Missouri Department of Social Services

Furious lawmakers demand answers from Missouri DSS for undercount of abuse reports

(Missouri Independent) – Lawmakers slammed the Department of Social Services on Thursday for underreporting the number of substantiated cases of abuse and neglect at youth residential facilities during a previous legislative hearing. For nearly an hour-and-a-half on Thursday, the House Special Committee on Government Oversight pressed DSS officials on why the number of findings of […]

Desks in classroom of school or education or student

Audio: Missouri Legislature passes private schooling tax credit bill

The Missouri Legislature has passed a private schooling tax credit bill. The measure would let donors provide scholarships to students to attend a private Missouri K-12 school. In return, they would get state tax credits. Senator Andrew Koenig of eastern Missouri’s Manchester carried the House bill that would prioritize special needs students and those who […]

Menstrual pads and tampons on menstruation period calendar with red cross marks lies on lilac background

Bipartisan coalition of lawmakers hope to fund free tampons, pads in Missouri prisons

(Missouri Independence) – In Missouri, incarcerated women’s access to feminine hygiene products depends on where they’re housed. Some are forced to pay to buy tampons and pads to meet their needs, while others are provided with such low-quality products they end up having to make their own. A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers hopes to change that […]

Transgender Students Graphic

Bill banning trans students from sports teams by gender wins support of Missouri House

(Missouri Independent) – After hours of fierce debate that spanned the course of two days, the Missouri House on Wednesday signed off on a prohibition on transgender students participating on the sports teams that match their gender identity. The provision, offered as an amendment by Rep. Chuck Basye, R-Rocheport, to House Bill 1141 was adopted by a vote […]

Birth Control Graphic Final Version

Biden administration to reverse birth control access restrictions

The Biden administration has taken the first steps in the regulatory process to eliminate the domestic gag rule, which forced more than 900 reproductive-health clinics nationwide to leave the Title X family-planning program and lose major amounts of funding. Rachel Fey, vice president for policy and strategic partnerships at the contraceptive-access advocacy group Power to Decide, said the […]

Immunization needle

Audio: Missouri bill would lower school immunization requirements

Missouri children attending daycares, K-12 public schools, or college might not be required to get vaccinated against certain illnesses – if they have a “conscientious belief” opposing the immunizations. Lebanon State Representative Suzie Pollock is proposing the change for vaccinations against polio, rubella, mumps, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B, and others. Her bill would also […]

Domestic Violence

Audio: Missouri House gives initial approval to letting domestic violence victims get lifetime orders of protection

Current Missouri law allows orders of protection for one year – potentially forcing domestic violence victims to repeatedly return to court and face their abuser. The Missouri House has given initial approval to a bill that would allow the victims to get a lifetime order of protection.     Representative Tracy McCreery, a Democrat from […]

Minimum Wage

Workers, small-business owners oppose bill to cut minimum wage

Workers and small-business owners are voicing opposition to a bill before the Legislature that would tie Missouri’s minimum wage to the federal minimum wage, reversing a voter-approved increase to $12 an hour by 2023. Terrence Wise, a McDonald’s worker in Kansas City and a leader of the Service Employees International Union’s “Fight for 15 and a […]

Driver's License

Audio: Missouri House gives final approval to large election legislation; bill includes photo ID requirement

Legislation that requires a photo ID and the use of a paper ballot was given final approval by the Missouri House in Jefferson City on Thursday. The vote, primarily along party lines, was 109-48. House Bill 738 is sponsored by veteran State Rep. Don Rone (R-Portageville), who represents the Bootheel. Rone was unable to make it to the […]

Fiber Optic Internet Access

Audio: Missouri Representatives want reporting requirement about student access to broadband

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) could be required to report annually about the number of K-12 students with limited or no access to high-speed internet at home. During a House committee hearing, Representative Louis Riggs, R-Hannibal, said he is proposing to require the department to include the total number of students […]

President Joe Biden Photo Courtesy of the White House

Biden calls on U.S. Senate to act on background checks after Colorado mass shooting

(Missouri Independent) – President Joe Biden on Tuesday urged the U.S. Senate to immediately pass legislation to close loopholes on background checks for guns and to ban assault weapons, following a mass shooting that killed 10 at a Colorado supermarket. “This should not be a partisan issue,” Biden said. “This is an American issue.” Biden’s […]

Sex Offender

Audio: Missouri Department of Conservation backs legislation keeping registered sex offenders away from conservation areas

The Missouri Department of Conservation and the Conservation Federation of Missouri support legislation aimed at keeping registered sex offenders away from state Conservation areas. House Bill 1090 is sponsored by State Rep. Barry Hovis (R-Whitewater), a former law enforcement officer with more than 30 years of experience. The House Public Safety Committee approved the bill 8-0, and it’s […]

Eviction Notice

Audio: Missouri House approves $324 million to help struggling renters and landlords

The Missouri House has unanimously approved today designating 324 million dollars in federal emergency aid for renters and landlords. The plan could help with some rent and utility costs. Under the bill, renters and landlords could apply for funds through the Missouri Housing Development Commission. The measure, House Bill 16, heads to the Senate for […]

Apprenticeships Graphic

Missouri receives $6 million in federal aid to create thousands of tech apprenticeships

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation is deploying $6 million in federal funding to create 5,300 new tech industry apprenticeships. During a virtual event Monday, President Dan Mehan calls the investment a game-changer. “There is an apprenticeship revolution going on in Missouri,” he says. “Over the last two years, our state ranks second […]

Defend The First Amendment Read A Banned Book

“Freedom to Read” still under attack in Missouri

Bookworms and literature buffs in Missouri are celebrating freedom of choice, of reading materials, and denouncing attacks on what they say is their First Amendment right to read. Banned Books Week, which spotlights attempts to censor books, recently took place.  Banned Books Week brings to light more than 600 books, films, and other literary materials […]

Mike Parson

Audio: Governor Parson to sign Missouri’s witness protection bill on Monday

Legislation that’s aimed at providing witness protection will be signed into law Monday afternoon by Missouri’s governor in Kansas City and Joplin. The bipartisan witness protection legislation was one of Governor Mike Parson’s (R) top priorities for the recent special session on violent crime. State Rep. Jonathan Patterson, R-Lee’s Summit, says the bill is crucial. “And what […]