Former Gov. Eric Greitens signed 77 bills on his way out the door Friday afternoon without even notifying the lawmakers who sponsored them.
For some, the signings marked the completion of a six-month journey of the legislation through both the House and Senate.
For the others, the unannounced signings were a surprise.
A source in Jefferson City told The Missourian the governor’s actions were unprecedented and done out of spite.
In addition to not having time to thoroughly review 77 bills in just two weeks after the legislative session ended, the source said Greitens basically signed bills of those who had been his devoted loyalists.
In a final insult, Greitens also signed bills of lawmakers who he knew would liked to have had their bills signed by Gov. Mike Parson instead.
Although all five of the state lawmakers representing Franklin County signed the petition to allow the special session to further investigate Greitens, and some questioned his ability to continue leading the state, none came out and publicly called for his resignation.
One of the msot notable Franklin County centric bills signed by Greitens last week was HB 1809 sponsored by State Rep. Nate Tate, R-St.Clair.
The signing of the bill is the first of three steps to allow Franklin County to join the Bi-State Development Agency.
With the Missouri legislation in hand, a twin bill should be filed in the Illinois General Assembly next and if that passes, a federal bill will have to be passed and signed by the president.
Greitens also signed a bill that will allow farmers in Missouri to grow and harvest industrial hemp thanks to a bill sponsored by State Rep. Paul Curtman, R-Washington.
The bill will create an industrial hemp agricultural pilot program to be implemented by the Department of Agriculture and specifies the requirements for an applicant of an industrial hemp registration and agricultural hemp seed production permit.
State Rep Kirk Mathews, R-Pacific, had his first bill passed and signed by the governor this year, which will be his last legislative session leaving on a positive note.
House Bill 1769 establishes the offense of filing false documents with the intent to defraud, deceive, harass, alarm, or negatively impact, financially or in such a manner reasonably calculated to deceive.
State Rep. Justin Alferman, R- Hermann, resigned his seat in the Missouri House June 4 to become legislative director for Gov. Mike Parson.
In what was his final session, Alferman had language he has filed in the past added to a bill from another lawmaker that was passed.
House Bill 1428 was passed with language that would require the state Senate to ratify any gubernatorial appointments after Aug. 28, 2018.
In addition to the legislative work, Alferman played a key part in the state’s 2019 budget as vice chairman of the House Budget committee.
On the other side of the capitol building, State Sen. Dave Schatz had three bills passed this legislative session, but only one was signed by Greitens last Friday.
Senate Bill 862 modifies provisions relating to electrical contractors.
Two other bills, SB 707 modifies provisions relating to vehicle sales, and SB 708 increases the minimum motor vehicle liability coverage a driver must carry for others’ property when operating a motor vehicle were left unsigned.
With more than half of the bills passed this session already signed, it will now be up to new Gov. Mike Parson and his staff to review the remaining 69 bills and make decisions on whether or not to sign them into law.