Governor Mike Parson | KCUR

Governor Mike Parson

Samuel King / KCUR 89.3

In baseball circles, the St. Louis Cardinals organization is known for its so-called “The Cardinal Way,” a manual of sorts that players and managers adhere to in the quest for consistency. 

Since August 2018, Missouri state government has been teaching “The Missouri Way,” a leadership training program that’s already indoctrinated more than 1,000 employees from the 16 executive departments. Statewide-elected officials like the secretary of state, auditor and attorney general are not required to take the training, and neither is their staff. 

Carolina Hidalgo / St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 2:05 p.m. May 24 with comment from Parson spokesman — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed strict abortion regulations into law Friday, just hours after one of the biggest GOP donors encouraged him to veto it. 

Samuel King / KCUR 89.3 file photo

In this very special episode of KCUR’s Statehouse Blend Missouri podcast, we joined forces with St. Louis Public Radio’s Politically Speaking podcast to round up the 2019 session of the Missouri General Assembly.

Gov. Mike Parson just finished up his first legislative session as governor. And by any objective measure, it was a good one for the GOP chief executive.

He wanted the Republican-controlled Legislature to approve his ideas around workforce development and transportation spending, and those lawmakers followed through. He was also able to deal with warring factions within his party, most notably six conservative senators that at times held up his priorities.

Alex Smith / KCUR

At a rally Sunday afternoon, a line of abortion-rights marchers encircled nearly the entire Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri, a distance of just over a mile.

After a week that featured titanic battles over high-profile legislation, Missouri lawmakers are heading into the final day with a lot on their plate.

The unfinished business set for Friday includes final passage of abortion legislation that’s made national headlines, as well as a bill to overhaul the low-income housing tax-credit program.

Segment 1: The impact of the Missouri Senate Conservative Caucus on the finals days of the 2019 session.

They've been called the "Chaos Caucus" and their latest efforts have involved  attempting blocks of a tax break bill for General Motors and a prescription-drug monitoring program. Statehouse reporters offered insight on these senators and how other Republicans view these fellow members of the GOP.

Updated at 6 a.m. May 16 with Senate passage — Missouri is a step closer to having some of the strictest limits on abortion in the country.

The measure approved by the state Senate early Thursday bans abortion after a heartbeat can be detected, usually around six to eight weeks. There is no exception for rape or incest and there are also complete bans on abortion if a fetus is diagnosed with Down syndrome, or based on race or gender.

Updated at 12 p.m. Tuesday with comments from Gov. Parson:

A state incentive package aimed at getting General Motors to expand in Missouri is running into a major roadblock in the state Senate, threatening to derail some of Gov. Mike Parson’s priorities with less than a week left in the legislative session.

Six Republican senators who object to the expansion of job-training aid and a fund that would help finance the closing of economic development deals led a filibuster Monday on what is generally a quick procedural step to begin the day. That prevented any other work from getting done, as the filibuster, which began around 2:30 p.m., stretched into the night and early Tuesday morning.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is pushing an economic development plan intended to incentivize General Motors to expand its automotive plant in Wentzville.

If approved by state Legislature, the plan would make the auto manufacturer eligible for more than $50 million in state tax credits. Parson emphasized that the company’s expansion was only potential, and a GM spokesman told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the company won’t make any decisions until it has had more discussions with community officials and the United Automobile Workers union.

Parson visited Wentzville on Wednesday to publicize the plan. Parson also surveyed flooded farmland in St. Charles County during the trip.

Carolina Hildalgo / St. Louis Public Radio file photo

Updated at 3:42 p.m. with governor's statement  — Missouri’s auditor wants to know whether it’s OK for Gov. Mike Parson’s office to claim First Amendment rights when redacting certain pieces of information from public records.

Many high school students choose college as their destination after graduation, and receive lots of attention for that decision. A collection of high schools near Missouri’s Fort Leonard Wood wanted to bring that same recognition to students who join the military.

Samuel King / KCUR 89.3

The Missouri House and Senate have approved their versions of the $29 billion budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year. But there’s still work to be done ahead of the May 10 deadline to get it to Gov. Mike Parson’s desk, namely by the conference committee that’ll figure out how to square everyone’s desires.

Peggy Lowe / KCUR 89.3

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Wednesday requested a federal disaster declaration in 13 counties along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, which will trigger assistance needed after devastating spring flooding.

In northwestern Missouri — where Interstate 29 is still closed, towns are submerged and hundreds of acres of farmland are underwater — many residents wondered why the declaration took a month longer than those in Nebraska and Iowa.

Samuel King / KCUR 89.3 file photo

Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway’s been busy, looking into Clay County’s finances, the attorney general’s office and raising questions about the state’s tax revenues and budget issues.

She sat down with KCUR's Samuel King on April 15 (Tax Day) to discuss all of these things, as well as what it’s like to be the only Democrat holding a statewide office.

As the Missouri General Assembly hits its week-long spring break, lawmakers are mulling over what they’ve accomplished so far — and bracing for an array of items that haven’t reached the legislative finish line.

While lawmakers in both the House and Senate have been able to tackle issues that have historically stalled, such as curtailing the low-income housing tax-credit program, priorities that Gov. Mike Parson holds near and dear have run into opposition from his own party.

Samuel King / KCUR 89.3

The acting head of the Missouri State Highway Patrol may soon have the job permanently. Governor Mike Parson appointed Lt. Colonel Eric Olson as superintendent on Tuesday. Olson will continue to serve as acting superintendent until his appointment is confirmed by the Missouri Senate.

“This is certainly a humbling experience for me, and I would do my best to represent the patrol in a manner that’s consistent with those who have gone before me,” Olson said.

Creative Commons

Seg. 1: A recent poll shows Jolie Justus and Steve Miller leading the race for Kansas City mayor, but nearly 30 percent of voters are undecided.

Missouri ranks just behind Mississippi for the lowest-paid correctional officers in the country.

The average annual pay for a correctional officer in Missouri was $30,870 in 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, well below the national average of $47,600. Even with a recent pay bump of $1,050 a year, the department is struggling to retain and attract correctional officers for the state’s 21 prisons.

Samuel King / KCUR 89.3

Missouri remains the only state without a statewide prescription drug monitoring program, though it is a step closer. Again. 

Samuel King / KCUR 89.3

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson’s budget plan includes a raise for all state employees, who on average are the lowest-paid in the nation.

“We're going to invest in the state workforce,” state budget director Dan Haug said. “We have had some studies done and we had employees below what the market minimums were, so we're going to try to get almost all of our employees up to that.”

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

A little more than a week after his first State of the State address, in which he outlined his focus on workforce development and infrastructure, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson expanded on those ideas during an interview with Steve Kraske on KCUR’s Up to Date.

Carolina Hidalgo / St. Louis Public Radio file photo

One of the first major policy issues introduced in the Missouri General Assembly every year is K-12 education funding, which takes up a fifth of the state budget.

Segment 1: Missouri Governor Mike Parson wants $22 million to help "skill up" current workforce for better paying jobs. 

Last week Governor Mike Parson used his State of the State address to announce his approach for workforce development and state infrastructure.  Today, the governor explained his proposal to borrow $350 million to repair bridges and another $50 million for a cost-sharing program to assist cities and counties with their projects. He emphasized a priority for making sure that the people who need help are getting it. 

Brian Ellison / KCUR 89.3

Missouri Republicans have a firm grip on the state legislature, but among the party’s leadership roles, only one is filled by someone near Kansas City.