Wrap-Up of Governor Parson’s 2019 State of the State Address

Gov. Mike Parson delivered his 2019 State of the State Address on Jan. 16, his first  after taking office this past June, and it was sharply focused on work-force development and infrastructure needs. Some of the main takeaways:

Workforce Development

  • The Governor announced $22 million towards a new scholarship program called Fast Track. This program will allow Missourians to receive training in high-demand areas that are usually taught at community colleges, technical schools, colleges and universities.
  • Gov. Parson also announced $10 million towards a new fund called Missouri One Start. This fund is an increase and consolidation of the Missouri Works program, focused on assisting new and existing businesses with upgrading their workers’ skills to build their workforce needs.
  • Additionally, he announced $16 million for the creation of Missouri Excels, which is a program to be used by Missouri Higher Education Institutions to develop and broaden employer-driven education, training programs and initiatives to increase career readiness

On Infrastructure

  • Gov. Parson announced several long-term investments in Missouri infrastructure
  • The Governor announced $5 million to ensure every Missourian has access to high-speed broadband internet
  • He stated that $350 million will be used by MoDOT to work on 250 bridges across Missouri in need of repair or replacement
  • And Gov. Parson also announced that $50 million will be used for a transportation share program to assist cities and counties with infrastructure needs

Other Key Points

  • Gov. Parson announced that his budget reduces the size of state government by 450 positions and saves nearly $120 million dollars – this is the first time in over a decade that the Governor’s budget does not spend every tax dollar
  • In his speech, he also emphasized his dedication to improving the health and healthcare of Missouri citizens by providing monetary support for: those facing mental health challenges, telemedicine technology, and combating the opioid crisis