Year In Review: Missouri’s Governor highlights successes in 2020

Governor Mike Parson

As 2020 comes to a close, Governor Mike Parson highlights the state’s many successes and accomplishments despite the challenges of the past year. 

“Although 2020 has brought many challenges, we remained committed to serving the people of this state and moving Missouri forward,” Governor Parson said. “We still made great strides in advancing Missouri’s economy, workforce, and infrastructure, and while there is still much work to be done, we look forward to the opportunities that 2021 is sure to bring.”

Workforce and Economic Development

COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on Missouri’s economy. Throughout 2020, Governor Parson and his administration have taken several steps to drive economic recovery across the state by supporting Missouri businesses, communities, and citizens.

  • Allocated over $100 million to create recovery programs for business, communities, and citizens
  • Took action to lower Missouri’s unemployment rate to 4.4 percent as of November
  • Helped recover 67 percent of jobs lost to COVID-19 as of November, putting Missouri in the top tier of states for job recovery 
  • Helped secure $11.3 billion in low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Paycheck Protection Program loans 
  • Waived over 600 regulations 
  • Signed 13 Executive Orders to ease burdens of COVID-19
  • Signed SB 591 modifying civil action provisions, including punitive damages and unlawful merchandising practices
  • More than 10 job and business expansion announcements, including
    • Accenture Federal Services in St. Louis, creating 1,400 new job
    • Chewy, Inc. in Belton, creating 1,200 new jobs 
    • Promoveo, LLC in Springfield, creating 50 new jobs 
    • Armstrong World Industries and AGCI in Marshfield, creating nearly 130 new jobs
    • Tyler Pipe Company in Marshfield, creating 75 new jobs
    • Amazon in Republic, creating 500 new jobs

Education

A strong supporter of education, Governor Parson and his administration have worked with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development to support Missouri’s K-12 and higher education students and teachers. 

K-12 Education:

  • Allocated $79 million to expand education opportunities and address COVID-19 challenges 
  • $30 million to address the digital divide for Missouri’s students 
  • Removed entrance barriers to the teaching profession 
  • Altered attendance formulas to accommodate alternative learning methods

Higher Education: 

  • $80 million to support the safe return to in-person instruction on college campuses
  • $23.6 million to support public colleges and universities
  • $10 million to expand remote learning capabilities
  • $9.7 million to support job training 

Public Safety

 As a former sheriff, Governor Parson is committed to protecting and strengthening Missouri communities and addressing violent crime.

  • Signed SB 600, HB 66, and HB 46 modifying and creating provisions to address issues of violent crime in Missouri 
  • Granted Lincoln University a license to establish a Basic Training Academy at the nation’s first Historically Black College and University
  • Committed state personnel to support federal task forces and other operations aimed at combating violent crime in St. Louis 
  • Supported partnerships between local, state, and federal law enforcement to fight violent crime, including Operation Legend
  • $1 million grant to the Urban League of St. Louis to expand violent crime de-escalation 
  • Nearly $900,000 to support the Attorney General’s Safer Streets Initiative

Health Care

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, access to health care services and resources became even more crucial than in years past. Governor Parson and his administration worked with state, local, and private partners to ease health care regulatory burdens and provide needed supplies to communities across the state. 

  • $5.25 million to expand broadband connectivity for telehealth across the state 
  • Partnered with Vizient to bring 196 additional health care workers to Missouri 
  • Launched the Google PPE Marketplace to connect health care providers with PPE suppliers and manufactures 
  • Created COVID-19 dashboards to provide the most up-to-date data to Missourians 

Infrastructure

Governor Parson and the Missouri Department of Transportation have been focused on moving critical infrastructure projects forward since the start of his administration. Even with the COVID-19 pandemic, repairing and replacing Missouri’s infrastructure has remained a top priority. 

  • Secured a $152.4 million grant for airports across the state 
  • Signed HB 1768 extending the Missouri Broadband Grant Program 
  • Secured $9.88 million Port Infrastructure Development Grant to the Kansas City Port Authority
  • Completed the 100th bridge through Governor Parson’s “Focus on Bridges” program 

Supporting Missouri Working Families

Since the beginning of his administration, Governor Parson has been committed to workforce development and supporting Missouri’s working families. 

  • Signed HB 2046 expanding license reciprocity provisions in Missouri 
  • $46 million in child care funding to ensure child care providers can support the needs of working Missouri families
  • $27 million to increase and provide child care assistance and relax qualification criteria  
  • $19.8 million to support child care providers during low attendance
  • $3.5 million for child care providers that served essential personnel 
  • $4.2 million for child care providers serving families during non-traditional hours 
  • $6.5 million for food banks 

Agriculture

Governor Parson began the year with a proclamation declaring February 16-23, 2020, as National FFA Week in Missouri showing his support for more than 25,000 Missouri FFA members and continuing his lifelong support for the agriculture industry. He and his administration also took additional action to support agriculture and ensure the industry’s resiliency in times of crisis.

  • $20 million for the Missouri Meat & Poultry Processing Grant 
  • Declared Missouri’s Food and Agriculture Industry as critical infrastructure 

Although the 2020 Missouri State Fair looked different than years past, Governor and First Lady Parson were still able to join Missouri 4-H and FFA exhibitors from across the state to celebrate the future of agriculture in the Show-Me State. This year the state fair saw overdue capital improvements completed, ensuring the next generation has a strong foundation to build upon. 

  • New Director’s Pavilion completed 
  • Construction of 150 new exhibitor camping spots
  • Swine Barn electrical renovation
  • Sheep Pavilion complete renovation
  • Horse barns critical structure upgrades
  • Public campground electrical upgrades