Lager, Thomson speak on economy, upcoming job losses

Sharon Dunten

At the Java Joint rally on Wednesday morning, more than 40 individuals joined State Senator Brad Lager and State Representative Mike Thomson to talk about the Missouri economy and the obstacles they as legislators are facing because of upcoming job losses and the termination of stimulus or “stabilization” money in 2011.

“I don’t know how we are going to navigate through January 2110,” said Lager at the 7:30 a.m. meeting at the coffee house on Main Street.

He said after 2011 the $900 million in federal stimulus will be gone, but the $900 million will return in entitlement costs such as Medicaid, welfare and unemployment benefits.  Lager said an additional $3 million to 4 million might be required by then making the price tag for Missouri at $1.2 billion.

“It is going to be difficult,” Lager said. He added the state could only be at 24 to 30 percent total revenue by 2011. “The money is going out to entitlement programs which we cannot control because of federal mandates,” he said.  Also, providing school breakfasts and lunches should go back to the responsibility of parents and not part of the entitlement funding, Lager said.

One solution addressed to rebuild the Missouri economy is to engage the private sector and entrepreneurs with the may have received counterfeit money should call law enforcement authorities immediately, Farris said, and, if possible, supply officers with a description of the suspect. License plate numbers are especially helpful in tracking down offenders, he said.

Customers who inadvertently pass counterfeit currency to someone who detects it should remain in the store until authorities arrive, Shelton said.

"Someone who is guilty is not going to hang around and wait for officers," he said. "But if they run to their car and drive away, well, that's something else."

Maryville Daily Forum