- Associated Press - Monday, October 22, 2018

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Latest on the appointment of Missouri House Speaker Todd Richardson to lead the state’s Medicaid program (all times local):

3:40 p.m.

Missouri House Speaker Todd Richardson says he wants to improve people’s health while reigning in costs as the next director of the state’s Medicaid program.

Richardson was announced Monday as director of the MO HealthNet Division, effective Nov. 1. The Republican from Poplar Bluff will be resigning about two months before his House term was scheduled to end.

Gov. Mike Parson said he wanted Richardson for the position because of his “personal integrity” and “bipartisan respect” among policymakers.

Richardson will be paid $225,000r, making him one of the highest paid state employees. He will earn more than both Parson and Chief Justice Zel Fischer.

Department of Social Services Director Steve Corsi says the salary is appropriate for overseeing a $10 billion program that provides health care to about 940,000 people.

___

3:15 p.m.

Missouri House Speaker Todd Richardson will be leaving the Legislature early to become director of the state’s Medicaid program.

The appointment announced Monday by Gov. Mike Parson is to take effect Nov. 1 and will make Richardson one of the highest paid state employees.

Richardson is to earn $225,000 annually as director of the MO HealthNet Division. That’s well more than the nearly $134,000 paid to Parson or the nearly $182,000 to Chief Justice Zel Fischer, but still less than the $530,000 salary for University of Missouri President Mun Choi.

Richardson is a Republican attorney from Poplar Bluff who was first elected in 2010. His term was to end in January, and he was barred from running again by term limits. Richardson earns about $38,000 annually as House speaker.


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