Unemployment Benefits Graphic

Missouri Senate hears bipartisan push to forgive mistakenly overpaid unemployment benefits

(Missouri Independent) – Tracie Engelmeyer was among hundreds of bus drivers who were furloughed in St. Louis County in March 2020 because of the pandemic. School-district authorities told them that even though drivers are contracted labor, they would qualify for unemployment benefits and urged them to apply. Engelmeyer recalled the conversation she had with a […]

Spire Natural Gas Company Van

Critics say Spire Missouri’s warning of natural gas outages a “manufactured crisis”

(Missouri Independent) – As federal energy regulators prepare to decide the fate of a St. Louis natural gas pipeline, Spire Missouri is warning customers their gas service could fail this winter.  Business industry groups and the utility maintain their responsibility to keep customers informed. But environmental groups and some local elected officials — who note federal regulators seem […]

Abortion graphic

How a Mississippi court case could pave the way for new abortion bans across the U.S.

(Missouri Independent) – A six-week abortion ban in Texas enacted in September forced those seeking abortion services in the Lone Star State to look across state lines for care. But the timing couldn’t have been worse for Texans living near the state’s eastern border. The law took effect as neighboring Louisiana was reeling from the […]

Senate Building at Night - Photo by Darren Halstead on UnSplash

Senate GOP torpedoes U.S. government funding bill, raising odds of federal fiscal crises

(Missouri Independent) – U.S. Senate Republicans blocked an attempt by Democrats on Monday evening to begin debate on a broad bill that would avert multiple looming fiscal crises for the federal government. The measure to briefly keep the government operating past the end of the fiscal year on Thursday, as well as to increase the […]

Nurse Filling Syringe with COVID-19 Vaccine at MU Health Care (Photo Courtesy of MU Health Care

Who will get a booster shot? A Question and Answer about what the feds are saying

(Missouri Independent) – Booster shots soon will begin rolling out to some Americans who received the two-shot vaccine made by Pfizer—after a contentious and confusing federal approval process that isn’t over yet. Determining who exactly should be rolling up their sleeves for an additional dose was tricky. The Biden administration had leapfrogged federal regulatory panels […]

Navigable Water Protection Rule

Coalition of 33 lawmakers introduce bill to uphold Navigable Water Protection Rule

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt announced that he has joined U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito, Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and 31 of their Senate colleagues in introducing legislation to protect Missouri’s farmers, small businesses, and property owners by codifying the 2020 Navigable Waters Protection Rule. Under the Biden administration, the […]

COVID-19 Delta Variant

Delta variant spread means Missouri COVID cases may ‘double or triple’ in July

(Missouri Independent) – During June, as the Delta variant of COVID-19 took hold in Missouri, the seven-day average of new cases doubled. And now that the easily spread mutation has reached every corner of the state, July will be a repeat of June, or worse, according to the University of Missouri professor monitoring wastewater for the […]

Photo of person cooking on outdoor grill (Courtesy of Unsplash)

Fireworks, Food and Family: Cookout costs remain steady for Fourth of July

Much like Christmas and birthday wish lists, kids compile their own “wish list” of fireworks for the Fourth of July celebration. The youngest took inventory of firecrackers leftover from last year (aka, a stash he had hidden) and determined we need roman candles, bottle rockets, parachutes, and artillery shells. This year’s explosions and bright lights […]

Medicaid Missouri

Missouri House passes Medicaid provider tax bill, preventing major budget cuts

(Missouri Independent) – With fewer than 12 hours to spare before the start of a new fiscal year, the Missouri House on Wednesday approved a bill extending medical provider taxes essential to balancing the budget, forestalling more than $700 million in cuts planned by Gov. Mike Parson. Divisions over how and whether to add provisions sought by […]

Missouri Governor Mike Parson

Parson set to call special session to extend Federal Reimbursement Allowance with ban on certain contraceptives

(Missouri Independent) – Missouri lawmakers appear to be headed into a special session next week to renew medical provider taxes vital to sustaining the state’s Medicaid program. Gov. Mike Parson met Tuesday with the state Senate Republican caucus. The group discussed language that would bar the state from paying for some contraceptive medications and devices and extend […]

U.S. Representative Vicky Hartzler

Vicky Hartzler makes it official, joining 2022 Missouri GOP Senate primary

(Missouri Independent) – Vicky Hartzler made her entry into the 2022 U.S. Senate race official Thursday, kicking off her campaign at a firearms store surrounded by supporters.  One day before Republicans gather in Kansas City for their annual Lincoln Days meetings, Hartzler said her experience in Congress will make her the best candidate over the […]

Together We Can Mental Health Toolkit website

University of Missouri Extension releases 2021 mental health toolkit

The University of Missouri Extension and Show-Me Farm Safety recently released a new Together We Can toolkit to help rural Missourians access mental health resources. “Missourians are strong and resilient in the face of the challenges and uncertainty that can come with farm life,” says Marshall Stewart, MU vice chancellor for extension and engagement and […]

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Missouri Attorney General files suit against Treasury Department over provision in American Rescue Plan concerning state tax cuts

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has filed a lawsuit against the United States Department of the Treasury and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen over the interpretation of a mandate in the American Rescue Plan Act that would force states to choose between accepting COVID-19 relief funds or exercising their sovereignty over state tax policy. “As a […]

Healthcare

Lawmakers introduce legislation to protect rural health clinics from added financial strain during COVID-19 crisis

U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Mark Warner (Va.) introduced legislation to prevent further financial instability for rural health clinics and safeguard the care they provide to underserved communities. The bipartisan Strengthening Rural Health Clinics Act of 2021 would make a technical fix to protect existing rural health clinics from a sudden and unexpected Medicare […]

Coronavirus Stimulus Payment Graphic

States question whether new federal stimulus law rules out tax cuts

(Missouri Independent) – President Joe Biden’s massive pandemic stimulus law pumps a welcome infusion of federal aid into state and local government coffers — but one brief section is raising questions about whether states are barred from cutting their own taxes if they accept the federal help. The Senate added language to the COVID-19 relief package […]