President Biden signs law making Juneteenth an official holiday (Photo is screenshot of Whitehouse video of signing event)

Video: Biden signs law making Juneteenth a federal holiday. State offices will close in Missouri

(Missouri Independent) – President Joe Biden on Thursday signed into law legislation declaring a legal public holiday annually on June 19, the date of the end of slavery in the U.S. known as Juneteenth. “Throughout history, Juneteenth has been known by many names—Jubilee Day, Freedom Day, Liberation Day,” Vice President Kamala Harris said at the […]

Gavel and Law book

Missouri lawmakers passed a host of reforms aimed at keeping kids out of jail

(Missouri Independent) – Retired St. Louis Judge Evelyn Baker once sentenced a 16-year-old Black boy to 241 years in prison for two armed robberies.  No one was seriously injured in the robberies, but the boy “didn’t express any remorse,” Baker said, remembering the sentencing hearing.  Now, when she thinks back, Baker deeply regrets the sentence […]

Prescription Drugs in Missouri

Audio: Missouri’s Governor to sign prescription drug monitoring program on Capitol lawn in Jefferson City

The governor will sign prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) legislation into law Monday (today)  in Jefferson City, making Missouri the 50th and final state to have the PDMP program. Governor Mike Parson (R) plans to sign bipartisan PDMP legislation from State Sen. Holly Rehder (R-Scott City) and State Rep. Travis Smith (R-Dora) Monday afternoon, on the Missouri Capitol lawn […]

Medicaid

Medicaid provider taxes imperiled as compromise on abortion issues eludes lawmakers

(Missouri Independent) – The pathway to renewing provider taxes essential to funding Medicaid before Missouri lawmakers adjourn for the year became much narrower when issues raised by abortion opponents forced removal of the taxes from a health care bill. When a conference committee met to work out differences between the House and Senate on the bill, […]

Budget graphic

Lawmakers approve Missouri operating budget

Missouri foster care advocates are praising Friday’s passage of the $35.1 billion state operating budget, saying it provides unprecedented support for the foster families who care for the thousands of children in Missouri foster care. House Budget Committee Chairman Cody Smith (R-Carthage) tells Missourinet that the budget provides a $90 million increase for foster and adoptive […]

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 […]

Gas Tax

Audio: Missouri Senate leader feeling confident gas tax proposal has enough House votes to pass

With three weeks left to go in the regular legislative session, Missouri Senate President Dave Schatz remains hopeful about his proposed gas tax hike. The Senate has already passed the bill that would boost the state’s fuel tax by twelve-and-a-half cents per gallon over five years. During a Senate press conference, Schatz says if the […]

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 […]

Representative Rick Roeber Lee's Summit

Audio: For the first time since the Civil War, the Missouri House votes to expel one of its own

The Missouri House has voted unanimously to expel Lee’s Summit Representative Rick Roeber. The House Ethics Committee released an investigative report this week about allegations that Roeber, a Republican, abused his four adult children when they were younger. It says two of the children were allegedly sexually abused and two others reported being physically abused. […]

Transgender Athletes

Audio: Missouri House considers attaching provision to bill to restrict transgender high school athletes

The Missouri House debated Tuesday a bill that could include a provision limiting who transgender high school athletes can compete against. The amendment, offered by Rocheport Republican Representative Chuck Basye, proposes to only allow the students to play in coed or sex-separated sports based upon their biological sex.     Kansas City Democrat Maggie Nurrenbern […]

Audio: Missouri House House passes resolution condemning Dred Scott court decision

The Missouri House has unanimously passed a resolution condemning the 1852 state Supreme Court ruling to deny Dred Scott his freedom. The high court ruled against Scott, a slave, in his bid to seek freedom for his family. On the House floor, Representative Raychel Proudie, a Democrat from Ferguson, gave a tearful speech about her […]

Disability Awareness Month

Audio: Governor decrees March as Developmental Disabilities Awareness month as Missourians with disabilities lobby for caregiver funding

Gov. Parson officially proclaimed March as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in the State of Missouri, as more than 300 people with disabilities rallied virtually with Capitol lawmakers.     He told the rally he has a niece who is autistic and he has learned some of the challenges. Missourians with disabilities are lobbying for more […]

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 […]

Immigration

New attempt in Congress to help Dreamers runs into familiar obstacles

(Missouri Independent) – Legislation creating a path to citizenship for undocumented people brought to the U.S. as children face a new border crisis and old partisan objections, diminishing the chances it will become law despite full Democratic control of Congress and the White House. On Thursday, the U.S. House is poised to pass the American […]

Judge with gavel at desk

Audio: Missouri House attempts to ban judges from changing ballot language written by Legislature

The Missouri House has given initial approval to a bill that would ban judges from changing ballot language written by the Legislature. The proposal follows two Missouri courts rewriting language for a controversial legislative redistricting measure passed by voters last fall. Bill sponsor John Wiemann, a Republican from O’Fallon, and Hillsdale Democrat Kevin Windham debated […]

Unemployment Graphic

Missouri House committee votes to forgive federal unemployment debts

(Missouri Independent) – Thousands of Missourians facing repayment of mistakenly paid unemployment benefits would get some relief under legislation passed with a bipartisan vote Wednesday in a Missouri House committee. The bill, which will likely be debated on the House floor next week, would forgive debts due to overpayments from federal coronavirus relief programs but would not […]

Immigrants waving US Flags

Biden immigration overhaul would open a door to citizenship for 11 million people

(Missouri Independent) – President Joe Biden is poised to send a sweeping immigration reform bill to Congress Thursday that would lay out a path for nearly 11 million undocumented people to obtain citizenship within eight years. Immigration has been one of the toughest issues for Congress to tackle, and the legislation’s fate is unclear in […]