Governor’s support for State Tech warranted

BY State Rep. Bruce Sassmann, Missouri’s 62nd District
Posted 2/23/22

Last Tuesday, for the very first time, I missed the House of Representatives morning prayer and pledge of allegiance. 

I always make a point of attending the opening pledge and prayer, but I …

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Governor’s support for State Tech warranted

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Last Tuesday, for the very first time, I missed the House of Representatives morning prayer and pledge of allegiance. 

I always make a point of attending the opening pledge and prayer, but I had a conflict. On Tuesday morning, I was invited to join Governor Parson for a workforce and higher education roundtable discussion at State Technical College in Linn.

State Tech was founded in 1961. Since then, it’s grow to become the crown jewel of our region. WalletHub has ranked State Tech as the No. 1 college in the nation for three consecutive years.

Right now, skilled workers are in high demand. Currently, Missouri has around 119,000 open jobs in the state. Schools like State Tech train skilled workers for in-demand jobs to meet workforce needs and grow our state’s economy. State Tech has one of the highest graduation rates in the country, and 98 percent of State Tech graduates quickly find work here in Missouri. State Tech is perfectly suited to meet the state’s workforce development needs.

Governor Parson’s budget recommendations for Fiscal Year 2023 would give State Tech $20 million for capital improvements and a 5.4 percent increase in core appropriations. The governor has also asked for an additional $6 million to expand Missouri’s A+ scholarship program — a program utilized by 67 percent of State Tech students.

I’m thrilled that Governor Parson recognizes just how important State Tech is to our region, and to the state as a whole. I hope my colleagues in the General Assembly understand how lucky we are to have an institution like State Tech in our region, and I’m excited to see what the future has in store for this incredible institution.

Last week was another short work week, cut short by the weather.

Before leaving, we gave first round approval to two bills designed to protect Missourians from vaccination mandates.  We also debated House Joint Resolution 117, a constitutional amendment containing key reforms to our state’s rapidly growing Medicaid program.

Medicaid is a multi-billion dollar program and is approximately 40 percent of the state’s budget. One change would put work and community engagement requirements in place for Medicaid recipients ages 19-64. Recipients would be required to work at least 80 hours each month, or participate in education, job skills training, community service, or other alternatives.

Some exemptions will be allowed by the Department of Social Services.

A final component of Missouri’s Medicaid resolution would limit benefits to residents only. A final vote will take place early next week before moving on to the Senate. If this measure passes the Senate, it will appear on the ballot.

The last bill considered was a Religious Freedoms Protection Act. The bill would ensure that government entities in this state cannot close our places of worship. There are a few exceptions in the bill but the idea is to make sure some of the things that we saw take place over the last couple of years across the country never take place again in our state.

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