In Governor Parson’s State of the State address last week, he touched on many topics that Show-Me Institute analysts have been writing about for years. A brief list of topics from the speech, accompanied by links to relevant writings from Show-Me Institute researchers, follows:
- Workforce development wasn’t just mentioned in the speech—it was singled out as one of the two most important policy priorities moving forward. Patrick Ishmael has been out in front of this issue, writing on the importance of workforce development, particularly in the area of vocational training. Readers of this blog may also have seen posts by Emily Stahly on the potential for charter schools to help give Missouri a more skilled workforce, and by Abigail Burrola on how a focus on industry-recognized credentials could better prepare our high-school graduates for good jobs after graduation.
- Infrastructure was the other issue designated as a top priority, particularly the pressing need to fund necessary repairs and improvements to Missouri’s highway system. Back in 2016, Joe Miller wrote a comprehensive paper on options for funding the Missouri Department of Transportation. More recently, Graham Renz and Patrick Tuohey have advocated for user fees as the best way to fund our state’s transportation needs, whether through a gas tax or some form of tolling.
- The Governor noted the drain on the state’s finances caused by Missouri’s high incarceration rate and his desire to avoid building more prisons. Ways to help keep prison populations down include reform of laws governing mandatory minimum sentencing and efforts to help ex-offenders enter the workforce, as Patrick Tuohey has written.
- The need to control the growth in the cost of the state’s Medicaid program was also discussed. Elias Tsapelas has not only written on this topic, but has also looked at measures being taken in other states to address the problem
Even topics mentioned only in passing during the speech have been covered by Show-Me Institute analysts, including telemedicine, tax credit reform, and educational challenges facing children with autism and other disabilities.
It’s encouraging to hear that so many long-overdue reforms may be on the docket during the current legislative session. As we watch to see if 2019 will bring important changes to Missouri policy, we’ll continue to research and advocate free-market solutions that will help move our state forward.