This Week in the Governor’s Office: Week of July 9, 2018

  

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Gov. Mike Parson continued a busy week with stops across the state and several meetings.

On Tuesday, Parson attended a jobs announcement in Sedalia, announcing the expansion of yearbook manufacturer Jostens.

“Jostens job growth and investment in Sedalia proves its commitment to the people and to the community,” said Governor Mike Parson. “Today is a great day for Sedalia, and these new jobs are an essential part as we move Missouri forward.”

With this expansion, Jostens will move all of its small yearbook production to the Sedalia facility, doubling the output of the Sedalia plant.

He also signed off on Rep. Jeanie Lauer’s HB 1415.

That evening, Parson issued a statement regarding President Donald Trump’s pick for the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Thanks to President Trump, America is one step closer to a Supreme Court that reflects our values. The Senate should move swiftly to confirm Judge Kavanaugh who is eminently qualified and a proven conservative. The Supreme Court should interpret the law, not make the law. This is an enormous opportunity to make lasting change for our next generation.”

On Wednesday, Gov. Parson stopped in Warrensburg for the ribbon cutting at Dollar Tree’s 1.2-million-square-foot distribution center. In addition to the new facility, Dollar Tree plans to invest $110 million and create 375 new jobs by 2020. The new facility was first announced in April 2017.

“Warrensburg is a great community, and Dollar Tree is a great addition to the region,” said Governor Parson. “Dollar Tree recognized Missouri’s business-friendly approach, our strengths in logistics and distribution, and the talent we have available in the region. We are proud that Dollar Tree has chosen Missouri to invest and create jobs.”

He also made a stop at Whiteman Air Force Base.

Later that day, he hosted a roundtable discussion with rural Missouri mayors in Odessa. The roundtable consisted of challenges and priorities that local municipalities are facing. Some of the topics discussed were infrastructure and workforce development, as well as how to best address the issues and problems facing their cities and the state.

“It was a privilege to meet with the mayors and review their upcoming priorities and areas of need,” said Parson. “We need discussions like these to be able to find concerns and areas that we can improve. This collaborative effort is a first step in building a sustainable tomorrow for our rural communities as we move Missouri forward.”

The Mayor of Odessa, Adam Couch, introduced and welcomed Parson. Other mayors in attendance included: Darlene Breckenridge, Cameron; Michael Brown, Concordia; Jared Carr, Lebanon; Jennifer Cary, Tipton; Reed Dupy, Chillicothe; Adam Morton, Knob Noster; Eddie Simons, Warsaw; Doyle Weeks, Holden; Fred Wiedner, Lexington; and Mike Wright, Richmond.

Judge Jon Beetem also ruled on Parson’s appointing of Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe, dismissing the case.

Parson states, “We applaud the Court’s expedient decision to dismiss the plaintiffs’ case regarding the Governor’s appointment authority. This affirms our position as well as the position of previous Governors from both parties. We look forward to continuing our work with Lieutenant Governor Kehoe and also commend the work of Attorney General Josh Hawley’s office in effectively arguing the merits of this case on an important constitutional issue.”

That evening, Parson hosted a working dinner at the Governor’s Mansion with agricultural leaders across Missouri. The Governor and leaders addressed agriculture priorities and concerns, including the drought, infrastructure needs, expanding trade opportunities, and workforce development.

“It was a privilege to host and unite members of Missouri’s agriculture coalition for a working dinner to discuss shared challenges and to promote and defend Missouri’s number one industry, agriculture,” said Parson.

“Governor Parson has been a longtime friend and supporter of Missouri Agriculture,” said Dan Cassidy, Chief Administrative Officer of Missouri Farm Bureau. “It is refreshing to know that we have one of our own in the Governor’s Mansion who clearly understands the challenges for every Missouri farm and ranch family. We appreciate the Governor’s leadership and vision to ensure that our next generation of farmers are prepared to feed the world.”

“We appreciate Governor Parson’s willingness to sit down and speak candidly about the issues we are facing right now,” said Mike Deering, Missouri Cattlemen’s Association. “As our Missouri cattlemen battle this year’s drought and the effect of a limited water supply, we are confident Governor Parson will continue to work alongside us to address these challenges.”

Parson reminded each leader that “Missouri farm and ranch families are the backbone of this state. In order to move Missouri agriculture forward, we need to find forward-thinking solutions, including expanding trade opportunities and exploring technology innovations as we look to tackle the drought that is affecting so many of our farmers.”

Parson on Thursday traveled to Springfield to sign HB 2540, the income tax cut bill sponsored by Speaker Pro Tem Elijah Haahr.

Gov. Parson signs income tax cut into law, individual income tax rate lowered to 5.4 percent starting in 2019

Parson signed six additional bills on Friday. Legislation that was signed included improving education, protecting children, and amending Missouri’s prevailing wage law.

HB 1606, an education bill sponsored by Rep. Elaine Gannon, will help students with their high school equivalency, choosing between the ACT and ACT WorkKeys assessment, and the creation of a virtual school program that will open up a variety of courses that will especially benefit students in small, rural, or financially challenged schools.

SB 655, sponsored by Sen. Scott Sifton, will further protect children by removing the statute of limitations for sexual offenses committed against minors and raising the minimum age for marriage to 16.

“The welfare of our children must always be a top priority,” said Parson. “These two pieces of legislation are a step in the right direction as we look to provide proper education throughout Missouri while also ensuring that their safety and overall well-being improves.”

Other bills that were signed include: SB 581, HB 1729, HB 1796, and HCR 63. In addition to the bill signings, the Governor vetoed SCR 50, SB 894 & 921, and HB 2562. The Governor will be reaching out and meeting with House and Senate leadership next week to explore options and discuss efforts to address veto concerns.

Parson added, “I want to thank the General Assembly for their hard work during this past session.  Missourians should be proud of the work that was done this year to fully fund the education foundation formula, stabilize higher education budgets, and make investments to infrastructure and workforce development”

Parson has now signed a total of 63 bills since he took office.

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 benjamin@themissouritimes.com or follow him on Twitter @BenjaminDPeters.