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This Week in the Governor’s Office: Week of March 27


Gov. Eric Greitens happily signed the first major piece of tort reform to hit his desk Tuesday, when he put his signature on a Rep. Kevin Corlew’s bill to have Missouri join 39 other states in adopting the Daubert standard for expert witness testimony. Greitens mentioned that provision specifically and said the bill would help Missouri’s economic situation by attracting more businesses to come to Missouri.

“In Missouri, our businesses and companies have been held back,” Greitens said at the signing. “When crooked trial lawyers bring in shady witnesses who act as experts while peddling junk science, it makes it harder for justice to be done. That scares away businesses, businesses who have customers here and could make money here have been afraid to expand here.”

Even more interestingly, Greitens answered questions from reporters for roughly 15 minutes after the signing ceremony at Midland Transports in Jefferson City. Greitens has received a lot of criticism from journalists and members of the media for his lack of access and few open press availabilities, but this week’s presser may show a shift in his approach. he answered questions ranging from ethics laws to REAL ID and even the possibility of Medicaid expansion (to which he is opposed) after Congress’ failure last week to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

As other states reconsider Medicaid expansion, Missouri Republicans stand firmly opposed

Greitens also saw another week where his appointees for the UM Board of Curators were held back by the Senate, reportedly from dissatisfaction of his unilateral decision to grant a paid family leave policy for employees in some parts of the executive branch. He also made two judicial appointments: Judge Renee Hardin-Tammons was appointed as an associate judge in St. Louis County, and Judge Thomas Clark, II will be a circuit judge in St. Louis City.

Greitens also traveled to Washington D.C. and met with Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and other members of President Donald Trump’s cabinet to discuss Missouri’s role in supporting veterans.

Featured photo: Gov. Eric Greitens signs the Daubert expert witness standard bill March 28, 2017. (Travis Zimpfer/MISSOURI TIMES)