Gov. Mike Parson in his State of the State speech offered a plan to combat violent crime in the state, and at the same time reaffirmed his support for gun rights. The crime issue and his call for a new state savings plan highlighted his speech Wednesday to members of the General Assembly.
The governor told the Republican-dominated legislature that he has rejected the Democrats’ plan that calls for more restrictions on gun ownership, and flexibility for cities to impose their own gun rules.
Gov. Parson said in his six years in the Army, 22 years in law enforcement and as a lifetime member of the NRA, “I have never wavered in my support for the Second Amendment.”
The governor’s plan calls for more protection for witnesses of crime, increased mental health resources and he wants a ramp up of laws against violent crime. It is true that those proposals have a better chance of passage in a Legislature where gun rights are strongly defended.
House Democratic Minority Leader Crystal Quade discussed the Parson plan on how to combat violence as nothing more than “a lot of lip service.” She added that there are no actual proposals that will make a difference. She’s not far from being correct about her view.
On finances, with warnings about trouble ahead, the governor asked lawmakers to set aside $100 million in taxpayer dollars to use in case of financial emergencies. State Budget Director Dan Haug told the Associated Press that the savings fund could be bolstered if lawmakers this year pass legislation requiring online retailers to collect sales taxes on purchases made in Missouri. Why the lawmakers have refused to act on this matter is difficult to understand. Why should online retailers be given a tax break? This is a gross injustice and a slap in the face to local retailers across the state. To allow them to not charge a sales tax is wrong and totally unfair to local merchants.
The governor said to create the fund would give the state greater flexibility and stronger finances than ever before.
Our state auditor, Democrat Nicole Galloway, who is a candidate for governor, said Missouri is not saving enough to avoid having to cut spending or raise taxes if there is a recession.
One big issue that is not going away is our transportation problem. Lawmakers have sidestepped doing something major about it.
The governor cautioned about expanding Medicaid, something the Democrats would like to do.