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.
End of public health emergency could cause spike in uninsured Missouri children
By: Clara Bates - December 7, 2022
Researchers warn the end of the federal public health emergency, which will likely occur next year and require states to redetermine eligibility for all Medicaid recipients, will put children at risk of inappropriately losing healthcare coverage.
Summer food benefits for low-income Missouri children likely delayed until well into winter
By: Clara Bates - December 5, 2022
Because of a series of delays, the benefits designed to help families with summer food costs likely won’t be distributed until deep into winter.
Missourians seeking food assistance saw call center wait times increase over the summer
By: Clara Bates - November 23, 2022
In May, Missouri residents applying for food assistance by phone had to wait on hold an average of 56 minutes to reach the required interview process, a delay a federal judge deemed “unacceptably long.” Yet over the summer, wait times continued to increase each month, according to data obtained this week by The Independent. Callers […]
Former camper suing Missouri-based Kanakuk claiming ‘fraudulent’ abuse settlement
By: Clara Bates - November 22, 2022
A Branson-based Christian summer camp was sued last week by a former camper who alleges it concealed knowledge of a staffer's sexual misconduct to convince the camper's family to sign a settlement and non-disclosure agreement.
Nearly 350,000 Missouri children are too poor to receive full child tax credit
By: Clara Bates - November 18, 2022
Roughly 345,000 Missouri children under age 17 are now excluded from receiving the full $2,000 child tax credit in Missouri, according to the report.
Bobby Bostic released on parole after being imprisoned in Missouri for 27 years
By: Rebecca Rivas and Clara Bates - November 9, 2022
Standing on the Missouri Capitol steps moments after being released from prison, Bobby Bostic said the first place he planned to visit was his mother’s grave in St. Louis — a city he’d last freely walked in 1995. “I’m a free man all because of you all who supported me,” Bostic, 43, said Wednesday morning […]
Republican Scott Fitzpatrick wins Missouri auditor election
By: Clara Bates - November 8, 2022
State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick won the race to become Missouri’s next auditor Tuesday, easily defeating former state Rep. Alan Green. In final, unofficial returns, Fitzpatrick, a Republican, secured a 59% to 38% win over Green, a Democrat who previously represented Florissant in the Missouri House. The auditor’s office, tasked with the impartial review of public […]
Missouri Medicaid application wait times average 41 days, the lowest in nearly a year
By: Clara Bates - October 31, 2022
Average wait times for Missouri Medicaid applicants fell in September below the federally-allowed maximum for the first time in nearly a year.
Commission recommends salary increases to address Missouri teacher shortage
By: Clara Bates - October 18, 2022
A state commission Tuesday laid out its recommendations to improve teacher recruitment and retention in Missouri, including a push to raise starting salaries that currently rank among the lowest in the nation.
Missouri families still waiting for summer food benefits for low-income children
By: Clara Bates - October 17, 2022
For some families, the delayed benefits were a missed opportunity for much-needed relief during the summer, and have been a source of concern and confusion.
Missouri participation in public benefits program WIC fell sharply during pandemic
By: Clara Bates - October 10, 2022
Even as the COVID-19 pandemic intensified economic hardship and unemployment, Missouri saw one of the nation’s sharpest drops in participation in WIC, a federal benefits program for low-income women and children, according to a report released last week. The steep decline, the report found, was associated with Missouri’s burdensome system of dispersing benefits. Missouri began transitioning […]
Bipartisan group of Missouri lawmakers demand Agape Boarding School be shut down
By: Clara Bates - September 28, 2022
A bipartisan chorus of Missouri lawmakers joined together on Twitter Wednesday to call for Agape Boarding School to be shut down.