MO.gov News Feed: Attorney General /news-rss?filter=attorney_general MO.gov News Feed: Attorney General Mon, 24 Sep 2018 11:31:20 +0000 en-us Governor Parson Appoints Steven Privette as Presiding Judge for the 37th Judicial Circuit https://governor.mo.gov/press-releases/archive/governor-parson-appoints-steven-privette-presiding-judge-37th-judicial 636 at https://governor.mo.gov Fri, 21 Sep 2018 11:52:47 +0000 Governor Parson Appoints Steven Privette as Presiding Judge for the 37th Judicial Circuit Stephanie.Whitaker Fri, 09/21/2018 - 11:52 September 21, 2018 Governor Parson appointed Steven Privette as Presiding Judge for the 37th Judicial Circuit, which includes Howell, Oregon, Shannon, and Carter Counties.  Privette won the August primary election and is running unopposed in the November general election.  He will succeed Judge David Evans. Privette has practiced law in Willow Springs since 1984.  He graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration.  After graduating from the University of Missouri School of Law in 1984, Privette served as a prosecutor for both Howell and Oregon Counties.  He has also served as the City Attorney for the cities of Willow Springs, Winona, and Summersville. Privette is a member of the Missouri Bar Association, the Rotary Club, and the Lions Club. Governor Parson Makes Appointments to Boards and Commissions https://governor.mo.gov/press-releases/archive/governor-parson-makes-appointments-boards-and-commissions 626 at https://governor.mo.gov Thu, 20 Sep 2018 15:55:53 +0000 Governor Parson Makes Appointments to Boards and Commissions thurme Thu, 09/20/2018 - 15:55 September 20, 2018 Governor Parson today announced five new appointments to various boards and commissions. Jefferson City Charlie Brown, of St. Charles, was appointed to the Missouri Board of Examiners for Hearing Instrument Specialists. Brown is a Hearing Instrument Specialist at HiHealth Innovations in Chesterfield.  He is a board-certified hearing instrument specialist and has more than 15 years of experience.  Brown holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Northern Iowa.  He is a member of the Missouri Hearing Society, the Vendor Committee, and the International Hearing Society. Michael Frazier, of Marshfield, was appointed to the Missouri Developmental Disabilities Council. Frazier is the General Manager of Web-Co Custom Industries, Inc., a shelter workshop in Marshfield, Missouri.  Frazier is a board member of the OACAC Area Board, the Webster County OACAC Board, and the OHRD Solid Waste Management Board.  He is also a member of Gideons International Marshfield Camp, Marshfield Schools A+ Program Board, the Boy Scouts, and Timber Ridge Baptist Church. Jerrod Hogan, of Joplin, was appointed to the Missouri Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Professional Land Surveyors, and Professional Landscape Architects. Hogan serves as Vice President/Principal Surveyor of Anderson Engineering, Inc. in Joplin.  He holds Professional Land Surveyor licenses in Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas.  Hogan co-founded Rebuild Joplin in 2011 to help victims of the May 2011 tornado.  He also co-founded Bright Futures USA, a multi-state program connecting students in need with community resources to help them succeed.   John Stamm, of St. Louis, was appointed to the Missouri Community Service Commission.  Stamm is the Director of Global Philanthropy at JCI (Junior Chamber International).  He holds bachelor’s degrees in business administration and philosophy from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.  Stamm serves as Vice President of the St. Louis Area Mensa and is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network. Don Wallace, of St. Charles, was appointed to the Missouri Board of Examiners for Hearing Instrument Specialists. Wallace is a Hearing Instrument Specialist at Miracle Ear in St. Peters and St. Charles.  He is a licensed hearing instrument specialist and received national board certification.  Wallace holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia.  He is a member of the International Hearing Society. Additionally, Governor Parson named Ryan Silvey as Chair of the Public Service Commission.  Silvey has been on the Commission since January 2018. Governor Parson also appointed six individuals who were withdrawn before or during the Special Session: Jennifer Dixon was appointed to the Missouri Western State University Board of Governors. Peter Herschend was appointed to the State Board of Education. Jon Kempker was appointed to the Child Abuse and Neglect Review Board. Jamie Kondis was appointed to the Child Abuse and Neglect Review Board. Sharon Turner Buie was appointed to the Kansas City Board of Election Commissioners. Nicole Wood was appointed to the Conservation Commission. Governor Mike Parson Applauds Missouri General Assembly’s Passage of STEM Education, Treatment Courts, and 43 Board Appointments https://governor.mo.gov/press-releases/archive/governor-mike-parson-applauds-missouri-general-assemblys-passage-stem 621 at https://governor.mo.gov Fri, 14 Sep 2018 17:17:22 +0000 Governor Mike Parson Applauds Missouri General Assembly’s Passage of STEM Education, Treatment Courts, and 43 Board Appointments swobos1 Fri, 09/14/2018 - 17:17 September 14, 2018 Creation of STEM Education and Treatment Court Expansion Will Aid in Preparation of Missouri’s Workforce Jefferson City With the nearly unanimous, bipartisan approval from the Missouri Senate on Friday, two pieces of legislation will now go to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law.  The Missouri General Assembly met this week to discuss STEM Education and Treatment Courts expansion after Governor Mike Parson called for a special session to focus on passing these two priorities.   In addition to the legislation that was passed, the Senate confirmed 43 of 46 of Governor Parson’s appointees.  With the passing of these bills, Governor Parson’s mission to grow Missouri’s workforce and prepare our students for tomorrow’s jobs remains intact. Governor Parson was proud of the accomplishments from both the Senate and the House, and their unified response to help our citizens.  “I am thankful to all the legislators who worked hard this week to pass STEM Education and Treatment Court expansion,” said Governor Parson. “This is a great day for Missouri, passing these two important issues with overwhelming, bipartisan support is a major step forward in preparing Missouri’s future workforce.” Originating in the Missouri House, two bills were approved and sent to the Senate Wednesday evening for further discussion.   One bill establishes a statewide STEM career awareness program and will allow for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to create the program to increase awareness among students from 6th-8th grade.  The passing of the bill will encourage more young people to pursue career paths in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.  The bill was sponsored by Rep. Travis Fitzwater, R-Holts Summit and handled in the Senate by Sen. Doug Libla, R-Poplar Bluff. “Today, many computer science jobs go unfilled because not enough students have been trained for the jobs,” said Sen. Libla. “By improving computer science education in the state, we can better prepare students for the workforce and for the many companies that desire and depend on these skills.” The other piece of legislation focuses solely on reforms to treatment courts throughout the state.  By expanding treatment courts, it will allow for individuals to get treatment, instead of being incarcerated in an overcrowded prison system.  Rep. Kevin Austin, R-Springfield, sponsored the bill, and Sen. Bob Dixon, R-Springfield, handled it in the Senate. “The treatment court bill not only saves taxpayer dollars through reduced recidivism rates, it saves lives.  It transforms a defendant who is abusing drugs, suffering from mental illness such as PTSD, and committing crimes against society into an adjusted and employed citizen,” said Rep. Austin. “I want to thank my colleagues in the House and Senate for their work and the passage of this bill.  I especially want to thank our Governor for his recognition of the effectiveness of these courts and his desire to turn defendants into contributing citizens of our state rather than inmates.” Sen. Dixon said, “With this additional success, we consolidate and beef up treatment courts and their ability to multiply the countless number of success stories they’ve made possible. Treatment Courts reduce recidivism rates. People are able to get well and become productive members of society again. As a result, their entire family and community becomes upward bound. I would like to thank Governor Parson, the leadership of both chambers, and Rep. Austin for their willingness to call the special session and take up this important legislation that will save many lives.” Once signed into law by Governor Parson, these bills will go into effect 90 days after his signature.  Governor Parson’s Statement on House Passage of STEM Education and Treatment Court Legislation https://governor.mo.gov/press-releases/archive/governor-parsons-statement-house-passage-stem-education-and-treatment-court 616 at https://governor.mo.gov Wed, 12 Sep 2018 17:46:26 +0000 Governor Parson’s Statement on House Passage of STEM Education and Treatment Court Legislation swobos1 Wed, 09/12/2018 - 17:46 September 12, 2018 Governor Parson issued the following statement regarding the Missouri House of Representatives’ passage of STEM Education HB 3 (sponsored by State Representative Travis Fitzwater) and Treatment Court HB 2 (sponsored by State Representative Kevin Austin): “While we are pleased that Missouri’s fiscally responsible budget was upheld, our focus remains on the special session priorities of STEM education and treatment courts. We would like to thank Rep. Fitzwater and Rep. Austin for their hard work ensuring the House passage. We look forward to working with Senator Libla, Senator Dixon, and the entire Senate on final passage of these two important issues for the State of Missouri.” Governor Mike Parson Orders Flag Flown at Half-Staff in Honor of Greene County Deputy Sheriff Aaron P. Roberts https://governor.mo.gov/press-releases/archive/governor-mike-parson-orders-flag-flown-half-staff-honor-greene-county-deputy 606 at https://governor.mo.gov Tue, 11 Sep 2018 12:00:23 +0000 Governor Mike Parson Orders Flag Flown at Half-Staff in Honor of Greene County Deputy Sheriff Aaron P. Roberts swobos1 Tue, 09/11/2018 - 12:00 September 11, 2018 Jefferson City On Monday, Governor Mike Parson announced that flags will be flown at half-staff at all government buildings statewide for one full day on Thursday, September 13, 2018, to honor Greene County Deputy Sheriff Aaron P. Roberts.  On Friday, September 7, Deputy Sheriff Aaron P. Roberts was on duty with the Greene County Sheriff’s Office and had just completed responding to a 9-1-1 call when his patrol car was swept away by flood waters in Fair Grove, which resulted in his passing.   “Deputy Sheriff Aaron P. Roberts exemplified the finest traditions of our Missouri law enforcement officers,” Governor Parson said. “He was one of the brave few committed to selflessly sacrificing to protect and serve others, despite the risks. His dedication made his community safer and set an example for others. We are grateful for his contributions to Missouri, and join his family, friends and colleagues in mourning his loss.”  The flags will be held at half-staff on the day Deputy Sheriff Roberts is laid to rest. View the Proclamation Governor Parson’s 100 Days of Accomplishments https://governor.mo.gov/press-releases/archive/governor-parsons-100-days-accomplishments 591 at https://governor.mo.gov Mon, 10 Sep 2018 11:21:27 +0000 Governor Parson’s 100 Days of Accomplishments Diana Trussell Mon, 09/10/2018 - 11:21 September 10, 2018 JEFFERSON CITY – Yesterday marked Governor Mike Parson’s 100th day as the Governor of Missouri after being sworn in June 1, 2018. During the first 100 days in office, Governor Parson signed a balanced state budget, appointed Mike Kehoe as the new Lieutenant Governor, signed the state’s largest single-year income tax cut, led Missouri’s drought relief efforts, and made 62 appointments. On August 27, 2018, Governor Parson made his first Cabinet appointment. Sandra Karsten, who had previously served as Colonel for the Missouri State Highway Patrol, was named Director of Public Safety. During his first 100 days in office, Governor Parson has traveled to all 34 state senate districts across the state, focusing on two key priorities: Workforce development and Infrastructure. “In order to move Missouri forward, we must get these two issues right,” said Governor Parson. “Business, community, and local leaders across Missouri all agree that we need to rethink how we train our workforce and address our infrastructure needs. Our next generation is counting on us to ensure they have better opportunities to succeed.” Part of Governor Parson’s focus on workforce development is ensuring that Missouri students and workers are given the skills and tools to be successful. “The jobs of tomorrow are high tech and high skill. Our schools play an important role in preparing our students to enter the workforce. In order to compete on a national level, we must push ourselves to do better,” Governor Parson said. In addition, Governor Parson’s vision of making Missouri the “Best in the Midwest” is addressing the state’s infrastructure needs. Missouri has the seventh largest highway system in the nation, and ranks 46th in revenue per mile. “Our roads, bridges, airports, railways, and river ports are our outlets to expand Missouri business, generate future growth, and expand to new emerging markets across the globe,” Governor Parson said. “Addressing Missouri’s infrastructure needs is long overdue, and now is the time to take action.” Governor Parson is also committed to bridging the urban and rural divide, bringing state, local, and business leaders together to tackle Missouri’s shared challenges. The Governor has spent the first 100 days meeting with leaders across the aisle, both rural and urban leaders, to better understand the issues facing our communities. “Cooperation and collaboration are the keys to bridging this gap,” Governor Parson said. “For all of Missouri to succeed, we need to be united.” A special legislative session to be held starting September 10, 2018, which will run concurrently with the annual constitutionally mandated veto session will focus on legislation involving increased access to STEM education in Missouri high schools and the expansion of the state’s drug treatment courts. This session is expected to end on Friday, September 14, 2018. Governor Parson Signs Proclamation to Convene Special Session to Address Legislative Priorities https://governor.mo.gov/press-releases/archive/governor-parson-signs-proclamation-convene-special-session-address 566 at https://governor.mo.gov Wed, 05 Sep 2018 15:29:23 +0000 Governor Parson Signs Proclamation to Convene Special Session to Address Legislative Priorities Diana Trussell Wed, 09/05/2018 - 15:29 September 5, 2018 Session will Focus on STEM Education and Expansion of Treatment Courts Jefferson City On September 4, 2018, Governor Mike Parson signed a proclamation that will convene the Missouri General Assembly for a Special Session concurrent with Veto Session.  The Special Session will take place the week of September 10-14 and will focus on the passage of computer science course access and awareness of career opportunities through STEM education, as well as expanding treatment courts in the State of Missouri.   “As Governor, it is my responsibility to give students every opportunity to be fully equipped with the skills needed to enter Missouri’s workforce,” said Gov. Parson. “It is also important that, when needed, Missourians receive the proper treatment services necessary to gain employment or further their education. By proclaiming a special session, these issues will be addressed,” Gov. Parson added.  The new STEM education bill requires Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to establish an online program to educate students about STEM careers and allows for multiple companies to apply to provide the program.  By passing this during a special session, it will allow for DESE to start the process of implementing it for the 2019-2020 school year.  The new treatment court legislation will focus solely on reforms to treatment courts throughout the state.  Expansion of treatment courts will allow for more individuals to get treatment, rather than being incarcerated in our already overcrowded prison system. Link to Proclamation Governor Parson Takes Action on FY19 Budget Bills https://governor.mo.gov/press-releases/archive/governor-parson-takes-action-fy19-budget-bills 546 at https://governor.mo.gov Tue, 04 Sep 2018 17:08:53 +0000 Governor Parson Takes Action on FY19 Budget Bills swobos1 Tue, 09/04/2018 - 17:08 June 29, 2018 Applauds General Assembly for a Fiscally-Responsible, Balanced Budget Which Highlights Improving Infrastructure, Increasing Workforce Development, Curbing Opioid Abuse, and Funding Education Jefferson City Today, Governor Parson signed the FY2019 budget bills passed by the General Assembly and highlighted priorities of improving infrastructure, increasing workforce development, curbing opioid abuse, fully funding K-12, and stabilizing higher education budgets. “One of the biggest responsibilities the legislature holds every year is allocating our taxpayers’ hard-earned money responsibly and efficiently,” said Governor Parson. “We applaud the General Assembly for their efforts to fund critical functions of government including infrastructure, workforce development, and education funding.” The Governor highlighted several areas of the budget, including fully funding the education foundation formula for the second time in history with a $99 million funding increase, prioritizing higher education, providing a needed step in lifting state employee pay, allocating $2.6 million to support faith-based initiatives to curb opioid abuse, and allotting $70 million for key infrastructure and workforce development projects. The total state budget is $28.6 billion. In addition, the Governor issued 21 line-item vetoes, totaling more than $12 million. To view the complete list, see here. “Government budgets are no different than our own at home,” said Governor Parson. “We must operate within our means, make fiscally responsible decisions, and invest wisely to ensure our next generation is given the same opportunities to succeed.” The Governor completed the week signing the budget after traveling to parts of the state for key budget announcements: $12 million in increased available school transportation funding, which is especially important for rural school districts $250,000 to a new K-3 reading assessment program for dyslexia diagnosis $8.4 million for Early Childhood Special Education $8.2 million for capital improvements for river port expansion $2 million investment to expand access at the Ft. Leonard Wood airport $4.8 million restored funding for the Tourism CO-OP Program $1 million for the Jobs for America’s Graduates program, assisting high school youth to be college and career ready $2 million for community college workforce development, offering food stamp recipients the opportunity to gain skills, train, and promote employability and self- sufficiency. Governor Parson said, “We’d like to extend our sincere appreciation to the dedicated men and women who help year-round craft a fiscally-responsible, balanced budget.” All FY18 restrictions have been released. To view the complete list, see here. The Governor also on Friday signed into law HB 1350, HB 1388, HB 1713, HB 1268, SB 652, SB 659, SB 687, SB 871, and SB 954. Governor Parson Announces Special Session to Address Legislative Priorities https://governor.mo.gov/press-releases/archive/governor-parson-announces-special-session-address-legislative-priorities 371 at https://governor.mo.gov Fri, 31 Aug 2018 17:36:18 +0000 Governor Parson Announces Special Session to Address Legislative Priorities swobos1 Fri, 08/31/2018 - 17:36 August 30, 2018 Session will Focus on STEM Education and Expansion of Treatment Courts Jefferson City Governor Mike Parson announced today that the Missouri General Assembly will be called back in for a Special Session concurrent with Veto Session.  The Special Session will take place the week of September 10-14 and will focus on the passage of computer science course access and awareness of career opportunities through STEM education as well as expanding treatment courts in the State of Missouri.   “When I addressed the General Assembly nearly three months ago, I pledged that I would change the tone and work with the legislature,” said Gov. Parson. “This call is a step in delivering that promise.  These two issues were a part of the General Assembly’s historic session as they passed a number of their priorities.  By working together to come up with a more narrowly defined focus, we will have better served the people of Missouri.” The new STEM education requires Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to establish an online program to educate students about STEM careers and allows for multiple companies to apply to provide the program.  By passing this during a special session, it will allow for DESE to start the process of implementing it for the 2019-2020 school year.  Senator Doug Libla sponsored one version of the original bill.   “Computer science being offered in our K-12 schools is so important to the future of our Missouri students and to the many companies that desire and depend on these skills. Thousands of high-paying jobs are available right now all across Missouri,” said Sen. Libla, R-Poplar Bluff.  “I would like to thank Gov. Parson and the Missouri Legislature for their past support of this life-changing legislation.” The new treatment court legislation will focus solely on reforms to treatment courts throughout the state.  Expansion of treatment courts will allow for more individuals to get treatment, rather than being incarcerated in our already overcrowded prison system. Representative Kevin Austin was the original sponsor of the treatment court bill. “I applaud the Governor's action and comments.  I appreciate his recognition that Missouri treatment courts have been a great success at changing lives for the better, lowering criminal recidivism rates, saving tax-payer dollars by reducing incarceration, all the while making our communities safer and aiding our citizens in their quest to be more productive and improve their quality of life. I am excited to work with my colleagues and the governor to pass this crucial expansion of our treatment courts into law,” said Rep. Austin, R-Springfield. Both leadership from the House and Senate have endorsed the Governor’s decision for a special session.  The timeliness of the call to have a special session concurrent with veto session will ensure that this special session is run efficiently, cutting down on any additional costs and saving taxpayer dollars.    “Since taking office in June, the governor has asked us for a fresh start and for us to begin working together for a better Missouri. We believe in his vision of moving Missouri forward by finding new solutions for workforce development and exploring innovation,” said President Pro Tem Ron Richard, R-Joplin. “We understand there are priorities the governor would like to accomplish before the end of the year. We respect those priorities, and as the Senate Leader, I will do what I can to push his agenda forward.” “I appreciate the governor’s willingness to work closely with us to resolve these pressing issues that will have a positive impact on thousands of Missourians all across our state,” said House Speaker Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff. “My colleagues and I are ready to have an efficient session that will improve our system of education to better prepare our young people for the jobs of the future, and give Missourians battling substance abuse access to treatment that will allow them to become healthy, productive citizens.” In addition to legislators, Missouri leaders have spoken up in favor of the upcoming special session.  “Businesses across the state are struggling right now to find workers who have the skills they need. This problem severely impacts companies that are hiring for jobs that require computer science skills. I applaud Gov. Mike Parson and the Missouri General Assembly for focusing on STEM workforce readiness during the upcoming special session,” said Daniel P. Mehan, President and CEO, Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “Passing this legislation is an important first step toward improving computer science education in our state and giving students essential skills needed in today’s economy. This effort aligns with our Missouri 2030 plan and the business community anticipates important progress being made when lawmakers return to Jefferson City.” "With tens of thousands of unfilled tech jobs in Missouri, it is more important than ever to make STEM career pathways visible to young people. As an organization that provides free, accessible tech training to Missourians, LaunchCode is proud to support legislation that will open doors to new generations of learners and better prepare them for accelerated, job-focused training programs like ours," said Jeff Mazur, Executive Director, LaunchCode. "We are grateful to Gov. Parson and legislative leaders for making STEM career awareness an urgent policy priority." “Preparing tomorrow’s workforce for careers in STEM is an important priority for Cerner and we work to provide students with learning programs that offer the professional skills and technical knowledge to set them up for future success,” said Julie Wilson, Chief People Officer, Cerner. “We appreciate the continued focus by Gov. Parson on growing STEM education, which will further make Missouri a place to attract and recruit top talent for the jobs of today and the future.” “Treatment courts are the most successful intervention in our nation’s history for holding accountable people living with substance use and mental health disorders, and leading them out of the justice system into lives of recovery and stability,” said Judge Alan Blankenship, 39th Circuit Court and President of Missouri Association of Treatment Court Professionals. Though vetoed during the regular session due to problematic language that had been added, both received strong bipartisan support, and Gov. Parson reiterated that this special session is about agreement not division.   Merit Reform Legislation to Change How State of Missouri Recruits, Recognizes Its Employees https://governor.mo.gov/press-releases/archive/merit-reform-legislation-change-how-state-missouri-recruits-recognizes-its 111 at https://governor.mo.gov Wed, 01 Aug 2018 19:56:13 +0000 Merit Reform Legislation to Change How State of Missouri Recruits, Recognizes Its Employees swobos1 Wed, 08/01/2018 - 19:56 August 28, 2018 Jefferson City Merit reform legislation passed by the State of Missouri General Assembly during the 2018 legislative session takes effect today, giving the state greater flexibility in how it manages its workforce. The State of Missouri now has the ability to identify and implement new ways to attract the best-qualified job candidates and recognize employees’ superior performance. Ultimately, merit reform will allow the state to strengthen its teams within all 16 executive departments to better serve the citizens of Missouri. “The citizens of Missouri have high expectations for their state government. And, they should. They expect us to move our state, its economy, and its infrastructure forward, while fulfilling our most important duty — ensuring the safety of all Missourians,” Gov. Mike Parson said. “To serve our citizens better and deliver the results they deserve, we must continue to build a strong workforce. The new merit reform law will help us improve how state government operates for the benefit of both our citizens and our committed public servants by investing in new ways of working like never before.” In 1946, the legislature passed the “State Merit System Law,” which created the Personnel Advisory Board and the state’s Division of Personnel. The law has been updated over decades in attempts to improve management practices and to streamline personnel systems. Despite the revisions, the law still hindered the state’s ability in several areas, including employee recruitment and recognition. The merit reform law gives the State of Missouri the opportunity to make meaningful management changes that will positively affect state workers. Now, the state has greater flexibility to increase the talent pool of job applicants and hire the best-qualified candidates. Under the merit system, the state was bound to hire from a restricted number of applicants for positions under the merit system. This limited the talent pool and sometimes excluded candidates with the most relevant work experience or specific skill set. “Just this past weekend a retired state employee stopped me in the grocery store to say they wish they could have been a manager in a state department absent the confines and restraints of the merit system,” Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe said. “Over and over, in a variety of unsolicited settings, managers in state government tell me of the imminent positive effects of merit reform. Enabling managers to place the right employees in the right jobs, based on their skills and performance, will make their units more productive and allow managers to better recognize and reward employees for superior performance.” Thanks to the merit reform law, the state will not only be able to recruit the best-qualified employees, but it will also be able to do so faster. In certain instances, the state has taken up to 90 days to hire applicants. The state’s Human Resources managers have spent tens of thousands of hours annually on processing merit system paperwork. That time can now be directed toward more valuable tasks, like recruiting job candidates. The merit reform law brings the majority of state employees into the “at will” category. “At will” employees may be selected at the discretion of the appointing authority, serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority, and may be discharged – as the statute says – for no reason or any reason not prohibited by law. The merit reform law does not change whistleblower, sexual harassment, or discrimination protections for employees. “State employees are state government’s most precious resource. For too long, they’ve gone unrecognized for the superior services they provide to our citizens,” Sarah Steelman, Commissioner of the Office of Administration said. “I look forward to continued collaboration between the Office of Administration and agencies across state government to find better ways to recruit, develop, and recognize state employees. They deserve it.” Merit reform is part of a bigger picture – the transformation of management in state government. Missouri is also investing in new ways to develop its leaders such as with the launch of the new state Leadership Academy and The Missouri Way advanced management training program. The State of Missouri is making strides in not only developing its overall workforce, but also the managers and supervisors who will lead it. Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe, formerly a state senator, sponsored the merit reform law in the legislature. Read more about the merit reform changes in a joint opinion piece by Gov. Parson and Lt. Gov. Kehoe: Merit reform law to transform State of Missouri management