Voting Rights

Advocates press for action in Congress on voting rights, despite grim outlook

(Missouri Independent) – Activists are ramping up the pressure on Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to move on his chamber’s version of a voting rights bill, even though there’s no sign there will be enough Republican support to advance it. Alternatively, they’re pressing for an end to the filibuster, though there’s no indication there would […]

Abortion Law

Federal court hears arguments on Missouri abortion ban with no rape, incest exception

(Missouri Independent) – The fate of Missouri’s ban on abortion after eight weeks of pregnancy, with no exception for rape or incest, rests in the hands of a panel of federal judges.  Arguments Tuesday before the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis, and questions from the judges, focused almost exclusively on another provision […]

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 […]

Voter Suppression news graphic

Groups see Missouri proposals as voter-suppression attempts

As lawmakers in Congress work to expand access to voting, members of the Missouri Legislature are proposing laws their critics say would limit people’s ability to vote. State legislative committees on elections convened last week to discuss measures that would impose a stricter voter ID law, require election officials to purge voter rolls more frequently, and others. Luz […]

Abortion Graphic

New report says “Restricting abortion access brings big financial trouble”

Limiting women’s access to abortion and other reproductive health care can have a devastating impact on state economies. According to new data from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, restrictions on the books in Nebraska cost the state $1 billion annually in lost income, productivity, and state revenues. Andi Curry Grubb, Nebraska state director for Planned […]

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 […]

Lawmakers demand hearings on Afghanistan withdrawal

U.S. Senators Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), and eight colleagues sent a letter to Senate Armed Service Committee Chairman Jack Reed (D-R.I.) calling for hearings on the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. Specifically, the senators requested sworn testimony from senior military leaders, including Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General […]

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 […]

A gavel and a name plate with the engraving Lawsuit

Virginia’s black farmers push lawmakers to provide debt relief, end lawsuits delaying USDA loan forgiveness

Farmers of color are urging Congress to end a slew of lawsuits delaying a loan-forgiveness program designed to make amends for years of loan discrimination against minority farmers. White farmers are claiming in court Congress’s $4 billion debt relief for Black farmers, part of a COVID-19 stimulus package, amounts to reverse discrimination. John Boyd Jr., president of […]

New report indicates pandemic will cause Social Security funding shortage

The pandemic presents some future funding challenges to benefits for older Americans, according to the 2021 Social Security and Medicare Trustees’ Reports. Walt Dawson, assistant professor in the School of Public Health at Oregon Health and Science University, said the programs are foundational to Americans’ health and economic security as they age.  While the reports are […]

Citizenship Graphic Version 2

House reconciliation package would provide path to citizenship for millions

(Missouri Independent) – A provision tucked in the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package would direct Congress to chart a path for citizenship for millions of undocumented people. If passed, the House provision would provide a pathway to citizenship for those in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, often referred to as Dreamers, farmworker workers; those […]

Prison Healthcare or medical

Lawsuit filed over $1.4 billion contract for Missouri prison healthcare

(Missouri Independent) – The dispute over the $1.4 billion contract to provide prisoner health care in Missouri is moving into the courts. Corizon Health, which has held the Department of Corrections contract since 1992, filed a lawsuit Monday in Cole County alleging that unfair treatment and improper scoring gave the contract to Centurion Health, a Virginia subsidiary of […]

Notice of Eviction

Supreme Court rejection of eviction ban increases pressure to dole out rental aid money

(Missouri Independent) -The U.S. Supreme Court’s rejection of the Biden administration’s last-ditch effort to extend a federal ban on evictions has put hundreds of thousands of American renters at risk of losing their housing — and is increasing pressure on states and localities to get rental assistance dollars distributed faster. In an eight-page majority opinion […]