Notes from the front lines

Some members of the Missouri legislature, past and present, might be surprised to learn that all of those hours they spent or are spending at the Capitol are not “work.”

Former Representative Ray Salva of Sugar Creek says it’s not work because it involves the use of the mind rather than the use of the body.

A federal jury might resolve whether our elected representatives in the legislature work when they come to Jefferson City each January.  Salva has been indicted for failing to tell the Social Security folks that he was drawing paychecks for serving in the Missouri House while he also was getting about $60,000 in Social Security Disability payments for a neck injury suffered while farming.

Salva might not think service in the legislature is work.  But we and our colleagues in the press corps can certainly tell you that covering what he and his colleagues do or did sure is.  Or was.  And ever will be.

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If you win the Powerball drawing  tonight and decide you want to get your money in one big payment, you’ll get at least $327,000,000.  By the time the drawing is held, that amount is expected to be even higher because more and more people are buying more and more tickets in all those states that play the Powerball game.

If you win and you live in Missouri, you will become an instant public servant.  The six percent state income tax on that 327-mil will be a little more than $19,600,000.  You will single-handedly be contributing all of the general revenue money that will be spent by the Department of Transportation in this fiscal year.  Or you could be single-handedly underwriting all of the general revenue spending by the Department of Agriculture.  In fact, you will contribute enough money to the state to underwrite the general revenue budgets of the Missouri Department of Transportation AND the  Missouri Department of Natural Resources.  And by the time the drawing is held you probably will underwrite the state general revenue expenses of the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, too.

The agencies also draw a lot of federal money and you’ll be paying 35% of your lump sum, plus a little more, to Uncle Sam who will funnel money back to those agencies.  So you, as the lucky winner, will be underwriting the costs of a myriad of state services and programs that benefit all of us.

Let us be the first to thank you for your contribution to the well-being of our state and its people.

We used our mind to calculate those things while we took a break from our work at the Missourinet this morning.

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