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 […]

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 […]

Grain Belt Express News Graphic

Missouri Senate committee takes up bill targeting Grain Belt Express transmission line

(Missouri Independent) – The Missouri Senate is poised to take up a long-running effort to stymie the Grain Belt Express, a massive transmission line meant to carry wind energy from southwest Kansas across three states.  The $2 billion project would carry 4,000 megawatts of energy, dropping some off in Missouri before ending at the Illinois-Indiana […]

Audio: Free mental health first aid training is being offered to Missouri K-12 schools

State Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven says students, teachers, and school staff are experiencing increased mental health challenges and stressors right now. The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is teaming up with Mental Health First Aid Missouri to offer free mental health first aid training to K-12 schools across the state. Amy Bartels, with […]

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson photo courtesy Wikipedia

GOP senators attack and interrupt Judge Jackson in final day of questioning U.S. Supreme Court nominee

(Missouri Independent) – In the third day of hearings Wednesday on the nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court, several Republicans on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee interrogated her about sentences she handed down for child pornography offenses, disagreeing vehemently with her judicial decisions. Republicans grilled her with questions she had already answered […]

Demonstrators stand outside of the Governor’s Mansion in Jefferson City (Photo by Tessa Weinberg - Missouri Independent).

Medicaid enrollment backlog persists as advocates say Missouri could be doing more

(Missouri Independent) – Applying for health insurance through Medicaid expansion took Raven Cole just 10 minutes. But the wait to see if she’s approved has dragged on for months. The 23-year-old legal assistant applied for coverage, “well over two to three months ago.” “And I haven’t heard anything back,” Cole said. Cole is one of […]

Farm Scene

Audio: Missouri farmers deal with stress on a daily basis

Missouri farmers and ranchers deal with stress on a daily basis but when natural disasters strike the mental stresses mount. In this Managing for Profit on Brownfield, Rachel Jones, Manager of Trauma-Informed Care with the Department of Mental health, recaps our series. Jones says rural resiliency is very important in overcoming the mental health effects […]

Fraud

Missouri Attorney General charges car salesman with consumer fraud

Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced that his office has charged Marcus James Hill of Lebanon, Missouri, with thirteen violations of the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act in relating to his two car dealerships, Variety Auto Sales and Hilltop Auto Sales. Charged in Laclede County, Hill faces thirteen felony counts of deceptive business practices. The charges allege […]

Sleeping Baby in dark room (Photo by Kevin Keith on Unsplash)

House grants initial approval to bill that would allow prison nurseries in Missouri

(Missouri Independent) -The House gave initial approval Wednesday to a bill that would allow newborns to remain with their incarcerated mothers for the first year and a half of the baby’s life. The bill would permit the Missouri Department of Corrections to establish nurseries within the state’s correctional facilities, allowing children born to incarcerated women to […]

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 […]

Eleven women senators write children's book titled You Can Too

Children’s book by Missouri’s 11 women senators aims to promote literacy

The 11 women in the Missouri Senate have written a new book called “You Can, Too!” to promote literacy across the state and encourage more young people to get civically engaged. It was not until 1972 a woman was first elected to the Missouri Senate, and in the state’s 200-year history, while there have been more […]

Planned Parenthood

Missouri budget bill blocks Medicaid patients from accessing Planned Parenthood

Missouri’s supplemental budget bill signed into law Thursday includes a provision to block patients who rely on Medicaid from accessing Planned Parenthood health centers. Federal Medicaid law protects patients’ rights to choose their providers, including Planned Parenthood. Michelle Trupiano, executive director of the Missouri Family Health Council, noted because of the Hyde Amendment, Medicaid cannot cover abortions, […]

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 […]

Generic City Water

Experts say federal funds for lead pipe replacement needed in Missouri

Missouri has roughly 330,000 lead service lines, the pipes connecting water mains to buildings including people’s homes, and federal funding could help speed up the process of removing and replacing them. The bipartisan infrastructure bill passed by Congress last year includes $15 billion for lead-pipe replacement, building on funds from the American Rescue Plan. Erik D. Olson, senior strategic director at […]