Budget Graphic

Record Missouri surplus likely to grow under $46.5B House budget plan

(Missouri Independent) – The biggest state budget in Missouri history could also leave the biggest surplus in state history when the next fiscal year ends. The Missouri House on Thursday sent 15 appropriation bills to the state Senate, one supplemental spending bill for the current fiscal year, and 14 spending $46.5 billion in the coming year. The […]

Coronavirus or COVID-19 Testing news graphic

Missouri Supreme Court declines to immediately hear appeal of COVID ruling

(Missouri Independent) – The Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday denied a request by five counties and health departments to quickly hear arguments and review a case that they say “upended the longstanding public health framework” in Missouri. The decision means an appeal of a Cole County judge’s November ruling will have to first go through […]

State Rep. Maggie Nurrenbern makes a plea for increased funding for public schools during Thursday’s House Budget Committee markup session. (Rudi Keller - Missouri Independent)

House Budget Committee rejects adding surplus revenue to Missouri public schools, colleges

(Missouri Independent) – Missouri’s record general revenue surplus was off-limits for spending plans as the House Budget Committee worked Thursday, defeating Democratic efforts to give boost money for public schools and state colleges. The only significant addition to education budgets approved by the committee was to restart the teacher Career Ladder program, providing $21 million to give experienced […]

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt

Missouri Attorney General joins multistate action to end CDC’s mask mandate on public transportation

The Missouri Attorney General joined 20 other states in a multistate action against President Biden’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s continued use of the unlawful mask mandate on public transportation. The attorneys general argue that the mandate exceeds the authority of the CDC. The Biden administration continues to use a failed interpretation of a […]

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 […]

Mask Mandate News Graphic

Republicans in Congress file suit to end mask mandate for air travel

(Missouri Independent) – Seventeen Republican members of Congress have sued the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seeking an end to the federal rule requiring passengers on commercial flights and in airports to wear masks. The mandate illegally restricts the lawmakers’ freedom and is not backed by legal authority, they said in the suit filed Monday. […]

Wild duck (waterfowl) (Photo courtesy David Waite on Unsplash)

Waterfowl auctions, shows and swap meets suspended due to avian influenza

To help prevent the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), the Missouri Department of Agriculture has suspended all domestic waterfowl and waterfowl egg auctions, shows, and swap meets through the end of May. Federal officials have confirmed cases of HPAI in Stoddard, Bates, Jasper, and Lawrence Counties. HPAI is known to be deadly for […]

Missouri Sunshine Law

Audio: Missouri bills would change the state Sunshine Law

Some Missouri lawmakers are pushing for changes to the state’s Sunshine Law.     A measure sponsored by Senator Andrew Koenig of Manchester would shield public records identifying any student under age 18, details about government security measures, and contact information of Missourians who sign up for government communications and public utility bills. Other bills […]

Missouri Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick (photo by Tim Bommel - Missouri House Communications)

Schools left ‘scrambling’ after Missouri treasurer tied bond deals to Attorney General’s COVID demands

(Missouri Independent) – It was just after 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 10, when the forms arrived from the state treasurer’s office. Without warning, and with little explanation, school superintendents discovered they were now required to certify their district had complied with Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s demands to drop all COVID-19 mitigation measures, such as […]

Gas Pumps

Biden OKs release of 30 million barrels of oil from Strategic Petroleum Reserve

(Missouri Independent) – President Joe Biden authorized on Tuesday the release of 30 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, part of an international boost to the global oil supply that has been disrupted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The reserve is a complex of four sites with deep underground storage caverns in salt […]

President Joe Biden Photo provided by White House

Biden in State of the Union urges ‘unmistakable’ support for democracy in Ukraine

(Missouri Independent) – President Joe Biden used his first State of the Union address on Tuesday night to reassert America as a leading global voice for democracy and condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin for starting an “unprovoked” war in Ukraine. “Throughout our history, we’ve learned this lesson – when dictators do not pay a price […]

Unitee States Aid Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels

Billions in U.S. aid for Ukraine eyed in struggle against Russian invasion

(Missouri Independent) – Congress is working quickly to determine how much military and humanitarian aid it should send to Ukraine as the war in that country continues to claim lives and send hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians fleeing as refugees. Lawmakers are working with the Biden administration to provide billions in funding at the same […]

Russian Military via Wikipedia

How the Ukraine invasion could affect you: Higher food, gas prices, risk of recession

(Missouri Independent) – Americans may be tempted to view the war in Ukraine as an unfortunate, but far away, crisis. As an economist, I know the world is too connected for the U.S. to go unaffected. On Feb. 22, 2022, President Joe Biden warned Americans that a Russian invasion of Ukraine – and U.S. efforts to thwart or […]

Curbside Voting Sign (Photo courtesy Missouri News Service)

Disability advocates say to focus on accessibility in voting reforms

Experts say Missouri ranks low among states when it comes to steps it has taken to improve accessibility in voting. Denise Lieberman, director and general counsel of the Missouri Voter Protection Coalition, which has a disability-rights committee, said people with disabilities face barriers at all stages of the voting process, from registering to vote to […]

Chickens or poultry in a farm yard

Poultry virus confirmed in state bordering Missouri

Missouri poultry producers, both commercial and backyard flocks, are encouraged to review and tighten biosecurity protocols in light of the avian influenza virus confirmation in birds east of the Mississippi River. Highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 is known to be deadly for domesticated chickens and turkeys. Avian influenza was confirmed in a commercial chicken operation […]

Donald Kauerauf, the director of the Department of Health and Senior Services, speaks during a press conference at the Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City on July 21, 2021

Before ouster, Missouri health director drafted a letter to senators that was never sent

(Missouri Independent) – On the Friday before a drawn-out confirmation battle ended with his ouster from office, Missouri state Health Director Donald Kauerauf wrote an impassioned letter meant to convince conservative legislators who were on the fence about his appointment.  The message: While he believed in vaccines and data and science, he didn’t believe in vaccine […]