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 School Room

Groups say slate of school bills would undermine public education

Advocates for public schools are urging the Missouri Legislature to bolster funding for public education rather than shift resources towards charter schools and school voucher programs. A bill pending in the House would provide tax credits for paying for private school tuition.  Another would change school funding formulas to give more resources to charter schools, specifically […]

Graphic representing the Cross, bible, crown and religion

Lawmakers send letter to Biden administration urging promotion of leadership on international religious freedom

Senator Roy Blunt joined Senator James Lankford and six other colleagues in sending a letter to President Biden on the pressing need for a nominee to the position of Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom. The Members emphasized the importance of America remaining a world leader in defending and promoting religious liberty for all […]

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 […]

Medicaid Expansion in Missouri

Audio: Missouri’s Senate president says Medicaid and social services consume 46 percent of state operating budget

Missouri’s Senate leader says the state’s operating budget has grown from 21-billion dollars a decade ago to 34-billion dollars today. Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz tells Sullivan affiliate KTUI that Medicaid expansion is too expensive. He says the state Department of Social Services’  budget continues to grow.     The Missouri Senate and House […]

Medicaid Expansion in Missouri

Democrats vow court battle if lawmakers don’t fund Missouri Medicaid expansion

(Missouri Independent) – With the Missouri Senate poised for what promises to be a lengthy debate over Medicaid expansion, legislative Democrats said Tuesday that the fight over funding will move to the courts if lawmakers don’t approve money for the new coverage. During a rally on the Capitol Building lawn, Senate Democrats promised to push […]

Carl Lutz

Lawmakers introduce resolution honoring holocaust hero Carl Lutz

U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Bob Casey (Pa.) introduced a resolution honoring Carl Lutz, a Swiss diplomat who saved more than 50,000 people – half of the surviving Jewish population of Budapest – from deportation to concentration camps during the Holocaust. While working in Nazi-occupied Hungary, Lutz obtained permission from Nazi leadership to issue […]

Missouri KidsFirst Website

Missouri KidsFirst announces recipients of 2021 “Standing with Children” awards

Missouri KidsFirst presented the 2021 Standing with Children Awards at a virtual event hosted by the organization at 12:00 PM on Monday, April 26, 2021. The 2021 recipients of the Standing with Children Awards are Laura Bauer and Judy Thomas, investigative reporters with the Kansas City Star, Dr. Linda Shaw, child abuse pediatrician with SSM […]

Medicaid Missouri

Missouri lawmakers urged to learn from states that have expanded Medicaid

As the state Senate debates Missouri’s budget for next year, groups are urging lawmakers to learn from the 38 states that have expanded their Medicaid programs. The budget passed by the Missouri House leaves out the $130 million needed to fund expansion. The remainder of the costs would be covered by the federal government. Joan Alker, executive director […]

Police Chokeholds news graphic

Audio: Missouri House gives key approval to chokehold restrictions

The Missouri House gave initial approval to a bill limiting police use of a chokehold and other changes.  Ballwin Republican Shamed Dogan’s bill includes more background checks and tracking excessive use of force.     Dogan explained to fellow lawmakers that after the Chauvin killing of George Floyd, it was more important to have clear […]

Girls Team a Huddle sports

LGBTQ advocates oppose bills seen as harmful to trans youth

The Missouri House of Representatives advanced a bill aimed to ban transgender kids from participating in girl’s sports, which advocates said is the latest in a growing list of legislative attacks on trans youth across the country. More than 250 anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced in 2021 alone, according to the Human Rights Campaign. Shira Berkowitz, communications […]

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 […]

Coronavirus News Graphic

Lawmakers introduce bill requiring Biden to declassify Wuhan lab leak intelligence

U.S. Senators Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) introduced the COVID-19 Origin Act of 2021 to require the Biden administration to declassify intelligence related to any potential links between the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the origins of the Covid pandemic. “For over a year, anyone asking questions about the Wuhan Institute of Virology has […]

Gas Tax

Audio: Missouri’s Senate President says state is $800 million short annually in maintaining the state highway system

Business groups and construction companies from across the state have testified for legislation to increase Missouri’s gasoline tax by 12-point-five cents per gallon by 2025.     Schatz testified last (Wednesday) night before a Missouri House committee. The GOP-controlled Missouri Senate has already given final approval to the bill.  Schatz is urging lawmakers to increase […]

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 […]

Medicaid Expansion

Pediatricians say failure to fund Medicaid expansion could have long-lasting impacts

Voters in Missouri approved a ballot initiative expanding Medicaid. If the state funds it, Missouri will be on track to receive more than $1 billion in federal incentives.  As lawmakers continue their debate on whether to fund voter-approved Medicaid expansion in Missouri, pediatricians say lack of access to high-quality health care can lead to long-lasting […]