JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – As the legislative session came to close Friday evening, Gov. Eric Greitens skirted around the question of whether there would be a special session, whether for PDMP or southeast Missouri job growth, but the former boxer did have words for Missouri’s legislators:
“We’ve finished the first round of a 10-round fight and we hit them hard. We won round one for the people of Missouri,” Greitens said. “Round two begins sooner than they think.”
While addressing the media after the end of the session, Greitens touted the passage of right-to-work, his team’s work in managing disaster responses, more jobs, and the passage of several tort reform measures, calling the session “the most successful start to a conservative administration in a generation.”
“People sent us to Jefferson City to fight for them, and that is exactly what we have done. We’ve taken on the lobbyists and liberals, the trial lawyers and union bosses, the insiders and special interests to create more jobs with higher pay,” he said, rolling out words that Missourians have heard since his campaign began.
Greitens spoke of the successful legislation that managed to cross his desk, including tort reform, the bill allowing Uber and Lyft to operate in Missouri, but the governor seemed most proud of right-to-work, listing off a number of companies who are looking to move jobs to Missouri.
He also noted that “at our recommendation,” the EPA extended the implementation of a rule, giving farmers across the country more time to comply with it.
The governor also spoke of his office’s work to bring ethics reform to the executive branch, but when asked about the fact that no ethics bills had passed out of the legislature, his answers turned back to the work in his own office before finally saying more work needed to be done.
When asked to grade the legislature’s work this session, Greitens said he would have to give them an “incomplete” assessment, saying “sometimes the legislature acted like third graders.”
The Missouri Democratic Party released their own assessment of the of the governor’s work this session, giving him a failing grade.
“Not only did Eric Greitens fail on his campaign’s biggest promise to deliver on ethics reform, he quickly became a big part of the problem,” Missouri Democratic Party Chair Stephen Webber said in a statement.
Many have wondered as to whether the governor will call state lawmakers back for a special session, but Greitens did not give any definitive answer while hinting at, nor did he provide any details as to what issues might incur a special session.
He also didn’t answer whether he would be signing off on any legislation, like the controversial SB 43, the minimum wage repeal, or HCB 3, which restores funding to senior services. He instead said that he would take the time to review each bill and make a decision.