Missouri House Speaker Richardson to become Medicaid chief

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri House Speaker Todd Richardson will be leaving the Legislature early to become director of the state’s Medicaid program.

The appointment announced Monday by Gov. Mike Parson is to take effect Nov. 1 and will make Richardson one of the highest paid state employees.

Richardson is to earn $225,000 annually as director of the MO HealthNet Division. That’s well more than the nearly $134,000 paid to Parson or the nearly $182,000 to Chief Justice Zel Fischer, but still less than the $530,000 salary for University of Missouri President Mun Choi.

Richardson is a Republican attorney from Poplar Bluff who was first elected in 2010. His term was to end in January, and he was barred from running again by term limits. Richardson earns about $38,000 annually as House speaker.