JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Governor Eric Grietens spent about 30 minutes addressing both chambers of the state legislature Wednesday night, and as expected talked about what he feels are success, and also laid out what he wants to see happen this year.
After starting with a story about George Washington Carver, Governor Greitens told the legislature he would like to see them put aside their differences and bring reform for foster children.
"These are our children. These are kids. There are 13,000 of them. So tonight, lets join together and pledge to get this work done for the kids who need us most," Greitens said.
The governor mentioned he would like to see all legislators deny gifts from lobbyists, and also would like to see the state accept professional licenses for all military personnel and their spouses.
"I call on every member of the legislature to join me in a pledge not to accept any gifts from lobbyists," Greitens said, after mentioning legislation that passed the House, but not the Senate, last year.
He also talked up the state's low unemployment rate, claimed under his first year, the state has outpaced the nation for job growth.
"Since last March, we have outpaced the nation in job growth, and in the past year, Missouri moved up nine spots in the rankings of the best states in the country to do business," Greitens said.
The Governor also mentioned he would be unveiling his tax reform plan next week.
"Early next week, my team and I will lay out a detailed, thoughtful, and thorough plan to cut taxes on the hardest working families in our state," Greitens said.
The governor also says the state of Missouri currently may not recognize out-of-state professional licenses, something he said needs to change for military families.
"We need to grant full reciprocity of licenses obtained in other states to military members, veterans and their spouses," Greitens said. "Right now, in the state of Missouri, a small business owner who declares that he or she wants to hire veterans can be sued. That’s right: if you say that you prefer to hire veterans, you could face a lawsuit. That’s wrong. This legislature needs to pass a bill allowing employers to establish a veterans hiring preference. Most states in our country have done this. It’s time for Missouri to do the same."
While the governor laid out his main objectives for this legislative session, representatives with the democratic party say he didn't give specifics on a lot of what he wants to happen.
Governor Greitens didn't mention anything about a budget plan, among other things the Democrats say they wanted him to address.
"We heard absolutely nothing about our budget, which is normal to hear during a State of the State address," said House Minority Leader Rep. Gail McCann Beatty. "We heard nothing about healthcare. We had two task forces over the summer dealing with correction and dealing with transportation, we heard absolutely nothing about our transportation funding. The governor has a lot to answer, and we still haven't heard that."
Rep. McCann Beatty also said when it comes to the foster care changes, Governor Greitens never gave her his plan he mentioned was given to the legislature.
"I think he mentioned he had 20 legislative proposals that he was sharing with the legislature, well he hasn't shared them with me so I have no idea what they are," McCann Beatty said.