MO Gov. Jay Nixon gives State of the State address - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

MO Gov. Jay Nixon gives State of the State address

JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KFVS) - Missouri Governor Jay Nixon delivered the State of the State address on Wednesday evening in Jefferson City, Missouri.

The Governor touched on a number of topics including education reform, the events in Ferguson, and the booming auto industry. Below are highlights of the Governor's address:

ECONOMY:


"Last year, our exports hit $14 billion. That's $14 billion of Made-in-Missouri products going all over the world," Nixon said.

Nixon explained that much of the success was due to the state's success was due to agriculture and automotive exports.

The Governor expanded on a new possibility of trading with Cuba.

"For many in my generation, trade with Cuba was unthinkable," Nixon said. "But never underestimate the power of American democracy to improve people's lives and open hearts and minds. Once free markets begin to flourish, freedom will follow."

We're also working to bring economic opportunity to our small towns and rural communities by boosting our cattle industry.

Missouri ranks second in the nation in cow/calf production, thanks to cutting edge genetic research and the know-how of our farmers and ranchers. But here's the beef.

Nearly all those animals leave Missouri before they're full-grown, and are finished and processed in other states. That means Missouri is missing out on more than $1 billion in value every year.

TRANSPORTATION:


The Governor made two proposals to help pay for major fixes to the Missouri highway system, the 7th largest highway system in the United States, according to Nixon.

Nixon proposed adding a toll road on Interstate 70 or increasing tax on gasoline purchased in Missouri.

Missouri gas tax hasn't risen in nearly 20 years, according to Nixon.

"With gas prices as low as they are now, this is worth a very close look," Nixon said. "If we want to leave Missouri roads better than we found them, the only thing we can't do is sit still."

The Governor said that correcting Missouri transportation system will be a major long term project.

FERGUSON:


Nixon touched on the events in Ferguson, Mo. in 2014 and the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a white Ferguson Police Officer.

"The events in Ferguson following the death of Michael Brown sparked a national conversation about race and equality, education and economic opportunity, law enforcement and the courts," Nixon said.

Missouri lawmakers have created a loan program to help small businesses recover after being destroyed in Ferguson.

The Governor announced a $2.5 million to improve West Florissant Avenue.

The Office of Community engagement has been created to oversee a summer jobs program to serve low-income kids in St. Louis and Kansas City.

"The legacy of Ferguson will be determined by what we do next," Nixon said. "To foster healing and hope and the changes we make to strengthen all of our communities."

EDUCATION:


The Governor proposed nearly $200 million in education reform across all Missouri schools.

Nixon's budget proposal includes $11 million to pre-schools, $150 million to public schools, and $25 million to colleges and universities.

WATER:


The Governor explained that up state's have attempted to siphon water from the Missouri river and that he will work to prevent that from happening.

Nixon proposed a $70 million budget for rebuilding water systems, sewer, and sanitation.

MEDICAID:


The Governor proposed a reform to medicaid that will

"Republican governors in Arizona, Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, North Dakota and Ohio have already strengthened Medicaid in their states," Nixon said.

More than 300,000 Missourians are on Medicaid, according to Nixon.

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