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Governor explores multiple avenues for addressing supply chain issues

by Ryan Pivoney | November 23, 2021 at 5:05 a.m. | Updated November 23, 2021 at 2:44 p.m.
In this Oct. 25, 2020 file photo, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson speaks during a campaign rally at a gun store in Lees Summit, Mo.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, along with several other Republican governors, is looking at a multi-level approach to the nation's supply chain disruptions.

On Monday, Parson signed an executive order to create a state task force to gather stakeholders and address supply chain issues. The same day, Parson signed on to a coalition initiative with 14 other states to take action in addressing workforce shortages and transportation issues.

"Missourians, like many Americans, are deeply concerned about their rising grocery and energy bills, increasing delays for goods and services, and soaring inflation threatening their paychecks," Parson said in a news release. "The Biden Administration's continued attempts to tax, spend and regulate its way out of this crisis have failed. We are committed to doing what we can at the state level to fix this crisis and to get us back on track, but we need the federal government to get on board or get out of the way."

Supply chains refer to the process of creating and delivering goods and services to consumers, which often involves moving across states and between countries.

The United States, along with the rest of the world, has been experiencing supply chain disruptions as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Increased consumer demand and workforce shortages are among the top concerns contributing to increased costs and delays.

The Missouri Supply Chain Task Force is charged with bringing together public and private stakeholders to identify the specific supply chain issues for Missouri businesses and residents, and then develop solutions and improvements to resolve those issues.

Parson said state agencies and stakeholders have already begun the work of identifying ways to improve transportation infrastructure and strengthen the industry workforce, and the task force will further that work.

The task force is co-chaired by Patrick McKenna, director of Missouri Department of Transportation, and Mardy Leathers, director of the Office of Workforce Development. Its members will include representatives from a logistics provider, modal operator, large freight generating or receiving business, workforce development board, and one of Missouri's regional councils for supply chain management, as appointed by the governor.

If the task force identifies legislative changes that need to be made, the executive order calls for them to be expedited before the task force is dissolved June 30, 2022.

The task force will also be responsible for working with surrounding states to promote interstate coordination.

The governor's efforts also extend beyond the state.

On Monday, Parson joined the Operation Open Roads, an initiative among 14 other Republican governors who have committed to making supply chains more efficient, cutting regulations and increasing market access.

"This is a national crisis that requires coordination across all levels of government and between public and private partners," Parson said in the news release. "By signing this order and supporting this initiative, we are acknowledging the threat and working to mitigate the negative impacts on Missourians."

The governors are also calling on President Joe Biden to suspend regulations related to transportation logistics, manufacturing and commercial drivers.

In a letter Monday, the governors demanded Biden lower the commercial drivers license age requirement from 21 to 18, end COVID-19 vaccine mandates for private businesses - particularly in the trucking and transportation industry - and end any federal spending causing inflation.

"If we can get government out of the way, our trucking industry can safely do what it does best: move," the governors' letter to Biden states. "Our state economies are on the rise, and Operation Open Roads will help reinforce America's economic comeback."

Print Headline: Governor explores multiple avenues for addressing supply chain issues


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