Lieutenant Governor Visit

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COLUMBIA- Missouri Lt. Gov. Mike Parson toured Columbia Tuesday afternoon to visit new business locations and talk about everything from the need for more skilled workers to how to pay for better roads and infrastructure.

"We're talking about Missouri businesses; we're talking about Missouri workers and how we can help one another to promote Missouri businesses," said Parson in remarks at the Reynolds Alumni Center.

Parson's Buy Missouri initiative encourages people in the state to purchase products that are made in Missouri, by local workers.

"They're proud that they are making a quality product and we want to make sure Missourians know that. So, if you have a choice, we want you to pick up that Missouri product first," he said.  

There aren't enough skilled workers for specific positions in Missouri, Parson said.

He said one fix would be to provide more funding for kindergarten through high school education, allowing students to become more skilled in a specified area.

"Our job as government should be to give them the tools they need to provide these individuals so they can go into the workforce," Parson said.

Parson also said Missouri needs to look at other glaring issues within the state, including improving infrastructure and transportation.

He said a higher gas tax could help pay for that.

The president of the Chamber of Commerce, Matt McCormick, "There's a number of different options and gas tax is one of those and that's one that he brought up, and we are, in fact, one of the lowest states as far as gas tax across the nation."

In 2017, Missouri was ranked 47th out of 50 in gas tax rates.

Parson said it is his job to make people successful within the state, whether it is a small business owner or an employee.

"I think it's important that you have to listen to those problems, as a state leader, to be able to find out what is the solution, and again how do we give someone the tools to be successful," said Parson.