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5 THINGS… Greitens could mention in the State of the State

The newly-elected Governor showed that he may be one of the best orators to hold the office in a generation with his inaugural, but his address certainly wasn’t long on details. Inaugural addresses typically aren’t and the thousand people standing outside were likely grateful for the brevity. However, those who listen to a State of the State are people who are looking for serious policy proposals and some details of a vision.
Here are 5 things the Governor could discuss that would give serious listeners an insight into where he sees the real condition of the state of Missouri:


It’s pretty clear where the labor bills are heading, but Greitens has consistently mentioned tort reform as a priority – but, of course, that can take on many forms. Collateral source has been mentioned in the legislature, but the real question the Governor can answer is whether he declare war on the Missouri Plan to select judges.


We saw the Democrats have the chance to flourish as a real opposition party last week, as in committee they tied the Republicans in knots. Reps. Lauren Arthur and Peter Meredith shined. Although the floor debate wasn’t handled as well it could have been, it did show the future for the opposition. The end result was a sort of ban on lobbyist gifts. Case in point: the Press Association was hailed as a group who was worthy of buying legislators dinner, and on Monday released a lengthy list of legislation they are looking to influence in 2017. Will Greitens be happy with a partial ban on lobbyist gifts, or will he – as he repeatedly stated on the campaign trail – demand a total ban?


The Governor has decided to wait to release his budget. This makes a lot of sense as he comes to the office with no experience with the state budget – better a good budget in February than a haphazard one in January. However, he previously said he might need to cut $200 million from the budget, then it was maybe $400 million. Rep. Fitzpatrick said last week it might be $500 million, and now the Governor says it may be larger. He focused the first $150 million in restrictions on education. He could give a look into where the next few hundred million will come from in the speech. 
  • 3b. MoDOT 

    • No serious person in the public policy discussion believes that Missouri’s transportation shortfall can be settled by finding other areas of the budget to cut and Greitens has said the public doesn’t trust the government to give them more money. It’s worth wondering if his weekend, with MoDOT officials performing during the ice storm, influenced his judgment. Unfortunately for the Governor, “career politicians” have kicked the can all the way down the road and it’s now a problem that will hit a crisis during his administration. Will the Governor offer a real solution to transportation funding?


He has made it clear he comes down on the side of the police in the law and order debate. St. Louis mayoral candidate Lyda Krewson has said the city needs 200 more police officers. So far the Governor has come out for tougher penalties for people who assault police officers, but will he offer any solution to helping curb urban crime? With the current budget situation, can he?


There is no question that the Governor is nothing like the President-elect in terms of style. Some close to the Governor aren’t the biggest fans of the 45th President of the United States. However, Donald J. Trump is by far the most popular elected official in Missourah and it will be interesting to see if the President-elect gets a shout out from the Governor during his speech.