Busy day for state leadership after Greitens announces resignation
JEFFERSON CITY - It was a whirlwind day for Lt. Gov. Mike Parson and House and Senate leadership Wednesday as the announced resignation of Gov. Eric Greitens reverberated throughout the Capitol.
Parson is getting ready to take over the role of governor.
“We’ve been real busy today. We’ve been in the office most of the day making phone calls and reaching out to the congressional delegation plus cabinet members and just several meetings throughout the day," he said.
Parson started off by meeting with House Speaker Todd Richardson, R- Poplar Bluff, President Pro Tem of the Senate Ron Richard, R- Joplin, and Senate Majority Leader Mike Kehoe, R- Jefferson City.
Richardson said the number one priority right now is to ensure a smooth change of power.
“What we do know is that on Friday at 5 o’clock, we're going to have a transition of power here and our focus is to help the lieutenant governor here be ready and I think he is,” Richardson said.
Parson told reporters his swearing-in ceremony will be private, but he will have a more public reception later.
He said he will be traveling across Missouri in the coming weeks to talk to people and assure them the government is OK and will be continuing on as usual.
Part of that business Wednesday included getting more bills to the governor's desk.
After their meeting with Parson, Richardson and Richard signed more than 140 bills passed this session and had them sent to Greitens.
Richardson told reporters he is not worried about any last second vetoes from before Greitens leaves office Friday afternoon.
Parson was asked whether or not he believes the Governor should do anything with the bills in his last two days in office.
Parson said Greitens is still the governor, so he can choose to do what he wants with the bills.
After all the bills were signed, Kehoe told reporters he is confident relationships between the governor and lawmakers would improve compared to the last few years.
Kehoe said Parson has always been a person who nurtures relationships.
"He has always been a person that tries to pull people together that pulls all sides into a conversation to try to move an issue forward," Kehoe said. "I’ve seen him do it when I was on the highway commission, I’ve worked with him in the house on issues, obviously since I’ve served with him in the Senate."
Parson said he is feeling good about the next few days.
"I’ve got a good staff here at the lieutenant governor’s office so right now were doing the balancing between both to trying to be the next governor plus be the lieutenant governor of the state of Missouri," he said. "But we're doing fine. We're just going to keep moving forward and do the best we can to be prepared on Friday evening."