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Missouri Governor Mike Parson Addresses Ethics Reform, Economic Development at Springfield Visit

Governor Mike Parson said he would likely sign an ethics reform bill if lawmakers were to send him one that led to more transparency in campaign finance.

Parson's predecessor, Eric Greitens, received criticism for refusing to disclose where much of his campaign money was coming from.

Parson told reporters in Springfield Wednesday he believes lawmakers may take up the issue when they return to Jefferson City for the next legislative session.

"I've heard both sides of the issue.  I understand some of the 401(c) [groups] that are out there, 501(c)s.  But I also realize that when you utilize the system to just hide the donor, hide the information, I have a problem with that.  I think people have a right to know who give you money.  And for me, my job's going to be transparent," he said.

During the same visit, Parson said the Missouri Department of Economic Development needs to do a better job of building the state's workforce. 

Parson told business and community leaders that he came to that conclusion after the state's director, Rob Dixon, told him the agency could be more efficient.

"And the truth about our Department of  Economic Development is:  We haven't been doing as well as we should have been.  When we're compared to other state for the amount of people we have in that agency, and for the money we spend, we're not getting the job done like we need to get done," Parson said.

Parson said he plans to support a study of teh department to see how to improve its outcome.

The Missouri Department of Economic Development is the agency that works to boost businesses and various industries,  as well as to develop a strong workforce statewide.