Author

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. He helped launch The Missouri Independent in October 2020.

‘Ballot candy?’ Missouri GOP adds citizen-only voting into initiative petition changes

By: - February 3, 2023

Missouri Republicans have long argued a successful 2018 initiative petition establishing a nonpartisan redistricting process duped voters by pairing it with politically popular proposals like limits on lobbyist gifts to legislators.  Two years later, the GOP got in on the act, pushing its own ballot measure repealing the nonpartisan plan by tying it to a […]

Missouri House

Missouri House gives initial approval to raising bar for voters to amend the constitution

By: - February 1, 2023

Legislation to make it harder for voters to amend the state constitution through the initiative petition process won initial approval in the Missouri House on Wednesday.  After more than two hours of debate, the legislation sponsored by House Speaker Pro Tem Mike Henderson was approved 106-50. It will need to be approved one more time […]

Missouri bill would relax rules for receiving treatment from physical therapists

By: - January 31, 2023

Physical therapists in Missouri would be allowed to evaluate and treat patients without a referral from a doctor under legislation that received initial approval in the state Senate Tuesday. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Karla Eslinger, R-Wasola, only applies to physical therapists with doctorates in physical therapy or at least five years of experience in […]

Missouri lobbyist vs. Federalist Society: AG rivals building 2024 campaign war chests

By: - January 31, 2023

In the likely 2024 GOP showdown for the Missouri attorney general’s office, the fundraising race has already begun.  Attorney General Andrew Bailey, who was appointed to the office when his predecessor was elected to the U.S. Senate, began raising money through an independent political action committee even before officially launching his campaign last week.  Will […]

Sunshine Law violations by AG’s office under Josh Hawley could cost Missouri $300K

By: - January 27, 2023

Following a Missouri judge’s determination that the attorney general’s office “knowingly and purposefully” violated the state’s open records law while it was being run by now-U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, plaintiffs in the case say they are owed more than $300,000 in legal fees.  In November, Cole County Judge Jon Beetem determined the attorney general’s office […]

Judge says Missouri House rule limiting access to public records is constitutional

By: - January 26, 2023

A Cole County judge has concluded that a rule implemented by the Missouri House in 2019 allowing lawmakers to withhold certain information from public records does not violate the state constitution.  The lawsuit was filed by Mark Pedroli, founder of the Sunshine and Government Accountability Project. He challenged a rule adopted by the Missouri House […]

Donor privacy law being used by Missouri agencies to conceal public records

By: - January 24, 2023

Over the course of two nights in early December, Gov. Mike Parson hosted a holiday gala for individuals and corporations who donated money to the nonprofit that helps maintain the Missouri Governor’s Mansion.  Who were the big donors who cut a check and got to dine with Parson and his taxpayer-funded staff? The Governor’s office […]

Missouri Democrats praise Parson’s speech — and four other State of the State takeaways

By: - January 19, 2023

Early in his annual State of the State address on Wednesday, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson sang the praises of an income tax cut enacted by the Republican-dominated General Assembly late last year.  Closer to the end of his nearly one-hour speech to a joint session of the legislature, Parson vowed to “support and defend our […]

Missouri attorney general’s social media lawsuit rallies anti-vaccine activists

By: - January 11, 2023

Days after the death of baseball legend Hank Aaron in January 2021, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. went on social media to seemingly suggest — without evidence — that his passing could be connected to the COVID-19 vaccine. Kennedy, the nephew of the former president, has been a major figure in the anti-vaccine movement for more […]

With abortion fight likely looming, Missouri GOP looks to raise bar to change constitution

By: - January 9, 2023

A handful of proposals to raise the state’s minimum wage have been submitted to the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office to potentially put the issue on the 2024 ballot.  Other proposals would guarantee paid sick leave for Missouri’s workers or establish ranked-choice voting. And rumblings of a possible constitutional amendment that would roll back Missouri’s […]

Stephen Webber launches campaign for Missouri Senate seat in Boone County

By: - January 9, 2023

A former Democratic state lawmaker and Marine veteran announced Monday he was running for a Boone County-based seat in the Missouri Senate. Stephen Webber, who served eight years in the Missouri House representing Columbia, ran for the 19th Missouri Senate District in 2016 but lost to Republican Caleb Rowden in a district that included both […]

Democrat Lucas Kunce says he’ll challenge Josh Hawley in 2024 Missouri Senate race

By: - January 6, 2023

Marine veteran Lucas Kunce announced Friday that he plans to challenge Republican Josh Hawley in the 2024 race for U.S. Senate in Missouri.  Kunce, 40, chose the second anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection to make his announcement. Hawley received fierce criticism for his actions on the day of the insurrection, from pumping his […]