Parson begins governorship saying he hopes to lead state to unity
JEFFERSON CITY - With a message of hope for the state, Gov. Mike Parson took the oath of office Friday, taking over from Eric Greitens, who resigned in the midst of two scandals.
The Swearing-In Ceremony
Parson said, "now is the time to come together" in a fresh start for Missouri.
The ceremony was short and came just half an hour after Greitens' resignation became final.
One notable bill Greitens signed was HB 1558, which creates the offense of nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images.
One reason Greitens resigned centers a non-consensual photo. A woman says he took a picture of her partially nude and threatened to use it against her. Greitens was charged with invasion of privacy, but that charge was dropped. He denies blackmailing the woman.
Greitens also signed SB819, which modifies provisions of law relating to foster care case management and criminal background checks.
In addition, he issued five pardons and commuted four sentences.
In a statement, Greitens said, "Our top priority has always been getting results for the people of Missouri, and our strong agenda has taken Missouri in a new and better direction. Today, I'm proud to put my name on many important laws and bold reforms."
Parson said he had not spoken with Greitens Friday, but reached out to him the day before with no response.
Parson said he is ready to take up where Greitens left off.
"We should be able to hit the ground and get started as being the governor of the state of Missouri," he said.
Parson got just three days notice to work on his transition.
"When people normally have 60 days, or 90 days, to somewhat get an idea of that transition period, we're doing it in two or three days," Parson said.
He said many Missourians have been welcoming to his transition as governor.
"We have people across the state of Missouri that's reached out, actually from both sides of the aisle, to say, 'Whatever I can do to help, we will,'" Parson said.