LGBTQ protections languish while Missouri lawmakers push transgender sports bans

(Missouri Independent) – On one end of the Missouri Capitol last week, Sen. Greg Razer was making yet another unsuccessful attempt to convince his colleagues to enact legal protections in state law for LGBTQ Missourians. “I’m still perceived as controversial,” Razer, a Kansas City Democrat who is one of just six openly LGBTQ lawmakers in […]

Customs and Border Protection website

Coalition of lawmakers seek answers on changes to border security policies

U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (Mo.), Co-Chair of the Senate Law Enforcement Caucus, Jerry Moran (Kan.), and 11 of their colleagues sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas seeking answers on recent changes to how the department enforces border security and processes migrants at the southern border. “In Fiscal Year 2021, U.S. […]

(Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler photo courtesy U.S. House of Representatives website)

Audio: U.S. Representative Hartzler trying to change rules to “benefit Missouri’s cattle industry”

Missouri Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler says Missouri’s cattle industry needs more markets and competition. The Missouri Republican has teamed with a California Democrat to introduce a bill that the two lawmakers say will fix regulatory roadblocks that hurt livestock auctions and small meat packers. The “A-PLUS” Act would amend the Packers and Stockyards Act to allow […]

Transgender Students Graphic

Missouri lawmakers’ heated exchange on transgender athletes’ rules goes viral

A heated admonishment of one Missouri lawmaker to another has gone viral, getting millions of views on social media. An amendment to a bill in the Missouri House of Representatives is not unusual, but the emotional response to a so-called “anti-transgender law” is getting global attention. Republican Representative Chuck Basye, of central Missouri’s Rocheport, added […]

Medicaid Expansion in Missouri

Senate committee approves bill that could overturn Missouri Medicaid expansion

(Missouri Independent) – A constitutional amendment asking Missourians to let lawmakers decide year-to-year whether the state will offer Medicaid to working-age adults moved closer to passage on Wednesday. By an 8-5 vote, the Senate Appropriations Committee sent the House-passed proposal to the full Senate for debate. Only Sen. Lincoln Hough, R-Springfield, voted with Democrats to oppose the measure, which […]

Hospital Bed (Photo by Frederic Köberl on Unsplash)

Legislators weigh blocking COVID visitor restrictions at Missouri hospitals, nursing homes

(Missouri Independent) – State Rep. Ed Lewis had just hours to say goodbye. In March 2020, his 89-year-old mother had to go to the hospital after suffering from a fall. Lewis’ sister was their mother’s primary caregiver, but in the pandemic’s first days as hospitals restricted visitors, family members weren’t allowed to stay with her. Lewis […]

Yard signs for GOP Senate candidates greet Republicans attending Boone County Lincoln Days Friday in Columbia (Rudi Keller - Missouri Independent)

No signs of support for Greitens in Missouri county where abuse charges will be heard

(Missouri Independent) –  A smattering of giggles greeted the name of former Gov. Eric Greitens Friday evening when emcee Branden Rathert called for the U.S. Senate candidates invited to speak at Boone County Republican Lincoln Days to come forward. Up to that point, there had been no trace of Greitens or his campaign at the […]

Missouri Supreme Court

Supreme Court refuses to hear Kim Gardner appeal in Eric Greitens records case

(Missouri Independent) – It will be up to a St. Louis judge to decide how long Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner has to produce records sought by a journalist considered an ally of former Gov. Eric Greitens. The Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear a last-ditch appeal by Gardner of an order giving her […]

Student Loan graphic

Pause on federal student loan repayments extended by Biden through August 31

(Missouri Independent) – The Biden administration Wednesday announced its plans to extend the pause on federal student loan repayments until the end of August. “I recognized in recently extending the COVID-19 national emergency, we are still recovering from the pandemic and the unprecedented economic disruption it caused,” President Joe Biden said in a statement.  “If loan […]

Budget graphic

Missouri House signs off on $46.2 billion budget, leaves most of huge state surplus untouched

(Missouri Independent) – The Missouri House gave first-round approval Tuesday to a package of budget bills spending $46.2 billion, with Republicans defeating repeated Democratic efforts to tap the state’s record surplus. The budget includes boosts to higher education funding, both for institutions and scholarships, as well as funding one of last year’s most controversial issues, Medicaid […]

Gas Pumps

Biden OKs release of 1 million barrels of oil a day from reserve, calls for supply boost

(Missouri Independent) – President Joe Biden called Thursday for U.S. energy companies to do their part in lowering gasoline prices by boosting supplies of oil, saying the industry should plow record profits back into increased production. Biden also said he would release 1 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve daily for the […]

Abortion Graphic

Missouri House blocks effort to limit access to out-of-state abortions

(Missouri Independent) – A bill that would make it a felony to donate fetal tissue from abortions for research or therapies won first-round approval in the Missouri House Tuesday, but lawmakers blocked an effort to make it illegal to help women obtain an abortion outside the state. The bill sponsored by Rep. Hannah Kelly, R-Mountain Grove, […]

Drinking Water Fountain (Photo by Sean Musil on Unsplash)

Missouri House bill would cut down on poisonous lead in school drinking water

(Missouri Independent) – Missouri children would be better protected from lead poisoning under a state legislative bill to require schools to nearly rid their drinking water of the dangerous toxin. The bill, heard Monday by the House Conservation and Natural Resources Committee, would require schools to test drinking water, remove old coolers and filter water where […]

Representative Dan Shaul and chair of house special committee on Redristricting (photo courtesy Tim Bommel - Missouri House Communications

Missouri Senate congressional redistricting plan stalls on return to the House

(Missouri Independent) – Missouri House members are not ready to accept the congressional redistricting map approved by the state Senate. The House met Monday without voting on the Senate plan, approved Thursday at the end of a Senate session that lasted almost 24 hours. State Rep. Dan Shaul, R-Imperial and chairman of the House Redistricting Committee, […]

Grain Belt Express News Graphic

Audio: Missouri House gives initial approval to eminent domain legislation for utility purposes

The Missouri House of Representatives has given initial approval to eminent domain legislation for utility purposes. Lawmakers have been working for years to pass a plan like this due to a high-voltage power transmission line project planned across eight northern Missouri counties. Under the bill, in eminent domain proceedings, just compensation for agriculture or horticulture […]

Medicaid Expansion in Missouri

Republicans push work requirements for coverage under Missouri Medicaid expansion

(Missouri Independent) – When the Good Samaritan Care Clinic opened in 2006 in Mountain View, only about 5% of the free clinic’s clients were eligible for Medicaid. When it closed late last year, that number had risen to 70%, Dr. John Roberts, one of the clinic’s founders, told the Missouri Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday.  Medicaid […]

Josh Hawley Courtesy of Missourinet

Hawley introduces bill to strengthen investigations of fraud in COVID-19 relief programs

U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) introduced new legislation to continue to fund and restore the jurisdiction of the Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery so that it can investigate fraud within the Treasury Department’s pandemic programs, including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). This anti-fraud legislation comes as the Biden Administration is lobbying for more federal […]