Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

In Rare Move, Missouri Governor to Hand off Power to No. 2 While on Overseas Vacation

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

In Rare Move, Missouri Governor to Hand off Power to No. 2 While on Overseas Vacation

Article excerpt

JEFFERSON CITY -- Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is taking steps to temporarily hand over power to the state's No. 2 officeholder later this month when he travels to Europe for a trade mission and a vacation.

Under a plan that is still taking shape, the Post-Dispatch has learned Parson is planning to cede his gubernatorial powers to fellow Republican Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe during the vacation portion of his overseas trip from June 23 to July 2.

The maneuver will allow Kehoe to sign legislation on Parson's behalf, including a proposal that will transfer oversight of the Missouri Arts Council from the Department of Economic Development to the lieutenant governor's office.

He also will have the ability to create a task force on food and beverage manufacturing in Missouri and appoint members to a Route 66 centennial commission.

As acting governor, Kehoe won't have the ability to pardon prisoners, commute sentences or many of the other powers given to the chief executive, administration officials said.

Parson intends to resume his duties when he and first lady Teresa Parson return, officials said. Details of their vacation were not immediately available.

The governor, who was appointed to the post June 1, 2018, after the resignation of scandal-plagued former Gov. Eric Greitens, is relying on a clause in the state constitution that allows the chief executive to grant his powers to the lieutenant governor.

Under that provision, he must submit a letter to legislative leaders declaring he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.

Such moves are not common. But, Parson and Kehoe are from the same party and Parson appointed Kehoe to the No. 2 post after Parson took over as governor.

The last time the event occurred was in 2005 when then-Gov. Matt Blunt ceded power to former Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder for a short period of time.

In 2016, Kinder, a Republican, sent former Gov. …

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