Clara Bates

Clara Bates

Clara Bates covers social services and poverty. She previously wrote for the Nevada Current, where she reported on labor violations in casinos, hurdles facing applicants for unemployment benefits and lax oversight of the funeral industry. She also wrote about vocational education for Democracy Journal. Bates is a graduate of Harvard College and a member of the Report for America Corps.

Advocacy group tells feds Missouri’s proposed disability changes could violate law

By: - September 29, 2023

The federally-funded organization responsible for protecting the rights of people with disabilities in Missouri believes a proposed change in how the state pays for at-home care could violate the law.  Missouri Protection and Advocacy Services, which was established in 1977, said in a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that it is […]

Missouri Supreme Court weighs constitutionality of law banning sleeping on public land

By: - September 27, 2023

The Missouri Supreme Court on Wednesday heard arguments over the constitutionality of a wide-ranging law passed by the legislature last year banning sleeping on public land. Missouri lawmakers made sleeping on state-owned land a Class C misdemeanor, along with a slew of other provisions such as restricting state funding for permanent supportive housing in favor […]

Nearly half of all Missouri Medicaid terminations in last three months have been children

By: - September 26, 2023

Another 12,833 children were removed from the state’s Medicaid program in August  — more than three-quarters of whom were terminated because of paperwork issues rather than being determined ineligible. August was the third month of the state reassessing the eligibility of every Medicaid participant, after a three year COVID-era pause on the practice. The process […]

‘Trying to set the example’: Wentzville GM strike enters its second week

By: - September 22, 2023

WENTZVILLE — Adam Purfeerst has been standing along the edge of Highway A in Wentzville for hours, lifting his picket sign and waving to passing drivers, whose staccato honks and loud blares punctuate the Thursday afternoon.  “We’re fighting for the working class in general,” said Purfeest, a General Motors assembly line worker for the last […]

Missourians wait an average of 8 months in jail for court-ordered mental health services

By: - September 20, 2023

Missourians who are arrested, deemed unfit to stand trial and ordered into mental health treatment are now detained in jail for an average of eight months before being transferred to a mental health facility. And that’s “some good news,” Nora Bock, director of the Missouri Department of Mental Health’s Division of Behavioral Health, said during […]

Missouri lags behind most states for children’s rights, advocacy group finds

By: - September 15, 2023

A recent report by an international human rights group ranked Missouri in the bottom third of all states for child rights, in part because Missouri still allows child marriage and corporal punishment in schools. The report, published by the non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch, measured every state’s laws against the standards of the Convention on […]

Missouri mental health department urged to abandon at-home care funding freeze

By: - September 14, 2023

A disability-rights advocate pleaded with Missouri mental health officials Thursday not to implement a policy change that could freeze pay rates for at-home caregivers relied upon by more than 3,000 individuals around the state. At issue is a decision by the Missouri Department of Mental Health to change how it calculates rates for a program […]

Number of kids in Missouri foster care drop, though officials admit challenges persist

By: - September 13, 2023

Leaders of Missouri’s child welfare agency on Tuesday touted a reduction in the number of children in the state’s overburdened foster care system, telling lawmakers it represented progress toward building a more preventative system. But they also acknowledged that the Children’s Division continues to face major challenges, fielding questions from the House Committee on Children […]

State push to defund Missouri Planned Parenthood clinics continues in appeal

By: - September 8, 2023

Missouri’s Supreme Court will once again determine whether the state has the authority to restrict public funds from going to Planned Parenthood, after the attorney general formally filed its appeal last week of a December ruling that deemed the effort unconstitutional. After the state legislature voted to block Planned Parenthood from receiving Medicaid reimbursements last […]

Missouri advocates decry proposed change to at-home disability care funding

By: - August 31, 2023

Nearly 40 years ago, Victoria McMullen and her husband traveled from St. Louis to Sikeston to adopt a six-year-old boy with severe developmental disabilities named Ron.  Now 44, Ron has cerebral palsy, autism and intellectual disabilities. He’s unable to live independently and for the last 23 years his parents have relied on a state service […]

More than 170,000 Missouri kids waiting for last summer’s food aid

By: - August 23, 2023

Even as low-income families across most of the country are receiving federal food aid for this summer, thousands of Missouri families are still waiting for last summer’s benefits. Missouri still needs to issue food benefits to around 177,000 children for a federal program that were designed to help cover costs from last summer, Mallory McGowin, […]

Paperwork issues meant more than 16,000 Missourians lost Medicaid coverage in July

By: - August 18, 2023

When Rebecca Uccello got a call that her daughter’s Medicaid coverage was in jeopardy, she said it “sent me into a tailspin.” Her 13-year-old daughter, Izabella, has been on Medicaid since age two because of severe developmental disabilities, including a birth defect which prevents her spinal cord from properly developing and a neurological condition which […]