JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson delivered the 2020 State of the State address inside the Missouri capitol on Wednesday. You can rewatch it in the video player above.
Parson reaffirmed his support for gun rights. He called on lawmakers to increase mental health resources, toughen laws against violent crime and ramp up witness protection to address violence in the state’s biggest cities.
St. Louis, Kansas City and Springfield all have seen spikes in gun crimes and homicides in recent years. More than a dozen children were killed in gun violence in St. Louis in 2019.
While Democrats have called for more restrictions on gun ownership and greater flexibility for cities to impose their own gun rule , the Republican governor made clear that’s not his plan.
Parson on Wednesday also asked lawmakers to set aside $100 million in taxpayer dollars to use in case of financial emergencies.
The Republican governor proposed the new savings fund as he outlined plans for next year’s state budget. State Budget Director Dan Haug told reporters that the savings fund could be bolstered if lawmakers this year pass legislation requiring online retailers to collect sales taxes on purchases made in Missouri.
Parson said he wants the fund “to give our state greater flexibility and stronger finances than ever before.”