Author

Tessa Weinberg

Tessa Weinberg

Tessa Weinberg covers education, health care and the legislature. She previously covered the Missouri statehouse for The Kansas City Star and The Columbia Missourian, where her reporting into social media use by the governor prompted an investigation by the Attorney General’s office. She most recently covered state government in Texas for The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

August calls from Missouri to new 988 crisis hotline up 34% from last year

By: - September 23, 2022

A revamped national hotline that aims to aid people in a mental health crisis saw a 34% increase in calls from Missouri in August from a year prior. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline transitioned nationwide July 16 to the new three-digit 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, which aims to assist callers in moments of crisis […]

Missouri AG’s lawsuit against St. Louis abortion access fund sent back to state court

By: - September 19, 2022

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s lawsuit against St. Louis’ use of federal funds to support abortion access will be sent back to the state courts to decide — a move both Schmitt and national abortion-rights groups had hoped for. On Monday, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri Judge Audrey Fleissig sent the […]

Missouri Capitol

Hospitals in ‘crisis’ as staff shortages persist at Missouri mental health facilities

By: - September 15, 2022

Hospitals across Missouri are facing a “crisis” caring for patients in acute care settings who can’t find long-term care through the Department of Mental Health due to the agency’s chronic shortage of workers. Patty Morrow, vice president of behavioral health services for Mercy Health, testified during a legislative hearing Wednesday that “the problem is pervasive […]

Missouri officials say Medicaid applications are now processed within federal deadline

By: - September 14, 2022

Missouri officials said Wednesday Medicaid applications are now being processed within the federally-mandated timeline of 45 days, a step towards bringing the state into compliance with a mitigation plan to address a backlog of applications. Robert Knodell, the acting director of the Department of Social Services, broke the news to lawmakers Wednesday during a hearing […]

COVID Testing

Counties can’t intervene in case that struck COVID regulations, appeals court rules

By: - September 13, 2022

Five counties and health centers will not be permitted to intervene and appeal a ruling that struck down state regulations on the control of infectious diseases, a panel of judges on the Missouri Western District Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday. A three-judge panel affirmed a lower court’s ruling that St. Louis County, Jackson County, the […]

Appeals court leaves marijuana on Missouri ballot. Supreme Court refuses to take case

By: - September 12, 2022

An initiative petition to legalize recreational marijuana in Missouri will remain on the ballot after a panel of judges on the Missouri Western District Court of Appeals affirmed that the steps Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft took to certify the petition were proper. A three-judge panel heard arguments Monday afternoon in Kansas City and ruled […]

Judge dismisses lawsuit that sought to block Missouri marijuana legalization from ballot

By: - September 9, 2022

A Cole County Circuit Court Judge Friday dismissed a lawsuit that sought to block an initiative petition to legalize recreational marijuana from appearing on the November ballot. A day after a three-hour hearing, Cole County Judge Cotton Walker determined Joy Sweeney, an anti-drug legalization activist who filed the lawsuit, lacked standing to sue because she […]

Hearing on Missouri marijuana initiative scrutinizes unprecedented signature process

By: - September 9, 2022

The unprecedented steps Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft took to verify signatures to place a marijuana legalization initiative petition on the ballot were outside the scope of his authority, attorneys for an anti-drug activist argued Thursday. Cole County Judge Cotton Walker faces a Sept. 13 deadline to decide whether an initiative petition to legalize […]

Court order would close Agape Boarding School after years of abuse allegations

By: and - September 8, 2022

A Cedar County judge Wednesday ordered Agape Boarding School to be shut down after years of allegations of sexual and physical abuse of students — though the order remains on pause until after a hearing Thursday afternoon.

Abortion-rights groups alarmed by St. Louis moving AG lawsuit to federal court

By: - September 1, 2022

When the attorney general’s lawsuit challenging St. Louis’ plan to use federal funds to support abortion access was moved to federal court, it didn’t draw much attention. The city requested the change in venue — from St. Louis Circuit Court to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri — in late July […]

COVID Testing

Court weighs appeal of Missouri ruling that struck down local power to impose COVID-19 orders

By: - August 30, 2022

KANSAS CITY — A coalition of counties and local health centers on Tuesday urged judges on the Missouri Western District Court of Appeals to review a lower court’s ruling that struck down state health regulations regarding the control of infectious diseases. Attorneys for St. Louis County, Jackson County, the administrator of the Cooper County Public […]

A judge in a face mask is shown looking at an attorney making an argument. The attorney's back is to the camera and the view also shows the female court reporter transcribing the argument.

Judge dismisses lawsuit alleging Missouri School Boards Association violated Sunshine Law

By: - August 29, 2022

A Boone County Circuit Court judge on Monday sided with the Missouri School Boards’ Association and dismissed a lawsuit that argued the organization was subject to the state’s open records laws. Southeastern Legal Foundation, a Georgia-based legal nonprofit that filed the lawsuit, argued the Missouri School Boards’ Association (MSBA) violated the Sunshine Law by not […]