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Kehoe: Missouri economy taking steps forward

Missouri’s economy is beginning to bounce back after the downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe.

“We got some early sales tax numbers for June that showed an uptick over the same period last year, so it’s a small but promising sign for our economy,” Kehoe said. “We’ll take baby steps right now in our economy.”

“Missourians are ready to get out and about,” Kehoe continued. “The governor and I want people to get out and about. We want them to be careful, and we want them to be cautious; we understand that COVID hasn’t just gone away.”

Kehoe appeared on “This Week in Missouri Politics” this week to discuss the upcoming elections, the state’s response to COVID-19, health restrictions, protests, and the current state of the beef industry in Missouri. 

Kehoe also encouraged Missourians to spend their summer vacations in Missouri and see what the state’s tourism industry has to offer.

“People aren’t a hundred percent comfortable traveling on airlines; I know some people are, but not everybody is at that point where they’re comfortable,” Kehoe said. “Gas prices are low, and Missourians might not have the budget to take a 10-day trip to go somewhere else, so taking a three-to-five day trip here in Missouri and seeing some of the great assets we have is unbelievable.”

Kehoe further mentioned some vacation spots and touted the tourism industry as being the second-biggest in Missouri.

“For us to promote our state and encourage Missourians to safely get out and experience some of these great locations is something we look forward to,” he said.

COVID-19 and Missouri’s response

This week’s panel included Franklin County Commissioner Tim Brinker, St. Louis County Councilwoman Kelli Dunaway, and State Reps. Tracy McCreery and Rasheen Aldridge. The panel discussed the COVID-19 response in their communities, the protests, health care in rural and urban areas, and the Missouri State Fair.

As for the fair, Brinker said the plan is for “an old school cattle fair,” and restrictions have been put in place to minimize the further spread of the virus. McCreery agreed that the fair is an important staple of Missouri and said the governor made the right decision to allow the fair to go on to promote the state’s agriculture industry. 

On the topic of protests, Aldridge discussed the need for accountability and the momentum that has built up in the movement since protests in Ferguson in 2014. He and Dunaway supported the reallocation of funds from police departments into communities.

The panel also discussed the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling banning workplace discrimination against LGBT employees, with McCreery supporting the similar MONA act that was first introduced in Missouri’s legislature in 1998.       

Watch the full episode of “This Week in Missouri Politics” below.

EDITOR’S NOTE: For up-to-date information on coronavirus, check with the CDC and DHSS.