Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens made a rare stop in Kansas City Wednesday to sign four bills into law.
One measure would start the process of creating four adult high schools around the state to help Missourians over the age of 21 get a high school diploma and job training.
“We’ve got a big need in the state of Missouri with half-a-million people who’ve never had an opportunity to go back and complete their high school diploma," Greitens said, surrounded by lawmakers and workers from the JPI Glass in Kansas City, North.
None of the four schools is scheduled to be built around Kansas City. Greitens conceded more schools will need to be built but this is a good start, he said. "So we’re going to start, we’re going to get this right and build on this program to meet the needs of people across Missouri.”
No state education money will be spent on these schools or students.
The bill calls for federal job training money and welfare block grant funds to pay for the project. The schools will be operated by a non-profit that will be picked by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Greitens also signed three bills making it more difficult to sue businesses in the state. He said that for too long "trial lawyers had picked the pockets of the people of Missouri."
This was also his first trip to Kansas City since he vetoed a $48 million bond issue to help pay for a downtown arts campus for the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Greitens issued a harsh veto message last week calling the project simply a “conservatory for dancers and arts students.”
Wednesday he said "he liked the arts" and was proud UMKC has said it will raise private money to pay for the entire $96 million project. "I think that’s a win for Kansas City, and I also think it’s a win for tax payers in the State of Missouri.”