Missouri Gov. Mike Parson wants to downsize the Department of Economic Development and move several hundred staffers to the Department of Higher Education.

The Republican governor on Thursday signed executive orders for the state government reorganization.

Parson says the goal is to pare back the Department of Economic Development’s responsibilities so the agency can focus on how to bring businesses to the state and develop a trained workforce.

Several hundred other staffers will also be moved to the insurance department under the plan. That agency would be renamed the Department of Commerce and Insurance.

Parson says the changes would bring the Economic Development Department down from about 865 employees to 165 employees.

The Republican-led Legislature has 60 days to disapprove of the changes or they will automatically take effect.

Randy Kirby
Randy Kirby

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