Greitens said his administration received tremendous blowback from “bureaucrats” who “the system worked really well for,” but said he made the decision based on how Missouri's public schools were working for kids.
Missouri Governor Eric Greitens hosted approximately a dozen rural media outlets Wednesday afternoon for a speech addressing his first year in office followed by a question and answer session.
A first term politician and the second youngest governor in the United States, Greitens began the hour-long session by discussing his administration’s efforts to reduce state regulations on business as well as ongoing projects to bring broadband internet service to all of Missouri’s school districts and a training partnership between the Missouri National Guard and the Israeli Defense Forces.
He also spoke of expanding cell phone service to rural areas that struggle with spotty coverage as an effort to connect the whole state.
“Missouri’s unemployment rate is at its’ lowest in 17 years,” Greitens said. “We are outpacing the nation in job growth.”
One of the governor’s first actions in office was to immediately freeze any new non-emergency regulations on businesses while ordering a review of what he said was “40,000 pages” of regulations with the goal of cutting “thousands” of restrictions.
The 43-year-old former Navy Seal said his goal coming into office was to “fight for the forgotten,” addressing topics such as the some 13,000 kids currently in the state’s foster care system, supporting law enforcement agencies, increasing Missouri’s National Guard presence, and efforts to make the state more veteran-friendly to relocate or to start a business.
“I love this job,” Greitens said. “We’re very happy here.”
The former Democrat-turned-Republican also addressed the controversial topic of the ousting of former State Board of Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven by a board vote last week with some of those members being appointed by Greitens, defending the decision by citing increased spending on administrator pay while Missouri’s teachers pay ranks 48th nationally, according to Greitens.
“We needed a change of course,” he said. “The money is there. We’ve put more money into education than any other administration.”
When asked by a reporter if it was a “failure of leadership,” Greitens responded that it was a “failure to get results.”
Greitens said his administration received tremendous blowback from “bureaucrats” who “the system worked really well for,” but said he made the decision based on how Missouri’s public schools were working for kids.
The Lake Sun will have a more detailed story in the weekend edition regarding the media event.