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COVID-19 continues to affect state in many ways

MSU leaders take pay cuts

Alisa Nelson, Missourinet News -

Missouri State University President Clif Smart will be taking a pay cut, along with some others at the southwest Missouri school. The decisions follow the state withholding $7.6 million in funding for MSU in Springfield, another result of COVID-19’s wrath unleashing on the economy.

Missouri State University President Clif Smart – Image courtesy of MSU

On Twitter, Smart says some in leadership positions volunteered to give up 10% of their pay in May and June and Smart will be giving up 20%.

Other steps include:

A hiring freeze for open positions will continue through June

Moving 65 full-time staff to 2/3 pay with more likely to follow

Halting 133 campus facility projects

Canceling events and travel through June.

Another 101,000 file for unemployment in Missouri

Alisa Nelson, Missourinet News -

Missouri’s latest unemployment figures have taken another jump. More than 101,000 Missourians filed a jobless claim last week – an increase of roughly 10,000 over the previous week.

Since the coronavirus started hitting the state’s economy in mid-March, over 339,000 people have requested unemployment aid. That’s more than all of 2019 jobless figures of 183,000.

Before the coronavirus pandemic began taking its toll on Missouri, the state’s unemployment claims averaged between 2,700 to 5,500 per week.

The Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations has been engulfed with about 100,000 daily calls. The system used to file a claim has also been taking longer because so many people are filing a claim. Labor Department Director Anna Hui says the best way to file a claim is by doing it on the agency’s website.

Missouri auditor raises questions about faulty masks recalled by state

Alisa Nelson, Missourinet News -

State Auditor Nicole Galloway wants more information about 48,000 defective masks recalled by the state.

Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway

During a briefing this week about the state’s COVID-19 response efforts, Missouri Public Safety Director Sandy Karsten announced the recall of the KN95 masks from China for not meeting testing standards. They were shipped to first responders around the state on April 2 and 8.

Galloway has sent a letter to Karsten asking for information about the ordering, purchase and funding of the masks. She is also questioning whether other masks delivered by the state might not meet standards and what plans the department has to get its money back for the masks that did not meet standards.

Galloway, a Democrat, is running for governor.

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