Kids a Top Priority for Governor Parson – Recap of the 2021 State of the State

by Craig Stevenson, Director of Policy and Advocacy, Kids Win Missouri

Yesterday, January 27, Governor Mike Parson delivered the State of the State address to the Missouri General Assembly. In an unusual move of tradition, the address was held in the Senate chambers instead of the traditional House chambers. The transcript of the address can be found here.

Governor Parson shared his vision is to make Missouri a better place for our children and grandchildren to achieve the American Dream. Two of Governor Parson’s distinguished guests included Darlene Sowell, CEO and President, and Denise Carter, Early Childhood Director from Unleashing Potential in St. Louis. Parson described the hard work he witnessed of our early childhood providers during a visit in the fall.  Notably, Governor Parson proposed the consolidation of several programs and divisions across state agencies into a new office—the Office of Childhood. More details are to be announced during Governor Parson’s press conference at 3 PM today (Watch live from his Facebook page).

Governor Parson also confirmed he will uphold the will of the voters, and his budget plans to move forward with expanding Medicaid coverage.

Other themes of the address included the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact and highlighting budget recommendations such as full funding of the K-12 foundation formula, higher education, and infrastructure funding. The Governor also called on the state legislature to authorize the state to collect online sales taxes, often referred to as the Wayfair taxes, to ensure online businesses have a level playing field compared to local businesses.

As the State of the State came to a close, the Governor mentioned 11 professionals who are on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic—and he named child care providers alongside doctors, nurses, health professionals, first responders, law enforcement, custodians, among others.

In conjunction with the Governor’s State of the State, he released his budget and legislative priority summary document for FY2022. Lastly, the full Executive Budget was also released. Look for more details in our Friday update on the Governor’s proposed budget.

And if you aren’t already registered, plan to join us for our Friday Legislative Update calls – every Friday at 10 AM during legislative session. 

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