Lt. Gov. Mike Parson sets record straight about requesting money for a driver

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Missouri Lieutenant Governor Mike Parson is setting the record straight about asking legislators for an additional $50,000 in his budget.

The St. Louis Post Dispatch reported this week he had requested the money in the Fiscal Year 2019 Budget for a driver. Parson tells KY3 News he did request the $50,000 mentioned in the story. But it is not for a driver.

The Bolivar native asked for additional money to be divided into two entities: $25,000 to help with any legal fees that may occur throughout the year and $25,000 for a part-time employee whose responsibilities would include varied office duties as well as assist the lieutenant governor in travel when representing the people of Missouri.

Parson's office has no legal staff. He said last year, those legal fees were needed to assist with the St. Louis Missouri Veterans Home investigation and the “Buy Missouri” program.

The Lieutenant Governor's office is currently the smallest staff of any statewide office. He says one of his goals is to transform the office by increasing its presence. The Republican says he traveled to 150 Missouri destinations last year.

“It is important to the office of lieutenant governor to take the time to visit these communities to understand concerns and keep them informed on the issues facing Missouri," said Parson.

The lieutenant governor's nearly $86,600 salary is the lowest of Missouri's statewide elected officials.