pension program

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The cost of funding Missouri's state employee pensions will increase nearly $50 million in the next fiscal year as investment losses and lower earnings expectations push taxpayer contributions to the highest share of state payroll in the program's history.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that $28.6 million in general revenue will be needed to cover pensions. That could deepen proposed cuts in other programs and further hurt a state budget suffering from feeble revenue growth and increasing demands from programs with mandatory costs.

City leaders are asking Columbia city council to allow them to make significant changes to the city’s benefit plans for new employees. It’s an effort to address the city’s ailing pensions.

Missouri budget negotiators have agreed to keep a program that provides health coverage for the blind, but they've also attempted to attach some strings.