New governor spells out top priorities for state

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BRANSON MO NEWS: CARTHAGE, Mo. — Gov. Mike Parson spelled out his top priorities for the state on Tuesday, saying he’ll focus on improving infrastructure, developing a skilled workforce and increasing transparency with the public and media.Parson got a firsthand look at the Flex-O-Lators manufacturing plant Tuesday afternoon at Carthage as part of a two-day statewide listening tour. It was the third stop of the day for the new governor, who spent the morning in Springfield and Branson.Speaking in front of Southwest Missouri legislators and business leaders, Parson said moving Missouri forward in economic development will require a concerted effort to repair and maintain the state’s infrastructure.
“If we really want Missouri to grow … we have to do better on infrastructure,” Parson said. “That goes all the way from our highways to our bridges, especially in rural Missouri.”Building a better infrastructure, Parson said, will be crucial to helping businesses such as Flex-O-Lators thrive and interact with other businesses and industries.“We want to make sure that those businesses can get this product and these guys can get these products to those businesses,” Parson said. “That’s just the reality of how we’re either going to be prosperous or how we’re going to get left behind.”

Karl Glassman (left), president and CEO at Leggett & Platt Inc., introduces Missouri Gov. Mike Parson during a visit Tuesday to Flex-O-Lators in Carthage. Globe | Roger Nomer

The Missouri Department of Transportation estimates it needs about $825 million in additional revenue to address the state’s aging roads and bridges. Missourians will go to the polls in November to vote on a 10-cent gas tax increase that would be phased in over several years. Missouri hasn’t raised its gas tax since the mid-1990s.With ever-evolving technology, having a skilled workforce means providing …



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