JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — This week Gov. Mike Parson released his first budget recommendation and delivered his first State of the State address.

In his proposal, Parson presented a variety of what he called “bold” ideas. The plan is to up state workers pay, consolidate two prisons, fund transportation infrastructure, and restructure the Department of Economic Development.

“I stand before you today to share a vision. A vision that will chart Missouri’s future into the next decade. Missouri is dear to my heart, and by working together, we can protect and build a Missouri that is successful for the next generation,” said Parson during his State of the State address.

State of the State 2019: Parson focuses on infrastructure and workforce development

In a proposed $30 billion state budget, Missouri’s chief executive wants to continue full funding of the education formula while boosting funding for the state’s transportation infrastructure and giving state workers a pay boost.

The key funding areas fall in line with the two issues Parson has been focusing on in his six months as governor: workforce development and infrastructure. The budget recommendation also includes funds to address public safety, state employee pay, and increasing government efficiency.

Parson releases budget, focus on workforce development, infrastructure, employee raises

Parson signed three executive orders on Thursday that initiate the process of restructuring four state agencies — the Department of Economic Development, the Department of Higher Education, the Department of Natural Resources, and the Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions, and Professional Registration.

The changes are being touted as a “complete overhaul of Missouri’s economic development strategy.”

Parson signs executive orders initiating major restructuring of four state agencies

The state is planning to shutter the Crossroads Correctional Center and move the inmates and workers to the Western Missouri Correctional Center. Both facilities are in Cameron, Missouri. The consolidation plan was released on Wednesday as part of Parson’s state budget recommendation.

State planning to shutter Crossroads, transfer inmates, employees to Western

Parson kicked off the busy week my attending the swearing-in ceremonies of State Auditor Nicole Galloway and State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick — who Parson appointed to the position.

He met with his cabinet members on Tuesday.

Following his State of the State address, Parson attended a Martin Luther King Jr. celebration in the Capitol rotunda.

King Jr. celebration delivers on theme of legacy and focus

Parson announced the graduation of Missouri Leadership Academy inaugural class and launch of second class on Friday.

Parson announces graduation of Missouri Leadership Academy inaugural class, launch of second class

Alisha Shurr is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine. She joined the Missouri Times in January 2018 after working as a copy editor for her hometown newspaper in Southern Oregon. Alisha is a graduate of Kansas State University. Contact Alisha at alisha@themissouritimes.com.