The State of the Show-Me State
On Jan. 19, lawmakers from both the Missouri House of Representatives and the Missouri Senate gathered together to hear the governor deliver his State of the State address. This annual speech gives the governor the opportunity to discuss our state’s successes over the past year as well as lay out his agenda going forward.
The governor began his speech expressing confidence in Missouri’s economy. By avoiding costly shutdowns and one-size-fits-all approaches, he said Missouri has remained open for business, all while protecting lives and livelihoods. The governor noted the $5.2 billion dollars in private investment being made by businesses all across our state, which is connecting Missourians with new jobs and new opportunities. The governor pointed to the fact that unemployment currently sits at 3.5%, which is below the national average and has returned to pre-pandemic levels. Given the economic growth we’ve seen, the governor announced that Missouri’s income tax rate would decrease to 5.3% – a new low for our state.
With this economic success, our state is poised to be able to make some big investments of its own. This year, the governor outlined a number of spending proposals designed to strengthen our state. For instance, he voiced continued support for several workforce development programs. He proposed permanently establishing the Missouri Fast Track program, $31 million for colleges and universities through MoExcels and $20 million for the state’s 57 area career centers. These programs are meant to help “skill up” workers and ensure they are ready to meet the demands of today’s workforce. Additionally, the governor called for $400 million to go toward broadband expansion projects statewide, the single largest broadband investment in state history. This proposal would connect 75,000 households, expand access to rural areas and underserved urban areas and update and expand wireless networks across the state.
As the governor said, it’s clear that “Missouri is strong today and will be even stronger tomorrow.” As the 2022 legislative session gets further underway, I’m looking forward to doing my part in helping move our state forward. I am honored to continue serving the citizens of the 8th Senatorial District. Please feel free to contact my office in Jefferson City at (573) 751-1464. For information about committees or sponsored legislation for the 2020 session, please visit my official Missouri Senate website at senate.mo.gov/Cierpiot.