Why the Missouri governor is disappointed after the legislative session
JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri — Gov. Mike Parson calls the 2023 legislative session a winner, but said there is one issue that hasn’t been addressed that could lead to lawmakers returning to the statehouse later this year.
Dozens of bills are now on Parsons’ desk, waiting for his signature. Legislation affecting transgender Missourians, expanding Interstate 70 and expanding postpartum care for new mothers, but there’s one big issue that didn’t cross the finish line in this session and is costing the state more than a billion dollars.
“One of the things that we really let down that we didn’t make it is the childcare. That was a big problem for us because we know that keeping people in the workforce is a problem in the state,” Parson said.
Back in January, during his annual state of the state, Parson called on lawmakers to approve three new childcare tax credit programs for providers and businesses. The tax credits should help providers improve their facilities, support employers who support their workers with childcare allowances and allow more childcare workers to get a raise.
“We know 50% of this state is in so-called desert areas where there isn’t enough child care and secondly it’s expensive, especially the younger the kid is, it’s a difficult time,” Parson said.
According to the Missouri Chamber of Commerce, the state’s economy lost $1.3 billion last year due to a lack of child care. Democrats say passing an important piece of legislation was important to lawmakers and they helped make sure it happened.
“We’ve been working on this with the governor’s office throughout the session,” said John Rizzo, Senate Minority Leader, D-Independence. “It’s something that’s of great concern to single moms and mothers across the state, as well as parents in general.”
When asked if Parson would call a special session on child care, he said it was too early to say.
“I’d have to weigh that up because it’s something I want and then I have to be really honest and say if it’s a special session to do this or if it’s something that has to be done in a regular session .” Parsons said. “I think it was a bipartisan issue. I just think it didn’t make it across the finish line because of all the other things that happened.”
Overall, the governor is claiming victory for the bill that has made it onto his desk, including a $51 billion budget earmarking nearly $3 billion to widen I-70 from Wentzville to Blue Springs.
“It’s something a governor would never dream of doing given the opportunity,” Parson said. “We’ve talked about this for decades, but now you’re going to see the real story.”
Parson said not everything in the record budget will get his approval.
“There will be many items that don’t make it across the finish line,” Parson said. “I might as well say that right away. About 400 entries were added that were just special projects for lobbyists and legislators and we need to clean that up.”
The governor said if he called the general assembly into a special session, it would be done around the veto session, which is due in mid-September.
A total of 43 bills were sent to the governor’s desk, one of the lowest totals in recent history. Parson said his office is currently reviewing the bills sent to his desk and that he plans to begin signing bills in the coming weeks.
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https://fox2now.com/news/missouri/why-missouris-governor-is-disappointed-following-the-legislative-session/ Why the Missouri governor is disappointed after the legislative session