Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is nearly a week into his new job and is still hosting private meetings with city and state officials – while taking a few minutes to brief the media on those gatherings at least once a day.
Wednesday’s meetings included one with St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger. Before the meeting, Krewson told reporters she didn’t have any immediate requests for the new governor.
“We’re going to get to know one another, and we’re going to talk about a lot of things that we have that are of mutual interest,” she said.
For his part, Parson said he wants to find solutions to fighting crime in Missouri, in both urban and rural areas.
“My plan is to be able to give them the tools they need to get the job done – none of us want to have Missouri being known for having such a high crime rate,” he said. “I said earlier, it’s just not a St. Louis, a Springfield, [or] a Kansas City problem, it’s a state problem.”
Parson held separate meetings Wednesday with Democratic State Auditor Nicole Galloway, Republican State Treasurer Eric Schmitt, Agriculture Director Chris Chinn and House budget chairman Scott Fitzpatrick, R-Shell Knob.
When asked by reporters whether he would consider pardoning Greitens if he’s convicted of breaking any laws, Parson said it’s too soon to say.
“We haven’t even looked into that, that case is still pending. We’re not even close to that decision right now.”
Parson also said he will not revoke Greitens’ very first executive order, which bans members of the executive branch of government from accepting gifts from lobbyists.
“We’re reviewing [executive orders] as we speak … but our intention is to keep that particular executive order in place.”
Parson concluded by saying one of his top priorities is to get the State Board of Education “up and running” again: “I’m not sure of the exact date, or how that’s going to work … it’s going to take a little time.”
He’s scheduled to meet Thursday with State Education Board Chairman Charlie Shields. The board has been without a quorum since Greitens withdrew five appointees after they voted to fire former Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven. It has a mandatory meeting scheduled later this month.
On Monday, Parson will address a joint session of the House and Senate beginning at 5:05 p.m. St. Louis Public Radio will cover the address live.
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