Parson's use of state plane renews controversy over gubernatorial travel

Posted on 13 June 2018 at 8:30pm

JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Mike Parson said Wednesday he will be travelling across Missouri using the state plane that is funded by taxpayers. Use of the plane has had a controversial history.

Former Gov. Eric Greitens, who recently resigned, chose not to fly in the state plane to save taxpayers money. He flew privately, but many questions arose during his time in office about who was paying for his flights.

There is not always a public record of who pays for private planes used by a govenor, where the plane goes or who is on the plane with the governor. Such items are a matter of record when the state plane is used.

In 2013, Jay Nixon received a lot of backlash about the new $5.6 million dollar plane purchased by the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Some Missouri lawmakers were upset about the cost and that the Highway Patrol didn't tell them about this purchase.  

Parson said he is choosing to use the state plane in an effort to push for transparency in his administration. 

"We want you to know where I'm going and where I'm traveling," said Parson.  

At a visit to the University of Missouri, Parson said he will use the plane for visits to meet with the leaders of communities around the state.