“Grow Missouri,” a group that recently used a blimp tour through Missouri as a promotion stunt has released a list of 55 ideas gathered through its “Create a Great State” listening tour.

The Rex Sinquefield-backed group traveled the state via the 200-foot-long blimp through mid-November with part of a $2.5 million donation. The tour was announced in September as a “separate but complementary” project to an effort by the Missouri House Speaker-in-waiting, John Diehl, who is collecting “100 Great Ideas” for state government.

The stated goal of Diehl’s initiative is to gather taxpayer ideas and bring them to the Capitol for next year’s legislative session.

Since then, Grow Missouri has held and attended one-on-one and small group discussions across the state. Public ideas provided by the group include:

•Lower the corporate income tax so large employers can compete internationally.

•Establish incentives to keep students with degrees in math, science and technology in the state after graduation.

•Promote women business owners.

•Reform the tax credit system.

•Make teachers do more professional development over the summer.

•Make early childhood education a priority.

•Make students take the same tests as naturalized citizens.

•Make literacy a focus of schools at the early childhood level.

•Legalize marijuana and tax it.

•Look at fuel taxes and license fees to fund transportation.

In a statement, group Treasurer Aaron Willard said group members “are confident several (ideas) will resonate with the Missouri Legislature.”

A group news release stated Grow Missouri will gather ideas until the end of the year and then begin sharing them with lawmakers.

Ideas gathered through Diehl’s project have not been released. Only one meeting has been publicly announced for the effort.

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