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Gov. Parson urges 'workforce' bill vote

Gov. Parson urges 'workforce' bill vote

May 14th, 2019 by Bob Watson in Missouri News

Gov. Mike Parson held a press conference Monday in his Capitol office to announce the new Child Care working group, a collaborative effort designed to ensure safe and quality care for Missouri children. Standing in the background are Department of Public Safety Director Sandra Karsten and Dr. Randall Williams, director of Department of Health and Senior Services. The news conference was in response to an incident at a St. Louis day care where a child was seen on video being thrown by a day care employee.

Photo by Julie Smith /News Tribune.

Gov. Mike Parson said Tuesday morning he's confident the Missouri Legislature will pass his "workforce development" plan before the legislative session ends Friday.

As several conservative senators were into the 21st hour of an ongoing filibuster against the bill, Parson told reporters in his Capitol office: "We know how important (this bill) is to big business to Missouri (and) to give opportunities for manufacturing jobs."

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The bill — the House-passed version of Senate Bill 68 — includes provisions added as a result of negotiations with General Motors, aimed at keeping the giant automaker in Missouri and expanding its Wentzville plant in western St. Charles County.

But, Parson said, the bill isn't just about GM.

"(The bill) is fair to all Missourians," the governor said. "We're not going to do a piece of legislation just for one company."

The Senate filibuster has been staged by six Republicans, who all are members of what they call the "Conservative Caucus" — Bill Eigel, Weldon Spring; Bob Onder, Lake St. Louis; Andrew Koenig, Manchester; Denny Hoskins, Warrensburg; Cindy O'Laughlin, Shelbina; and Eric Burlison, Battlefield.

Parson said he or members of his staff met with five members of the group — but had not, yet, met with Onder.

The governor also told reporters: "The majority (of senators) believe (the bill) is the right thing to do.  Citizens just want an up-or-down vote."

When asked if he would call a special session, if the bill isn't passed before Friday's 6 p.m. deadline, Parson said: "I'm confident we're going to get this done (this week)."