Voting Rights

With voting rights stalled, some senators mull an update to the Electoral Count Act

(Missouri Independent) – A bipartisan group of senators is exploring legislation to overhaul how Congress counts Electoral College votes, but backers of stalled voting rights legislation are lukewarm on the effort as a substitute. The Electoral Count Act is an obscure law that has come under recent scrutiny, a year after the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. […]

Unemployment Benefits Graphic

Missouri Senate hears bipartisan push to forgive mistakenly overpaid unemployment benefits

(Missouri Independent) – Tracie Engelmeyer was among hundreds of bus drivers who were furloughed in St. Louis County in March 2020 because of the pandemic. School-district authorities told them that even though drivers are contracted labor, they would qualify for unemployment benefits and urged them to apply. Engelmeyer recalled the conversation she had with a […]

Farm in Winter

Agriculture secretary pressed about pandemic relief funds for farmers

(Missouri Independent) – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack faced questions on how his agency is doling out emergency pandemic aid and fostering collaboration with historically Black colleges during a Thursday hearing before the House Agriculture Committee. Committee Chairman David Scott, a Georgia Democrat, asked Vilsack for “critical updates on the implementation of pandemic relief programs, including […]

Audio: Missouri could ban hospitals and long-term care centers from restricting visitors

Missouri could ban hospitals and long-term care centers from restricting visitors, including during an emergency. A state House committee is reviewing the bill sponsored by State Representative Brian Seitz, a Republican from southwest Missouri’s Branson.     State Representative Ashley Aune, a Democrat from Kansas City, says medical professionals should be making the health care […]

Governor Parson talks with lawmakers as he leaves House Chamber after State of the State address (Photo courtesy of Tim Bommel - Missouri House)

Governor proposes record $47.3B Missouri budget as he taps surplus and federal aid

(Missouri Independent) – Gov. Mike Parson proposed massive new spending on infrastructure and college buildings, and still found money to set aside for pensions and future revenue shortfalls, in the budget submitted Wednesday to lawmakers. Missouri will enter the new fiscal year with nearly $3 billion in surplus general revenue, an anticipation of record future tax collections, […]

Missouri Governor Mike Parson delivers State address in Missouri House January 19, 2022 (Photo courtesy of Tim Bommel - Missouri House Communications)

Governor Mike Parson touts Missouri’s COVID-19 response in annual State of State address

(Missouri Independent) – Gov. Mike Parson praised his administration’s handling of the still-unfolding COVID-19 pandemic Wednesday, telling a joint session of the Missouri General Assembly that the state has emerged ready to make long-term investments in its future.  “The bottom line is Missouri’s economy is strong,” Parson said in his annual State of the State […]

Elections (Vote or Voting)

Missouri bipartisan campaign seeks to switch to ranked-choice voting

A ballot initiative in Missouri is seeking to change the way statewide elections are run. Currently, in the Show-Me State, there are party primaries in August, and voters choose between the winners of the primaries in November. The Better Elections initiative seeks to move to what’s known as ranked-choice voting. Rosetta Okohson, a Democratic consultant and co-leader of the […]

Road Closed leading to bridge

Audio: Missouri set to get $96.6 million this year in federal funding for bridge repairs

Missouri is scheduled to receive 96-point-six-million dollars this year to help repair bridges across the state. Missourinet’s Brent Palm has more on the federal funding.     Congressman Emanuel Cleaver says this is the first installment of 484-million dollars that Missouri will get over five years from the new infrastructure law to modernize bridges. The […]

United States Supreme Court (Phot credit Laura Olson - States Newsroom)

Supreme Court blocks Biden workplace vaccine rule, allows health care workers mandate

(Missouri Independent) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday dealt a blow to the Biden administration’s fight against the pandemic, blocking a federal mandate that workers be vaccinated or regularly tested for COVID-19 — though the court allowed a separate rule requiring vaccinations for some health care workers. The two rulings represented a split victory for Republican attorneys general […]

Orscheln Headquarters Moberly (Photo by Rudi Keller - Missouri Independent)

Controversial bill would have aided Orscheln Products LLC, under scrutiny for contamination

(Missouri Independent) – Two years ago, a company led by an influential Republican businessman faced off with the state’s environmental regulators over whether it needed to do additional testing for a chemical that health officials worried could pose a cancer risk to the company’s workers.  The Moberly manufacturing facility, Orscheln Products LLC, is owned by […]

Person holding Holy Bible

Audio: Bible classes could be taught in Missouri public schools under proposed bill

Public school students in Missouri would be able to study the Bible as an elective if a pre-filed bill (SB684) in the State Senate becomes law.     Democrat Karla May of St. Louis is sponsoring the proposal. A summary of the bill on the Senate’s website says the courses would not “endorse, favor, promote, […]

Judge with gavel at desk

Judge Daniel Green: Local health orders tied To COVID-19 are illegal

(AP) — A Missouri judge ruled that local health orders imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the state are illegal and should be lifted. Cole County Circuit Judge Daniel Green ruled that orders such as quarantines and business closures violate the Missouri Constitution’s separation of powers clause affecting the executive, legislative and judicial […]

Immigration

Immigrants make last-ditch plea for deportation protections, work permits in “Build Back Better”

(Missouri Independent) – Undocumented workers and immigration advocates are pushing for Democrats to keep work permits and protections from deportations in the final version of the $1.85 trillion social spending and climate package that the U.S. House is set to vote on as soon as Thursday night. Those immigration provisions face elimination when the bill […]

Plane or airplane fighting a wildfire

Climate funds in infrastructure bill aimed at drought, wildfires, floods

(Missouri Independent) – The recently passed bipartisan infrastructure bill isn’t just about roads and bridges — it also spends billions to address wildfire, drought, flooding, and other effects from climate change, Interior Department officials said Wednesday. The $1.2 trillion measure, which is awaiting President Joe Biden’s signature after the House cleared it last week, includes pay […]

Credit Monitoring News Graphic

Missouri to provide credit monitoring for teachers after reporter found security flaw

(Missouri Independent) – Nearly a month after a reporter identified a security flaw in a state website that exposed teachers’ social security numbers, the state announced Wednesday it was offering a year of credit monitoring services to hundreds of thousands of teachers whose personal information was put at risk According to the Department of Elementary […]

Marijuana being weighed by person on scale

Federal grand jury subpoenas sought records from Missouri medical marijuana regulators

(Missouri Independent) – Twice last year a federal grand jury demanded the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services turn over records pertaining to the medical marijuana program.  The pair of subpoenas, issued by the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri in September 2020, were redacted by the department at the […]