Author

Rudi Keller

Rudi Keller

Rudi Keller covers the state budget, energy and the legislature. He’s spent 22 of his 30 years in journalism covering Missouri government and politics, most recently as the news editor of the Columbia Daily Tribune. Keller has won awards for spot news and investigative reporting.

Military medical team heads to St. Louis to support COVID care at Christian Hospital

By: - January 21, 2022

St. Louis hospitals straining to keep up with a record-breaking number of COVID-19 cases will get some relief in the form of a military medical team. A 40-member team will begin arriving at BJC-Christian Hospital in North St. Louis County on Wednesday, a news release from BJC HealthCare stated. The St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task […]

Crush of COVID cases force Missouri hospitals to scramble for staffing

By: - January 21, 2022

University of Missouri Health Care will require nurses who don’t usually care directly for patients to take four 12-hour hospital shifts during the next two weeks as it struggles under a record COVID-19 caseload. Notice went out Jan. 14 for “licensed nurses and other licensed health care professionals at the School of Medicine currently working […]

Missouri House

Bipartisan commission approves new Missouri House districts

By: - January 20, 2022

As the Missouri House finalized its version of a new Congressional map Wednesday, a panel of 20 Republicans and Democrats agreed on a new map for the chamber’s 163 seats. The House Independent Bipartisan Citizens Commission voted unanimously to approve the plan, which needed support from 14 members to pass before Sunday’s deadline. The successful […]

Governor proposes record $47.3B Missouri budget as he taps surplus, federal aid

By: - January 19, 2022

Gov. Mike Parson proposed massive new spending on infrastructure and college buildings, and still found money to set aside for pensions and future revenue shortfalls, in the budget submitted Wednesday to lawmakers. Missouri will enter the new fiscal year with nearly $3 billion in surplus general revenue, an anticipation of record future tax collections and […]

Two yellow school buses are show in bright sunshine outside a two-story brick school building in Columbia, Missouri.

Missouri attorney general renews threat to sue schools over mask, quarantine rules

By: - January 18, 2022

Missouri is continuing to see record daily coronavirus infections, near-peak COVID-19 caseloads in hospitals and threats from Attorney General Eric Schmitt that he will sue school districts that require masks or send students home when they are infected or exposed to the virus. In a statement issued Tuesday morning, Schmitt said school mask rules and […]

University of Missouri President Choi won’t ask curators to reconsider vote against mask rule

By: - January 14, 2022

The University of Missouri’s Columbia campus will begin the spring semester as planned Tuesday with no option for online classes, masking or vaccination requirements, UM System President and campus Chancellor Mun Choi wrote to faculty leaders Friday. Choi’s response to concerns raised in a letter from the Executive Committee of the campus Faculty Council was […]

Lawmakers renew debate on illegal gaming, sports wagering in Missouri

By: - January 13, 2022

The annual battle over what is and what is not an illegal gambling machine began Thursday with a Senate committee hearing on a bill to ban “pre-reveal” games that have proliferated throughout the state. While several prosecutions are pending and at least two have been resolved with guilty verdicts, many prosecutors are reluctant to file […]

Missouri hits new monthly record for COVID cases as omicron variant spreads

By: - January 13, 2022

Missouri has reported more cases of COVID-19 in the first 12 days of January than any full month of the pandemic so far. As a result of the massive spike of infections tied to the omicron variant, hospitalizations are also at record levels and schools in many communities are shutting their doors.  And the state […]

No ‘sick days’ for constitutional rights: Missouri Supreme Court rules against virtual trials

By: - January 12, 2022

There are no “sick days” for constitutional rights, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled Tuesday as it overturned the results of a juvenile case partly held online because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The court issued rulings in three cases that test whether courts can have witnesses, defendants or both appear via remote link software when the […]

The University of Missouri-Columbia's iconic columns, remains of the school's first building, stand in front of Jesse Hall, which houses administrative offices. (University of Missouri photo)

University of Missouri curators vote down mask rule to open spring semester

By: - January 11, 2022

Despite hearing from President Mun Choi that a mask rule could be the key to keeping University of Missouri campuses open, the UM Board of Curators on Tuesday morning voted down recommendations for a temporary mask requirement. The nine-member board voted 3-6 against a plan proposed by Choi to require masks in most indoor spaces. […]

Timing unclear for $5.3B bill to support Missouri Medicaid expansion, state pay raises

By: - January 11, 2022

Gov. Mike Parson is in a hurry to get a $5.3 billion spending bill passed by Feb. 1, but exactly when the bill will reach the House floor for debate is uncertain. The House Budget Committee spent about five hours Monday digging through the details of the bill that will fund Medicaid for the remainder […]

COVID-19 Testing

As Missourians seek COVID tests, politicians seek to lay blame for long lines and shortages

By: and - January 7, 2022

Missourians are scrambling to find coronavirus tests amid surging cases of COVID-19 caused by the omicron variant, and politicians are scrambling to find someone to blame for the shortage. The state is rationing the tests it is buying for residents. No one will be able to order a free at-home test from the state Department […]