“I am very confident in the local levels to be able to handle this school situation,” Parson said. “As I talked to the administrators and I talked to teachers across the state, I think everybody wants kids back in school, for the most part, and they’re prepared for that, and I’m confident in that.”
Parson said local elected authorities should have that say, and he hoped to be a resource for them.
“We had to make sure we could be as safe as we could to have the state fair, to limit that crowd size, to limit the big events we normally have here, but still really have the basic fundamentals of the state fair, and that’s our youth,” Parson said. “I think as you walk around the grounds you see so many people so happy that we’re having the state fair, kids coming up and thanking you for that. So far things are going good.”
Parson also discussed local control, the high homicide rates in major cities, the special session on violent crime, and the recently added concurrent jurisdiction provision.
“I think we narrowed it to where we really had the problem, and that’s St. Louis City,” Parson said.
He said some of the provisions, especially the witness protection clause, came from discussions with community leaders in high-crime areas. He also said programs to expand workforce development and community outreach would be major factors in controlling the crime rates.
The farming industry and COVID-19
Parson joined Sunday’s discussion panel alongside Missouri Farm Bureau Vice President Todd Hays and Mike Deering of the Missouri Cattleman’s Association. The panel discussed the scaled-back fair as well as the current state of Missouri’s farming industry,
“If we do not repopulate the land, the next generation is in danger,” Deering said. “The average farmer’s age is 58, almost 60; less than 5 percent are 35 years old or younger. That’s a scary statistic.”
The panel also went over elections, with Parson discussing his run and Hays evaluating the state of the farming industry in the middle of COVID-19.
“Things are improving a little bit from earlier in the spring when we were impacted by COVID, primarily in the livestock and dairy industry, where plants didn’t have the employees to process their product,” Hays said. “Through all that, I think things are back online and there’s plenty of food. I hope consumers understand it doesn’t just come from the grocery store, it comes from the farms.”
Watch the full episode of “This Week in Missouri Politics” below.