Missouri old pensioners who anticipated checks as Christmas gifts are going to be disappointed. Pension headquarters at Jefferson City announced it would be some time after the first of the year when some of the approved applicants would be paid a small amount. This is not very encouraging news to the older persons.
Although the sales tax revenue is coming in at nearly a million dollars a month, State Auditor Smith said the relief burden was so heavy on the state revenues that no money was now available to pay old age pensions. Auditor Smith estimated the state would be $2 million to $3 million “in the red” at the end of the year, and this is not a bright picture.
Shortly after the law went into effect last August, State Commissioner Allen M. Thompson said he hoped the first payments would be made before the end of the year.
Still faced by a somewhat involved procedure, Thompson expressed the opinion that the successful applicants would probably have to wait until after the first of the year — how long he was not prepared to say.
The old age pension department is passing upon the applications at a rate of approximately 1,000 a week, but so far none have been submitted to the commissioner for final approval. About 90,000 persons over 70 years of age have applied for the pensions it was estimated.
The pension plan as originally announced called for a maximum pension payment of $30 a month to single persons and $45 a month to married couples. It now appears that persons will receive only a small amount.
It is being suggested by many that a special session of the legislature be called, let money be appropriated to pay old age pensions and then it cannot be used for other purposes.
— written, researched and presented by Wilbur Bush, Gallatin, MO