Governor Parson talks CARES Act funding and McCloskeys in first Capitol briefing since COVID diagnosis

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo — In his first in-person press briefing since being released from isolation, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson gave an economic and budget update and announced he’s releasing millions of dollars to services like education. 

Parson said he and his wife, Teresa Parson, are blessed to be among the thousands of people who have recovered from COVID-19. The couple tested positive for the virus two weeks ago. “It’s great to be back in the Capitol,” Parson said. “Teresa and I both returned to our regular schedules Monday.” The governor said he, his wife and four staffers have recovered from COVID-19. “We are also thankful that all my staff are back and healthy,” Parson said. 

With the governor and his staff in good health, he’s releasing good news. “Today I am happy to announce over $133 million to support critical services in several areas, including nearly $95 million in CARES Act funding and $40 million in general revenue,” Parson said. He said nearly $100 million of it is going to the education system, with more than $61.5 million in CARES Act funds for K-12 “These funds will be dispersed to school districts through DESE’s through the foundation formula,” Parson said. “$26 million in general revenue will go to higher education as well as $10 million in CARES Act for private colleges and universities.

The remainder of the CARES Act and general revenue funds will support areas like assisted living, childcare providers, independent living centers, senior citizens, building infrastructure and serving military communities. Parson said he is still planning for lawmakers to return to the Capitol for a special session to discuss the budget but did not say when it could happen. The governor said also spoke about the state’s plan for a COVID vaccine. “Our multi-agency support team is finalizing our distribution plan that will be released next week,” Parson said. 

Just 24 hours after Mark and Patricia McCloskey were indicted by a St. Louis grand jury on weapon and tampering charges for pointing guns at protestors back in June, Parson said he still plans to pardon the couple if they are convicted of the crimes. “Most certainly would,” Parson said. “We will let it play out and see how this all comes out in the courts, but I stand by what I said.”

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