Jason Hancock

Jason Hancock

Jason Hancock has spent two decades covering politics and policy for news organizations across the Midwest, with most of that time focused on the Missouri statehouse as a reporter for The Kansas City Star. A three-time National Headliner Award winner, he helped launch The Missouri Independent in October 2020.

Missouri lawmaker accused of ‘unlawful’ conduct in push for contract, drawing FBI scrutiny

By: - September 22, 2023

The top Republican in the Missouri House is facing allegations he threatened to terminate the employment of a nonpartisan legislative staffer who resisted his monthslong push to hire a private company to manage constituent information.  House Speaker Dean Plocher vehemently denies the accusations, which were uncovered through public records obtained by The Independent under Missouri’s […]

Biden administration requests U.S. Supreme Court block order curbing social media contact

By: - September 14, 2023

The federal government on Thursday requested the U.S. Supreme Court block an order restricting it from communicating with social media companies about posts spreading misinformation. President Joe Biden’s administration filed a petition arguing that the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling earlier this month is an example of judicial overreach that would “impose grave […]

Former prosecutor picked to fill Missouri Supreme Court vacancy

By: - September 12, 2023

Gov. Mike Parson on Tuesday announced Judge Kelly Broniec as his choice to fill an open seat on the Missouri Supreme Court. Broniec, 52, currently serves as chief judge of the Missouri’s Eastern District Court of Appeals in St. Louis. She will fill the vacancy left by Judge George W. Draper III, who retired earlier […]

Court reduces restrictions on Biden administration contact with social media platforms

By: - September 8, 2023

A federal appeals court in Louisiana agreed on Friday evening with Missouri’s attorney general that the Biden administration “ran afoul of the First Amendment” by threatening social media platforms over posts spreading misinformation.  But the three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans concluded a lower court’s wide-ranging order barring […]

New initiative petitions draw criticism from both sides of Missouri abortion debate

By: - September 5, 2023

Six initiative petitions filed last week seeking to add rape and incest exceptions to Missouri’s abortion ban are facing pushback from both sides of the issue, pilloried as either an anti-abortion wolf in sheep’s clothing or a clandestine push to allow abortion on demand. Filed by Republican political operative Jamie Corley with assistance from Democratic […]

People hold up signs that read "Protect safe, legal abortion."

New initiative petitions seek to add rape, incest exceptions to Missouri abortion law

By: - August 30, 2023

Six new initiative petitions were filed with the Missouri Secretary of State’s office Wednesday seeking to add exceptions to the state’s abortion ban for rape, incest, fatal fetal abnormalities and the health and safety of the mother.  Three of the six initiative petitions would also legalize abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Each […]

Suit targets gun initiative over Missouri AG claim it would spike rape and murder, cost millions

By: - August 29, 2023

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey believes a push to allow St Louis and Kansas City to enact their own gun regulations would cost the state hundreds of millions and lead to a massive increase in rape and murder.  And his argument, made in a July letter to Auditor Scott Fitzpatrick, is now a key piece […]

Pile of public records requests swells as Missouri AG works through stack from 2021

By: - August 29, 2023

The Missouri attorney general’s office crossed an ignominious milestone last week.  Nearly nine months after taking office, Attorney General Andrew Bailey and his staff finally completed work on public records requests submitted in 2021.  “We fulfilled the last remaining open request from 2021, of which there were 18 when Attorney General Bailey came into office,” […]

Missouri Supreme Court says counties can appeal ruling striking down COVID orders

By: - August 15, 2023

The Missouri Supreme Court ruled unanimously Tuesday that St. Louis and Jackson counties should have been allowed to intervene in a lawsuit that struck down local health orders aimed at mitigating the spread of COVID-19. Both counties will now have the authority to appeal the November 2021 decision, in which Cole County Circuit Court Judge […]

State auditor launches inquiry into Missouri marijuana program

By: - August 15, 2023

Missouri Auditor Scott Fitzpatrick has begun an investigation into the state’s marijuana program, vowing to assess whether regulators are operating “in a manner that is efficient, accountable and transparent.” The audit is not a routine, scheduled review. It was initiated by Fitzpatrick after he pledged last year during his campaign to look into how Missouri […]

Appeals court weighs limits on Biden administration contact with social media platforms

By: - August 10, 2023

Attorneys for the Biden administration argued Thursday that a district judge in Louisiana overstepped his authority by barring the federal government from communicating with social media companies to urge them to moderate information deemed harmful or misleading. A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans heard arguments over whether […]

A stone government building on a cold, grey day

GOP legislators file lawsuit challenging cost estimate of Missouri abortion-rights amendment

By: - August 7, 2023

A pair of Republican legislators, along with an anti-abortion activist, filed a lawsuit Monday challenging the cost estimate of an initiative petition seeking to enshrine abortion rights in the Missouri constitution.  State Rep. Hannah Kelly, R-Mountain Grove, and state Sen. Mary Elizabeth Coleman, R-Arnold, are named plaintiffs in litigation along with Kathy Forck, a longtime […]