Source: US State of Missouri
The Governor Presents His Agenda for the 2020 Legislative Session
On Jan. 15, lawmakers, statewide and local leaders, as well as the public had the opportunity to hear from the governor during his State of the State Address. This annual speech gives the governor the opportunity to discuss their successes during the past year, and highlight areas of improvement for our state. Overall, the governor’s message was clear: Missouri is strong. With a message focused on economic development and improving infrastructure, the governor discussed several of the successes we’ve had in these two keys areas.
Missouri continues to see a historically low unemployment rate of 3.1 percent. This important statistic has remained below the national average for 40 consecutive months. Over the past year, numerous companies of all shapes and sizes have announced expansion and investment projects throughout the state, which has resulted in thousands of new jobs. Missouri is now seventh in the nation for small business wage growth and second in the nation in the number of apprenticeships. Thousands of Missourians are learning new skills and joining the workforce with the help of programs like Missouri One Start, ASPIRE MO and the Fast-Track scholarship program.
To keep this momentum going forward, the governor encouraged continued support for these workforce development programs, as well as emphasized the need to ensure our students have the skills to succeed in the future. We all know college is not for everyone, so it is essential for students leaving high school to be able to join the workforce if they so choose. The governor is asking for funds to certify roughly 12,000 new high school students as work-ready through the Work Keys program, as well as to help young Missourians transition from school to the workforce through the Jobs for America’s Graduates program.
The governor also highlighted the importance of repairing our state’s aging infrastructure. He discussed the funding lawmakers appropriated last year to repair 250 bridges across the state. The governor called on lawmakers to continue to prioritize investment in our state’s infrastructure system, the seventh largest system in the nation.
The governor’s speech highlighted our state’s successes over the past year. Our economy is in a great place, and it continues to improve and reach new heights every day, but we must not become complacent. There is more work to be done, and I look forward to working with my colleagues and the governor to build off the successes of the 2019 legislative session. Together we can move our great state forward and create a better tomorrow for everyone who calls the Show-Me State home.
Please feel free to contact my office at (573) 751-2076. For information about my committee assignments or sponsored legislation, please visit my official Missouri Senate website at senate.mo.gov/Bernskoetter.