Watch the Democratic response to the 2022 State of the State address.
Watch the full address in the player below.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)
Gov. Mike Parson spoke to the state assembly for the 2022 State of the State speech focusing on workforce, education, infrastructure, agriculture, community development, health care and public safety.
"With a historic budget surplus and federal dollars coming to our state, we want to build on our past momentum to capture even greater opportunities for the future of Missourians," Gov. Parson said in the speech.
The governor’s focus on business looks to fund $31 million for colleges and universities through MoExcels, $20 million for the state's 57 area career centers and raising starting pay for Missouri teachers to $38,000 per year.
For Missouri Higher Education, Gov. Parson called for nearly $470 million to fund the top capital improvement projects at state community colleges and four-year institutions while also recommending nearly $600 million in higher education investments that are expected to generate over $1.1 billion in economic impact for the state.
State Senator Lauren Arthur (D – Kansas City) provided the legislative perspective on Missouri’s State of the State.
“Let’s expand early childhood education to help more kids start school ready to learn and to help parents return to the workforce,” Arthur said in her response.
The governor is asking the general assembly to pass an immediate 5.5% cost of living adjustment for all state employees.
“Let’s raise wages for state employees this year to prevent massive turnover and service disruptions later," says State Sen. Arthur.
Gov. Parson called for $10 million to expand agriculture innovation and workforce programs.
To build on the state's past successes, Gov. Parson requested for major investments in infrastructure, including $75 million for the Transportation Cost-Share program, $100 million for low-volume roads across the state, and $400 million for drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater systems.
The governor is asking for $400 million toward broadband expansion projects statewide.
Gov. Parson is seeking the General Assembly's approval to make meaningful long-term investments in local communities by allocating $250 million for a statewide revitalization program.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the governor has proposed $34 million to increase telehealth and telemedicine services in rural communities and the construction of a new multi-agency health lab to increase cross-collaboration for safer, healthier Missourians.
Governor Parson also called on the Legislature to establish a Cash Operating Expense Fund that sets aside 2.5 percent of general revenue to mitigate budget cuts and provide greater flexibility during emergencies.
"With a Cash Operating Expense Fund, we can achieve financial stability when the rainy days come," Gov. Parson said. "This is the responsible thing to do, this is the conservative thing to do, and this is the right thing to do.”
You can watch State Sen. Arthur's full statement in the video below.