JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KPLR) – Missouri Governor Eric Greitens promised to change the way the state is governed as he took the oath of office on steps of the Capitol Building in Jefferson City Monday.
“I come as an outsider to do the people’s work,” Greitens said.
After taking the oath of office his first act was to sign an executive order related to ethics reforms. The order prohibits anyone from working in the governor’s office from leaving to take a lobbying job. It also prohibits employees in the executive branch of the state from receiving gifts from lobbyists.
“This is the people’s house,” said Greitens, 42, during his inaugural address.
Ethics reform is one area where Greitens and democrats could find common ground. State Rep. Joe Adams (D-University City) is sponsoring a bill to create a longer waiting period for outgoing lawmakers to become lobbyists. His legislation would require a five-year waiting period instead of the current six-month ban. He hopes Greitens will help is legislation become law.
The Governor broke from the tradition of holding a parade and instead held a ceremony honoring families of the fallen. He also broke from tradition by taking a minute to address members of the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the National Guard.
There were some protestors who held up signs during his speech. They oppose Greitens’ position on “right-to-work” legislation. It could be one of the first significant pieces of legislation the governor will sign.
Some democrats also have concerns over how committed the Governor will be to addressing issues in economically challenged neighborhoods.
State Rep. Michael Butler (D-St. Louis) hopes a new governor will mean a chance for new relationships and ideas.
“I’m concerned we’re not focused enough on crime and community policing,” said Butler.
Republicans are hopeful they can work with Gov. Greitens on several issues. State Rep. Randy Pietzman, (R-Troy), said Gov. Jay Nixon had been absent when it came to meeting with republican lawmakers. “Did we have a previous governor?” asked Pietzman.
Wentzville State Rep. Bryan Spence (R) said he hopes Gov. Greitens will help Missouri’s economy by focusing on several issues.
“One of them being a trained workforce, another one being increasing infrastructure and another one being changing the tax code,” Spence said.
Gov. Greitens received a ride from the Budweiser Clydesdales to the governor’s mansion, where he and his family greeted supporters.