Missouri Governor Eric Greitens (R) says neither he nor his office have been contacted by law enforcement, regarding his 2015 affair with a hairdresser.
A St. Louis reporter asked Greitens that question during the governor’s briefing during the 28th annual Missouri Press Association and Associated Press Day in Jefferson City.
“Again, we’ve answered all of those questions and you (the St. Louis reporter) know that the answer is no,” Greitens says. “You know that the answer is no because you’ve seen that question answered multiple times.”
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner, a former Democratic state lawmaker, announced on January 11 that she was launching “a formal investigation” into the Greitens case.
Gardner spokeswoman Susan Ryan told Missourinet late Thursday afternoon that it’s an ongoing investigation.
Governor Greitens addressed numerous other issues during the briefing, which took place at the Governor’s Mansion. Dozens of reporters from across the state attended.
Greitens notes Missouri’s unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in 17 years.
“We’ve got more manufacturing jobs here than we had a year ago. And the state’s moved up nine places in the rankings of the best states to do business,” says Greitens.
He also says the Department of Economic Development (DED) has opened an office aimed at delivering Missourians’ access to high-quality broadband and internet service.
Greitens also announced that the Missouri National Guard will enter into a partnership with the Israeli Defense Forces.
“And what we’ll be doing is engaging in joint training exercises,” Greitens says. “And these joint training exercises will relate to disaster response, homeland security, counterterrorism.”
Greitens says he’s continuing to work to strengthen the National Guard.
The governor announced in October that 800 new Missouri National Guard jobs were coming to the Show-Me State. Those 800 new jobs were expected to include transportation and military police units.
Greitens also addressed the issue of transportation on Thursday.
A Missouri transportation task force’s recommendation to raise the state’s gasoline tax is opposed by the governor.
“I think the work that has to be done this year is to get a workers’ first tax cut passed so that we can help 380,000 of the hardest-working Missourians across the state,” says Greitens.
Missouri’s 21st century transportation system task force is recommending a ten-cent gasoline tax increase and a 12-cent diesel tax increase.
Missouri’s fuel tax hasn’t been raised since 1996.
Greitens also responded Thursday to Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway’s (D) report and Statehouse news conference about the budget.
Galloway says Governor Greitens and the GOP-controlled Legislature are relying on historically unachievable growth to bring stability to the state’s finances.
Her report also found that Missouri would need to add about 168,000 new jobs paying the state’s average wage, to generate $500 million in revenue.
Greitens says Auditor Galloway’s math regarding his tax cut plan is wrong.
“She simply hasn’t read the plan. Her numbers are off,” Greitens says.
Greitens says his tax cut plan is revenue-neutral.
Galloway also says Missourians are already feeling the consequences of Greitens’ reductions to higher education funding, adding that Missourians are carrying a greater tax burden at the local level.
“Look it doesn’t surprise me that Democrats are opposed to tax cuts. (House Minority Leader) Nancy Pelosi’s been opposed to tax cuts, (Senate Minority Leader) Chuck Schumer’s been opposed to tax cuts, (Senator) Claire McCaskill’s been opposed to tax cuts and now Nicole Galloway, the auditor, is opposed to tax cuts,” says Greitens.
Greitens says his tax plan would cut taxes for 97 percent of Missouri families.
Galloway says individual income tax revenue now comprises about 70 percent of general revenue.