Photos courtesy of Tim Bommel, House Communications

Governor Eric Greitens’ second State of the State speech included a more personal feel and less policy-driven discussion from last year. On Wednesday night, he opened by welcoming his kindergarten teacher and families serving as foster parents. He also discussed the role Missourian and African-American George Washington Carver played in the country’s agriculture.

His seven-page speech took less than 40 minutes to deliver. Sen. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph, says it’s the shortest State of State in his 16 years.

Greitens also highlighted:
•Efforts to improve Missouri’s foster care system
•Costing-cutting measures
•Lowering the number of state government regulations and boards or commissions
•Urging the General Assembly to pass a ban on lobbyist gifts to members of the legislature
•Calling on lawmakers to pass term limits for every state-wide office holder
•Helping Missouri’s military

Some of the similarities from last year include a focus on:
•Improving Missouri’s economy
•Job creation
•Reducing the number of state worker jobs
•Changing the tax structure
•Helping Missouri’s law enforcement

Last year’s speech also discussed:
•Changes to Missouri’s legal system
•Passing a “Right-to-work” law
•Increasing state worker pay

Here’s what we didn’t hear about on Wednesday night:
•Just like last year, we did not hear about the governor’s state budget outline
•Ways to help fund Missouri’s deteriorating roads and bridges
•How to move forward with the state’s number one industry – agriculture
•K-12 education and higher education

Last year’s curveball was when Greitens spoke about changing the operations of Missouri’s welfare system.

“I will work with all of you to build a system that lifts people out poverty and into the middle class, one based on hard work and personal responsibility,” said Greitens.

This year’s curveballs? The governor plans to reveal next week a tax cut plan he wants the legislature to pass this year. He calls the legislation the “boldest state tax reform in America”.

“With your help, we will lower taxes for working families and make it easier for businesses to come to Missouri and create jobs. And we will do it in a way that is fiscally sound, maintains our state’s triple-A credit rating, and does not burden our children with debt,” says Greitens.

The other curveball is he wants lawmakers to prevent liens from being filed against the homes of police officers.

“They can do this in secret, and it can affect the credit of our police officers and their families, costing them thousands of dollars,” says Greitens. “It’s harassment, and it needs to stop. On behalf of law enforcement officers throughout our state, I’d ask this body to pass a clean version of legislation that protects them from this type of harassment. Tonight, I want to let the police officers of this state know: your governor, your fellow citizens, and the vast majority of your elected representatives, we have your back.”

Hear the governor’s entire speech:

Hear the Democratic response from House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty of Kansas City: