Jason Hancock

Jason Hancock

Jason Hancock has spent two decades covering politics and policy for news organizations across the Midwest, with most of that time focused on the Missouri statehouse as a reporter for The Kansas City Star. A three-time National Headliner Award winner, he helped launch The Missouri Independent in October 2020.

Ethics investigation into Missouri House Speaker Dean Plocher continues

By: - December 6, 2023

An investigation into alleged misconduct by Missouri House Speaker Dean Plocher remains ongoing, as a panel of state lawmakers emerged from a nearly three hour behind-closed-doors hearing on Wednesday and gave no indication of when the inquiry will conclude.  The investigation of Plocher could stretch into the next legislative session, which begins on Jan. 3. […]

Missouri AG set to finally start work on public records requests submitted this year

By: - December 1, 2023

By the end of the month, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey expects to complete work on the mountain of public records requests submitted to the office last year. That will allow the five-person team working through the Sunshine Law backlog to finally turn its attention to the nearly 300 pending requests filed since Bailey took […]

Ethics investigation into Missouri House Speaker Dean Plocher continues next week

By: - November 27, 2023

The Missouri House Ethics Committee will reconvene for a third time next week for a closed-door hearing into allegations of misconduct by Speaker Dean Plocher.  The hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Dec. 6. The public notice says the committee will discuss a “personnel inquiry” and an ethics complaint.  Though it doesn’t mention his […]

Rod Jetton’s political career ended in scandal. Now he’s Dean Plocher’s chief of staff

By: - November 9, 2023

Missouri House Speaker Dean Plocher’s new chief of staff is a former legislative leader whose political career was upended more than a decade ago by a federal bribery investigation and allegations of violent sexual assault.  On Thursday, Plocher announced to a closed-door Republican caucus that Rod Jetton will take over as his top legislative aide. […]

Ethics hearing, GOP caucus could determine fate of embattled Missouri House speaker

By: - November 6, 2023

Whether Missouri House Speaker Dean Plocher can survive the storm of scandals that has engulfed him over the last month could start to come into better focus after two meetings this week.  The first is on Wednesday, when Plocher will for the second time be the subject of a hearing of the Missouri House Ethics […]

Wesley Bell drops out of Senate race, jumps into primary against Democrat Cori Bush

By: - October 30, 2023

St. Louis County Prosecutor Westley Bell has decided to abandon his run for the U.S. Senate and will instead challenge incumbent U.S. Rep. Cori Bush in the Democratic primary. Bell, who shocked the Missouri political establishment in 2018 by defeating a seven-term incumbent to become St. Louis County prosecutor, announced his decision to challenge his […]

Lawsuit challenges summary, fiscal note of new Missouri abortion-rights petition

By: - October 27, 2023

A group seeking to add exceptions to the state’s abortion ban for rape and incest filed a lawsuit Thursday arguing the ballot summary and fiscal note are unfair and inaccurate.  Filed in August by Republican political operative Jamie Corley with assistance from Democratic attorney Chuck Hatfield, the initiative petitions are being pitched as a middle […]

Missouri House Speaker Dean Plocher dismisses calls for his resignation

By: - October 26, 2023

Missouri House Speaker Dean Plocher said he would “absolutely not” consider resigning over allegations of wrongdoing that have engulfed him in recent weeks, joining one of his most vocal supporters on Thursday in painting the saga as a conspiracy whipped up by “leftist” media, Democrats and disgruntled staff.   Plocher, a Republican from Des Peres who […]

Embattled Missouri House speaker lashes out at GOP detractors as new critics emerge

By: - October 25, 2023

House Speaker Dean Plocher took to social media on Tuesday to hit back at Republicans criticizing him over revelations he repeatedly charged the state for travel that was already paid for by his campaign. But as Plocher took aim his detractors, he continued to draw fire himself — including a possible new opponent in the […]

Missouri Republicans call for investigation of Dean Plocher, raise idea of resignation

By: - October 24, 2023

Missouri House Speaker Dean Plocher is facing calls for his resignation following revelations that he filed false expense reports with the legislature to be personally reimbursed for travel already paid for by his campaign. Plocher, a Republican from Des Peres, chalked up the situation to “administrative errors,” vowing to review all of his expenses and […]

Missouri AG joins lawsuit against Meta, alleging social media platforms harm children

By: - October 24, 2023

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey joined a coalition of 33 states in a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday against Meta,  alleging the parent company of Facebook and Instagram knowingly designed the platforms to addict children and teenagers. The complaint, filed by a bipartisan group of attorneys general in the U.S District Court for the Northern District […]

Records show Dean Plocher charged the state for travel already paid for by his campaign

By: - October 23, 2023

Weeks after his return from a conference in Hawaii, Missouri House Speaker Dean Plocher was trying to convince legislative staff to reimburse him for the cost of his trip.  He’d filed an expense report that included $1,199.60 for a plane ticket to represent Missouri at the 2023 Uniform Law Commission conference, but he was informed […]