Saying "let's get it done," Governor Jay Nixon this morning announced his plan to revitalize the state's economy and position Missouri for growth in a highly competitive world economy.
It was a welcome speech.
He delivered the speech at the Danforth Plant Science Center, an apt background for a plan centered on taking advantage of an agricultural state's growing competence in bioscience. And, some rhetorical commonplaces aside, the governor accurately summed up our challenges and opportunities. He did not mention taxes, except to point out that he had not raised them.
I was particularly interested in the governor's thoughts about the China Hub. Putting to rest months of speculation, the governor declared himself a "strong supporter" of our Aerotropolis legislation. I had been asked recently to comment on fourth- and fifth-hand reports that Governor Nixon opposed public investment in the enhancement of Lambert airport to take advantage of its capacity and location to become an international trade hub. Today, he clearly set the record straight.
Here in Missouri we make things. And we're going to keep on making things at the most sophisticated and efficient manufacturing facilities in the nation. Now we need a better way to get our goods from here to there. We need to take full advantage of our central location by making a substantial investment in bricks and mortar infrastructure in the area around Lambert Field. If we want to sell more beef to Asia, we need refrigerated warehouses. If we want to sell more pharmaceuticals and aerospace equipment, we need safe and secure transport facilities.
I heard directly from the governor the words I needed to hear. He emphatically supports one of the best ideas the St. Louis region has had in a long time. The legislation is drafted to create strong transparency and accountability. The legislature is ready to deliver.
The creation of a thriving commercial trade hub in St. Louis would allow Missouri to continue to increase its imports, which in turn would drive job creation, profitability and prosperity across the state. To do the hub correctly, we must build in transparency, accountability, and oversight.
So, "let's get it done."