Author

Jason Hancock

Jason Hancock

Jason Hancock has been writing about Missouri since 2011, most recently as lead political reporter for The Kansas City Star. He has spent nearly two decades covering politics and policy for news organizations across the Midwest, and has a track record of exposing government wrongdoing and holding elected officials accountable.

The Missouri House floor for the 2019 State of the State address.

Missouri House Democrats face criticism from staff over handling of ethics complaint

By: - January 22, 2021

In a rare sign of rebellion, legislative aides who work for Missouri House Democrats are accusing their party’s leaders of doing more to protect a fellow lawmaker than employees. The group of staffers, who requested The Independent withhold their identities for fear of retribution, are upset with how Democrats handled a House Ethics Committee report […]

Lawmakers renew effort to crack down on illegal gaming machines in Missouri

By: - January 21, 2021

Missouri law is clear that it is illegal to have gambling machines outside of a casino.  Yet in bars, gas stations and other gathering spots around the state, games similar to slot machines have been popping up for years.  So why, despite outcry from some lawmakers, law enforcement and state regulators, has Missouri been hesitant […]

Josh Hawley says accusation that he incited Capitol insurrection is ‘corrosive and dangerous’

By: - January 13, 2021

Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley penned an op-ed in the Southeast Missourian Wednesday defending his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election and calling accusations that he helped incite the mob who stormed the U.S. Capitol “corrosive and dangerous.” The op-ed is the first time he’s publicly addressed the recent wave of criticism. His only other […]

Legislators concerned with Missouri Capitol security as FBI warns of armed protests

By: - January 12, 2021

With images of insurrection in the U.S. Capitol still fresh — and the FBI warning of plans for armed protests at all 50 state capitals — Missouri lawmakers on Tuesday expressed concern that statehouse security needs to be improved.  Rep. Ron Hicks, R-St. Charles County, said issues with Missouri Capitol security have existed for years, […]

Hallmark wants Josh Hawley to return contributions the company’s PAC made to his campaign

By: - January 11, 2021

Kansas City-based Hallmark Cards Inc. is demanding Sens. Josh Hawley of Missouri and Roger Marshall of Kansas return donations its PAC has made to their campaigns, citing their efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Hawley was the first senator to commit to objecting to the certification of electoral votes declaring Joe […]

With rioting mob driven from Capitol, Congress certifies Biden win over Josh Hawley’s objections

By: , and - January 7, 2021

After a day of insurrection and deadly violence at the U.S. Capitol, Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley continued his push on Wednesday to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. But his efforts were for naught, as lawmakers early Thursday certified Electoral College votes declaring Joe Biden the winner. Hawley, who became the public […]

Trump should ‘absolutely not’ be blamed for U.S. Capitol riots, Gov. Parson says

By: - January 6, 2021

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson expressed dismay on Wednesday at news that a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol to derail the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. But he said people should “absolutely not” place the blame for the violence on President Donald Trump or the Republicans who were trying to block certification of the […]

The Missouri House floor for the 2019 State of the State address.

Missouri lawmakers return to tackle Medicaid, education, budget amid COVID

By: - January 5, 2021

With COVID-19 continuing to spread across the state, Missouri lawmakers convene at noon on Wednesday to begin the 101st General Assembly. It is certain to be a session like no other.  Questions surrounding the state budget, funding for roads and bridges, education, local control and a myriad of other issues are on the agenda. But […]

Missouri lawmakers eye incentives to aid foster parents, adoptions

By: - January 5, 2021

When he lays out his agenda for the 2021 legislative session on Wednesday, improving Missouri’s foster care system will be among House Speaker Rob Vescovo’s top priorities.  And for Vescovo, who is kicking off his first year as speaker, this issue is deeply personal.  “I spent the first 15 months of my life in foster […]

Who is Dean Plocher, the new Missouri House majority leader?

By: - January 1, 2021

When Dean Plocher was sworn in as a member of the Missouri House for the first time in January 2016, all of his fellow Republican colleagues had been in office for at least a year already.  Just two months earlier, Plocher had won a special election to fill a vacant seat representing parts of St. […]

Josh Hawley vows to contest certification of Joe Biden’s victory

By: - December 30, 2020

Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley announced Wednesday that he will object to the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory when Congress convenes next week to ratify the results of the 2020 election. The move, which is largely symbolic, guarantees that both chambers will be forced to debate the results and vote on whether […]

Judge tosses lawsuit challenging Missouri medical marijuana license caps

By: - December 21, 2020

A Cole County judge on Monday threw out a lawsuit alleging limitations on the number of medical marijuana licenses issued by the state were unconstitutional.  Cole County Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce ruled that the regulations at the heart of the lawsuit were “properly promulgated and are in compliance with Missouri’s laws and Constitution.” She ruled […]