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This Week in the Governor’s Office: Week of July 30, 2019


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri’s chief executive embarked on his second overseas trade mission this week after shuffling staff between his official office and campaign.

On Thursday, Gov. Mike Parson departed for Australia — Missouri’s ninth largest international market with more than $308 million in exports in 2018. He is slated to make stops in Melbourne and Sydney to meet with infrastructure leaders, worldwide business executives, and government officials. Parson will return to Missouri on Aug. 10.

One of the primary goals of the trade mission will be to examine the feasibility of using an infrastructure asset recycling program in Missouri to raise revenue and strengthen the state’s infrastructure, according to a news release.

“Since day one, we’ve been focused on building Missouri’s future by improving infrastructure and workforce development,” Parson said. “One of the ways we can do this is by looking at practices that are being successfully implemented in places like Australia, a leader in the infrastructure asset recycling industry, and bringing those best practices back to Missouri.”

But before departing on his second international trade mission, he hired Steele Shippy, his communications director, as his re-election campaign manager. Parson has yet to announce if he is running for governor but a decision is expected in the coming months.

Kelli Jones was promoted from deputy communications director and press secretary to communications director.

Parson also called for special elections to fill four vacancies in the Missouri House. The elections to fill the seats previously occupied by Democratic Reps. Brandon Ellington, DaRon McGee, Cora Faith Walker, and Bruce Franks Jr. will take place on Nov. 5.

He also appointed seven people to a health insurance task force and nominated nine individuals to various boards and commissions.