Follow Live: Nixon delivers State of the State address

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(Updated throughout the night)

Missouri Business Alert is in Jefferson City tonight to cover Gov. Jay Nixon’s sixth State of the State Address. A live stream of the address is available on the governor’s website.

Follow along here for intermittent updates from the governor’s speech, and check back later for a full recap of the night’s events.

6:57 — The Colors have been presented. The House is taking roll. Live from Jefferson City, it’s time for the State of the State.

7:05 — Nixon has taken the floor and started the State of the State address.

7:09 — The governor says his budget includes funds to improve the VA hospitals in Missouri. He also wants to build a new veterans home.

7:11 — Nixon is stressing fiscal responsibility, as he has done in the past. He says improvements can be made in his plans to universities, veterans homes and roads. That will improve Missouri’s economy as a whole, the governor says.

7:12 — Nixon also stresses cyber security by partnering with businesses, universities and law enforcement to create growth in the tech sector, and grow the economy by ensuring Internet security in the state.

7:14 — Nixon touts job creation the state has seen in the last several years. He cites Cerner’s major development in south Kansas City and Boeing bringing production of commercial airliners to St. Louis. He says more jobs are being created in Missouri than at any point in the last 20 years.

7:17 — Revisiting a theme that he’s discussed repeatedly over the last several months — and held a summit around earlier this month — the governor says Missouri does a great job of raising cattle. But the state is missing another opportunity, he says. Nixon says that by keeping cattle until they are fully grown and slaughtering them in state, Missouri can add $1 billion to the economy.

7:18 — Nixon also hits hard on the gas tax. He calls for a new gas tax because more fuel efficient vehicles are hurting how much the state collects from to fix roads. Nixon says the gas tax has not been raised in 20 years.

7:22 — Nixon turns his attention to issues raised by the unrest in Ferguson. He says we need a fair court system that treats everyone equally. We need strong schools and communities. He also said the state is proud of its law enforcement officers, which drew a standing ovation from law makers.

7:25 — Nixon is hitting hard on easing tensions between officers and all of the public. He says it is something that is needed all across America.

7:26 — “When every child has a quality education, every child has an opportunity to succeed,” Nixon says. He says that one way to ease tension is by creating better schools.

7:29 — Nixon said that Missourians know that public schools are important and teachers pay is as well. He mentioned last year’s initiative that would’ve changed how teachers are evaluated. Wants to add $11 million to preschool in his budget, and an extra $110 million to K-12 in his budget.

7:30 — Nixon turns his attention to STEM jobs. He says the highest paying jobs are in science and math, but less than 20 percent of undergraduate students at Missouri universities are getting degrees in these fields. Project Lead the Way helps that, Nixon says. But he wants to expand this program to more elementary schools throughout the state.

7:35 — Nixon addresses water rights, saying the state can’t let neighbors upstream along the Missouri River siphon off water that Missourians use for drinking water and irrigation.

7:36 — Nixon discusses concerns about Medicaid. He says that Missouri is behind other in regards to Medicaid. “States that have strengthened and improved Medicaid have had three times the growth of those that didn’t,” he says.

7:39 — Nixon says that political posturing may have cost Missouri several health care jobs after an Ozarks hospital laid off employees to expand in Arkansas, a result of Missouri not expanding Medicaid.

7:42 — Many Missourians have grown cynical of state government, Nixon says. So, again, he stresses ethics reform.

7:44 — Nixon turns his attention to the state’s auto industry. He recalls a time that he was worried Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant plant would close. “As long as cars were going to be made somewhere,” he says, “I was determined that it was Missourians that would be building them.” Strategic legislation signed in 2010 helped save the state’s auto industry, he says. This draws scores of rapturous applause from several autoworkers up in the gallery.

7:57 — Nixon closes his address as he opened it, with a reference to his experience as a Boy Scout and the values he was taught there. We’re here to do our duty, the governor says, and we will leave Missouri a better place than we found it.

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