Sen. David Sater, R-Cassville, who sponsored the proposal.

Currently, the state reviews eligibility for various aid programs once a year. The proposal would require monthly examinations.

Sater said he is hopeful the company can find savings for the state. "Even if it is just $10 to $20 million, we could use it," Sater said. (Kurt Erickson)

SHREWSBURY > Workers to get raises as city revises pay plan * Shrewsbury froze employee wages for four years because of decreasing revenue, primarily from sales tax. But a 2.6 percent average increase was granted in fiscal year 2015, and a 3 percent raise the next year.

Now, many employees will get additional pay thanks to an ordinance to restructure the salary plan, which was approved by the Board of Aldermen on Tuesday night.

"Our pay plan hadn't been updated for 15 years, and a lot of employees have been with us through the entire period," Administrator Jonathan Greever explained. …

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