Immigration

Immigration reform blocked from reconciliation bill in Congress, but Democrats vow to try again

(Missouri Independent) – The U.S. Senate parliamentarian has turned down a plan to include a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented people in the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package, a blow for Democrats and immigration advocacy groups when the decision was disclosed late Sunday. “We are deeply disappointed in this decision but the fight to […]

Farm Scene

Struggle over tax break for inherited farmland churns below surface in reconciliation bill

(Missouri Independent) – Agricultural groups and farm-state lawmakers notched a significant win when U.S. House Democrats chose not to touch a big tax break for inherited property, avoiding, for now, a confrontation. But opponents remain wary that the idea could come back at any time as Democrats shape their massive $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package, and […]

Coronavirus or COVID-19 Death

Missouri tops 11,000 reported COVID deaths, doubling total from 2020

(Missouri Independent) – The number of Missouri deaths from COVID-19 reported since Jan. 1 has exceeded the number reported during 2020. As of Dec. 31, 2020, the Department of Health and Senior Services reported 5,519 deaths from the coronavirus that killed its first Missouri victim on March 18, 2020. On Friday, the total reached 11,046. The grim […]

Missouri Senate Chamber from Visitors Gallery (Photo Courtesy Missouri Senate)

‘Clown show’ vs. ‘tyranny’: Missouri Senate GOP divide on display during veto session

(Missouri Independent) –  On one side were tyrannical oligarchs. On the other, petulant children.  Or at least that was the takeaway from the Missouri Senate’s day-long rules debate Wednesday. Gathered for the legislature’s annual veto session, the demons that have haunted the upper chamber for more than a year didn’t take long to reappear.  The […]

Amtrak Missouri River Runner train#313 pulling into Kirkwood Missouri Amtrak Station

U.S. House Democrats add more mass transit, high-speed rail into infrastructure bill

(Missouri Independent) – The U.S. House transportation panel early Wednesday passed along party lines the panel’s $60 billion slice of Democrats’ $3.5 trillion budget plan, adding nearly $20 billion for a new transit program and high-speed rail development in the states. Chairman Peter A. DeFazio of Oregon had considered these and other items underfunded in […]

Anti Vaccination Rally at Capitol 2 -15-2021

Missouri lawmakers look to undermine Biden COVID vaccine mandate

(Missouri Independent) – Members of the Missouri House on Wednesday floated the idea of pursuing legislation to undermine a mandate from the Biden administration meant to increase vaccination rates in the U.S. The House Judiciary Committee held what Rep. David Evans said was the first in a series of discussions about vaccine mandates, including an executive order […]

Voter ID Law

Missouri Republicans vow to push again for voter ID law

(Missouri Independent) – With several months to go before state lawmakers return for the 2022 legislative session, Republicans are promising to once again push to require photo identification to vote. Committees in the Missouri House and Senate held hearings Tuesday dominated by discussions of requiring a government-issued ID for both in-person and absentee voting. Secretary […]

Voting Rights

Revised voting rights bill rolled out in U.S. Senate, with Manchin on board

(Missouri Independent) – Senate Democrats on Tuesday unveiled a revamped voting rights bill that would expand voter registration as well as create nonpartisan redistricting committees, but the measure is still likely to face an uphill battle in an evenly divided Senate. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he will bring the legislation to the floor […]

The Board of Public Buildings, chaired by Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, met on Sept. 13, 2021 (Photo courtesy Jason Hancock/Missouri Independent)

LGBTQ history exhibit goes unmentioned by Missouri Board of Public Buildings, governor cited for its removal

(Missouri Independent) – When news broke that an LGBTQ history exhibit was suddenly and without warning removed from the Missouri Capitol, Gov. Mike Parson contended the reason was that it didn’t get pre-approval from a board he chairs, but at that board’s first meeting in more than a year on Monday, neither the exhibit nor the […]

COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

Missouri GOP vow to push back against Biden’s announced vaccine mandate

(Missouri Independent) – Missouri Republicans assailed President Joe Biden’s push to require employees of private businesses to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing, vowing a legislative response and legal action. Gov. Mike Parson promised to “fight back against federal power grabs and government overreach” in a tweet Thursday afternoon, calling Biden’s plan “an […]

Face Mask photo from Unsplash

Study: Saint Louis University face mask policy reduced quarantines, COVID cases

(Missouri Independent) – Tying quarantine requirements to the Saint Louis University face mask requirement successfully reduced the number of students sent to isolation and helped cut COVID-19 infections this spring, according to a study published Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Under the university’s rules, students without masks who had close contact […]

Amaren Missouri

“Simply unconscionable”: Advocates push Ameren to keep electric bills low during pandemic

(Missouri Independent) – Ameren Missouri should not increase its electrical rates for its customers as they struggle to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and economic fallout, a coalition of environmental, veterans, and tenants advocates said Wednesday.  The St. Louis-based utility filed with regulators in March seeking a rate increase worth nearly $300 million per year to pay […]

Street View Jefferson City Missouri State Capitol Building

Democrats demand LGBTQ exhibit return to Missouri Capitol or other exhibits be removed

(Missouri Independent) – If an LGBTQ history exhibit was removed from the Missouri Capitol because it didn’t get pre-approval from a specific board, then every exhibit on display that didn’t get approved must also be removed, House Minority Leader Crystal Quade argued in a letter to state officials on Wednesday. That would mean, she said, that […]

Disaster Relief

White House seeks at least $24 billion to aid states struck by natural disasters

(Missouri Independent) –  The White House is urging Congress to approve at least $24 billion — and likely more — for disaster relief costs, saying that the aid should be included in a short-term spending bill expected this month. That tally includes $14 billion for recovery costs related to extreme weather events, including hurricanes, floods, and wildfires during […]

Gavel and Missouri Flag

Judge orders no change – for now – in Missouri’s prisoner health care contractor

(Missouri Independent) – Work to bring a new contractor for prisoner health care services online in Missouri can continue, but the actual transition from Corizon, the current provider, won’t occur until at least early November, Cole County Circuit Judge Daniel Green ordered Tuesday. Green issued a temporary restraining order blocking the state from canceling its […]

Medical Marijuana and Veterans

Veterans Administration sending mixed messages to vets about cannabis use to treat PTSD

(Missouri Independent) – Despite increasing legal access to medical and recreational cannabis in states across the U.S., veterans face unfair treatment and stigmatization because the U.S.  refuses to recognize marijuana as a viable treatment option.  While the VA has embraced the federally illegal status of the drug, agency policy does not allow discrimination against veterans […]