Tessa Weinberg

Tessa Weinberg

Tessa Weinberg covered education, health care and the legislature with the Missouri Independent. 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 also covered state government in Texas for The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Missouri health agency appeals ruling requiring it to pay Planned Parenthood legal fees

By: - May 27, 2022

Missouri’s health department is appealing a Cole County judge’s ruling that put the state on the hook to pay at least $170,000 in Planned Parenthood’s legal fees. The state intends to argue to the Missouri Court of Appeals in the Western District that Cole County Circuit Court Judge Jon Beetem erred by awarding attorney’s fees […]

Extension of mental health, substance use health care for new Missouri moms in limbo

By: - May 26, 2022

Threats of a filibuster in the Missouri Senate this year extinguished a proposal to extend health care for new moms to a full year after giving birth. Few realized at the time that it also dealt a blow to a program lawmakers passed in 2018 designed to help pregnant women recover from substance abuse. In […]

​​Federal watchdog’s report sheds new light on scope of Missouri’s missing foster kids

By: - May 23, 2022

A report published Monday by a federal watchdog sheds new light on the scope of missing foster kids in Missouri, an issue that infuriated state lawmakers last year and led to accusations that Department of Social Services leadership was failing to take accountability. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General […]

‘Anything’s on the table’: Missouri legislature may revisit contraceptive limits post-Roe

By: - May 20, 2022

By the time state lawmakers return to the Capitol next year, nearly all abortions could be illegal in Missouri. With a trigger ban already on the books that would go into effect if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, the GOP supermajority that controls the Missouri legislature is already mulling what types of […]

Missouri Attorney General files six new lawsuits against school mask rules

By: - May 19, 2022

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced Thursday that his office has filed six new lawsuits challenging school masking requirements. Schmitt’s office hinted during a hearing in Columbia earlier this week that more lawsuits were forthcoming. The lawsuits challenge rules school districts established allowing mask mandates to be reimposed if COVID cases reach a certain threshold. […]

Missouri legislature ends tumultuous 2022 session marked by gridlock, GOP infighting

By: and - May 13, 2022

A flurry of activity in the Missouri House on Friday kept 2022 from earning the ignominious distinction of least productive legislative session in modern history.  With GOP infighting in the Senate forcing it to adjourn a day early after a session that’s seen it mired in gridlock, the House returned Friday morning to pass 20 […]

Bill to create prison nursery clears Missouri legislature on final day of session

By: - May 13, 2022

Infants born to women in prison may soon get to remain with their mothers for their first 18 months, under a bill on its way to Gov. Mike Parson’s desk. The bill would direct the Missouri Department of Corrections to establish a nursery within a women’s correctional facility by July 2025. It gained bipartisan support […]

‘Seclusion kills’: Missouri lawmakers pass limits on hospital COVID visitor restrictions

By: - May 13, 2022

Two years into the coronavirus pandemic, Missouri lawmakers sent to Gov. Mike Parson’s desk legislation that aims to ensure residents can access their family members in the face of visitor restrictions at hospitals. A House bill unanimously passed on the final day of the legislative session with 129 votes in support, and shortly after lawmakers […]

Missouri lawmakers send bill to increase funding for charter schools to governor

By: - May 12, 2022

Missouri charter schools will see millions in increased funding under a bill headed to Gov. Mike Parson’s desk with provisions protecting money allocated to local school districts. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Doug Richey, R-Excelsior Springs, has been a three-year effort by charter school proponents to obtain more funds for their students. The bill also […]

Fate of Missouri needle exchange bill in doubt as Senate GOP infighting blocks passage

By: - May 12, 2022

Tensions between Republican senators frayed further Wednesday after a filibuster dealt a potentially fatal blow to a wide-ranging health care bill. Wednesday afternoon, Sen. Bill Eigel, R-Weldon Spring, spent nearly two hours reading the bill, sponsored by Sen. Holly Thompson Rehder, R-Sikeston, line by line, decrying the size it had grown to and “all the […]

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

With open enrollment dead, Missouri lawmakers push carve-out for some property owners

By: - May 10, 2022

A statewide open enrollment system that would allow students to attend a school district outside of one in which they reside is likely dead with just three days left in the legislative session.  But proponents are optimistic a much more narrowly-tailored version focused exclusively on people who own multiple properties in different school districts is […]

Hopes dwindle that Missouri lawmakers will extend postpartum care for new moms

By: - May 10, 2022

A bipartisan proposal to extend postpartum care for low-income women in Missouri to a full year after they’ve given birth is “hanging on a thread,” its sponsor said, due to resistance from a Republican state senator in the legislative session’s final days. The provision, which would expand health care coverage from 60 days to a […]