JEFFERSON CITY — During his January 2019 State of the State address, Gov. Mike Parson announced his intention to issue executive orders for the purpose of improving economic and workforce development in Missouri.
These changes became effective Aug. 28.
The reorganization moved several divisions from the Department of Economic Development to other state agencies in an effort to create a more focused economic development strategy and be more competitive with neighboring states by having similar regulatory functions under one department umbrella:
The Division of Workforce Development and the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center moved to the newly named Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development (formerly the Department of Higher Education) to establish a single state resource for all post-secondary education options.
The Division of Energy moved to the Department of Natural Resources.
The Office of Public Counsel and the Public Service Commission moved to the newly named Department of Commerce and Insurance (formerly the Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration).
The Missouri Arts Council moved to the Office of the Lieutenant Governor.
By better aligning certain functions of state government, these changes will streamline operations, increase efficiency and improve customer service to all Missourians.
For instance, the Department of Economic Development, where the Division of Energy had been housed since 2013, can now streamline its focus primarily on business and community development.
“While no longer within the Department of Economic Development, Missouri’s economic strength will remain an important focus of the division’s work,” Division of Energy Director Craig Redmon said. “Effective energy policy is foundational to the long-term success, health and well being of our state.”
In addition to Parson’s Executive Orders, SB 68 also took effect in August.
Parson signed the bill into law in July, which includes four key pieces of workforce and economic development legislation designed to meet employer needs and help Missouri compete for major business expansions across the state.