JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — With Gov. Mike Parson on an international vacation with his wife, it was up to Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe to serve as Missouri’s chief executive this week. 

Kehoe, a Republican, signed four bills this week while he served as acting governor: 

  • SB 133: an all-encompassing agriculture bill which allows Missouri universities to begin cultivating and researching hemp 
  • SB 275: from Republican Sen. David Sater, the bill includes modifications to healthcare 
  • SB 397: extends the petition process to create a museum or cultural district from five to 15 years after a presidential disaster declaration has been established
  • HB 612: transfers the Missouri State Council on the Arts to the Lieutenant Governor’s Office. 

He also signed an executive order establishing the Missouri Food, Beverage, and Forest Products Manufacturing Task Force. 

“I am grateful for Governor Parson’s leadership and appreciate the trust and confidence placed in me in his absence,” Kehoe said in a statement. “Each of the four bills I signed are significant to Missourians across the state, especially to Missouri’s agriculture and tourism industries. All are important to moving Missouri forward.” 

Parson left for Europe earlier this month for his first overseas trade mission as Missouri’s governor. He traveled to France, Germany, and Switzerland to meet with global business leaders and bolster the Show-Me State to potential new businesses. After, he stayed in Europe with the first lady for a vacation. Parson is expected to return to Missouri on July 3. 

Kehoe is expected to make appointments to the Route 66 Centennial Commission next week before Parson returns. 

Parson appointed Kehoe to lieutenant governor in June 2018. Kehoe previously served as a state senator where he held a variety of leadership positions — from majority floor leader to chairing committees.