JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – On his first official business day in office, newly-sworn in Governor Mike Parson chose to get the ball rolling quickly, meeting with members of the Cabinet and the press.
“We’re going to be moving Missouri forward,” Parson told members of the media on Monday morning while meeting with Cabinet members. “We’re going to try and meet and make sure that everybody in the State of Missouri knows that government is going to work, and it’s going to be effective and it’s going to function well.”
Parson throughout the morning has been meeting and taking phone calls from several officials, including Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft.
Parson stepped out at about 10:30 a.m. to take a few questions from the press while meeting with Cabinet members, who sat behind him as he answered a few questions and gave some remarks.
When asked whether he intended to replace any of the current Cabinet members, Parson’s response indicated he was not looking at that at the current time.
“Governor Greitens brought together a good team to the state of Missouri,” he said.“I don’t anticipate any changes in the Cabinet, and all I want to do is be a resource for them, and work with the Cabinet because there’s a lot of good things that’s going on in the state of Missouri and we need to continue doing them.”
Last week, Parson said it was very important to figure out what to do about the vacancy in the Lieutenant Governor’s Office, and was asked whether he would consider calling a special session to address the issue. (One amendment to a bill this past session would have granted the Governor the power to appoint a lieutenant governor if there were a vacancy in the office, as statute does not currently address that.)
“There’s going to be discussion on that, and it needs to be done,” Parson said. “I don’t like the State of Missouri being without a lieutenant governor, and for me, I aim to use that position to help with the transition, because if there’s ever a time those two offices need to be working together, it’s now.”
He said they would be looking into the legalities of the issue and how to go about it, but he said it would be a priority for his administration.
On Tuesday, Governor Parson is scheduled to meet with the Mayor of Kansas City, Sly James. He also confirmed that he would be meeting with St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson in the future, saying he wanted to know what the issues are for each city, and wanted to use a coalition of mayors to identify issues from both rural and urban areas, and finding ways to work together to better the state.
“I want to learn about those areas and see what we can do to help them, and I want them to know what functions we’re going to take,” he said.
“It’s going to be a little different day as to how I function as the Governor of Missouri, but we’re going to be working together,” he said. “At the end of the day, for me, it’s about trying to bring people together, trying to build relationships, and trying to move things forward for the State of Missouri.”
Benjamin Peters is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine, and also produces the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined the Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield. To contact Benjamin, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @BenjaminDPeters.