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Board Focuses on State, Federal Legislation

A flurry of state and federal issues that include multiple concerns for workshops were key elements in the March 8 MASWM Board of Directors meeting.

Legislative consultant Lynne Schlosser noted one involves a Missouri proposal to eliminate personal property taxes that might threaten SB-40 funds, as well as local personal property taxes for everything from police and fire to libraries. She said upcoming meetings were set to clarify the issue.

A federal question involved possible elimination of 14c and commensurate wages. President Rob Libera shared that an ad hoc meeting was held Feb. 9 and several actions are planned.

Regarding what workshops could do if 14c were eliminated, he said, “We’re putting together a summary. It would include what’s happening, information about what others are doing and more.”

Broad Representation

A significant step involves a proposed task force with representatives from MASWM, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Department of Mental Health, the Missouri Association of County Developmental Disabilities Services, Vocational Rehabilitation, workshop managers and others.

“We’ll meet, not to debate 14c, but to discuss what it looks like across the board if it’s gone,” Libera explained. “What does it look like from a humane aspect and a cost aspect.” The goal is to begin meeting before the end of the fiscal year June 30.

Other related discussions included continued research into a possible federal legislative consultant. Both Legislative Chair Kit Brewer and Vice President Brian Hogan commented that MASWM members should be aware of the importance and cost of this, although federal politics being what it is, nothing is guaranteed. The sheer complexity of the situation is a major factor: Reconciliation, The Time Act, Raise the Wage Act and other proposals are all involved, and each brings unique threats to workshops.

Missouri A Team member and Advocacy Co-Chair Tracy Gritsenko said a parallel action involves national A Teams working to solidify their organization and clarify the best options. “A lot of people are wondering what bill they should get behind,” she said.

Good News

DESE Workshop Division Director Dan Gier announced that some $2.9 million in governor’s withhold monies from 2020 have now been released and would be reaching workshops as part of this month’s requests, essentially doubling the funding for this month. He also noted the new Ironton workshop formation is complete.

April 20 was approved for the MASWM Annual Meeting date. Like the past October and January, the session will be held via Zoom videoconference and will include approval of a new slate of officers and bylaw changes, both to be announced. The fall meeting in October is currently planned as an in-person gathering in Branson.

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MASWM The Missouri Association of Sheltered Workshop Managers
If you have questions, please contact:
President Rob Libera – (636) 227-5666 or
or Legislative Chair Kit Brewer – (314) 647-3300 or