Parson outlines priorities for Missouri’s 2020 legislative session

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Mike Parson

FILE – In this May 29, 2019 file photo, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson addresses the media during a news conference in his Capitol office in Jefferson City, Mo. Missouri’s Republican governor, Parson, is expected to announce that he’s running for a full term in office. Parson has a campaign announcement planned for Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, near his cattle ranch in Bolivar. (Julie Smith/The Jefferson City News-Tribune via AP File)

COLUMBIA, Mo. (Missourinet)– Transportation and workforce development are two of Governor Mike Parson’s (R) top priorities for Missouri’s 2020 legislative session, which begins Wednesday at noon in Jefferson City.

Parson spoke to Missourinet Tuesday about the session, after he addressed about 300 people at the Missouri Asphalt Pavement Association’s annual conference in Columbia.

“We’re going to continue on with the workforce development pieces that we’re doing with the infrastructure,” Parson says. “Reorganizing some of the (state) government agencies. We’ve still got a lot of work to do there.”

The largest state government reorganization in decades took effect on August 28, and involved four agencies. It’s aimed at allowing the state Department of Economic Development (DED) to focus exclusively on its core mission, which is economic development.

The August restructuring involved moving the Division of Energy from DED to the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and also involved moving the Public Service Commission (PSC) and the Office of Public Counsel from DED to the newly-named Department of Commerce and Insurance. The restructuring also moved DED’s Division of Workforce Development to the Department of Higher Education.

As for the workforce development theme, Governor Parson emphasizes the importance of preparing students for the future.

“We want to take a good look at education and make sure those high school students understand what the workforce is out there of tomorrow,” says Parson. “That’s going to be important to me that we develop them and get them ready for that workforce.”

Republicans will have super-majorities in both chambers in 2020. They’ll control the Senate 24-10 and the House 114-48, with one vacancy.

Governor Parson will outline his legislative agenda in-detail during his State of the State Address on January 15, before a joint session of the Legislature.

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