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    Missouri: Grocers Poised To Descend On State Capitol

    A 12-year tradition, sponsored by the Missouri Grocers Association, offers one-on-one discussions with state representatives.

    By Hank Behar

    ST. LOUIS -- There's nothing like one-on-one meetings with state legislators to let them know one's stance and expectations of them, and that's what the grocers of Missouri will be doing March 31.

    That's the date of the annual "Missouri Grocer's Day at the Capitol," a 12-year tradition sponsored by the Missouri Grocers Association (MGA), in which the grocers of the Show Me state descend on the legislature for friendly one-on-one discussions with their representatives. As before, a bag of groceries will be delivered the day before to each of the 212 delegates to remind them that the state's food retailers will be arriving the next day.

    The No. 1 issue this year so far is the state's unemployment insurance fund -- it's running low and the MGA is resisting efforts to raise the premium to replenish the treasury.

    The emphasis, said the MGA, should be on the jobs creation instead. More jobs mean more salaries, which generates more contributions to the fund. If the premiums are raised, it will actually represent a rise in taxes, and this is no time to place a greater burden on the state's grocery store operators and owners, said the MGA.

    Since the legislative session runs until May, the results of the MGA's efforts won't be known for some time. But until then, the leadership, and everyone else who works in the capitol, will have at least one meal to sustain them through the ordeal: On the day of the meetings the MGA will be treating everyone to a buffet lunch in the rotunda.

    By Hank Behar
    • About Hank Behar

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