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.

Are Missouri Republicans pushing to change primary elections because of Eric Greitens?

By: - May 13, 2021

Missouri Republicans are pushing for changes in the state’s primary elections to require a runoff if no candidate garners more than 50% of the vote.  And some think they know what inspired the change. “We are changing the way we are doing elections in Missouri for one person,” said Senate Minority Leader John Rizzo, D-Independence. […]

Missouri lawmakers strike a deal on crime bill after governor’s veto threat

By: - May 12, 2021

House leadership backed off its insistence that a wide-ranging crime bill include stiffer penalties for lying under oath to the legislature a day after Gov. Mike Parson threatened a veto. Parson said Tuesday that he objected to giving lawmakers more investigative power, calling it “a total power grab.” He said any bill that included the […]

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Missouri House votes to require disclosure of medical marijuana ownership records

By: - May 11, 2021

The Missouri House voted Tuesday afternoon to require state regulators to turn over ownership information for businesses granted medical marijuana licenses to legislative oversight committees.  The amendment, which was approved 82-59, was sponsored by Rep. Peter Merideth, D-St. Louis. He said the Department of Health and Senior Service’s decision to deem ownership records confidential has […]

Missouri House approves prescription drug monitoring program, sends bill to the governor

By: - May 11, 2021

In an historic vote, the Missouri House signed off Tuesday on legislation creating a prescription drug monitoring program — inching one step closer to ending Missouri’s designation as the only state without one. The bill now heads to Gov. Mike Parson for his signature or veto. Sen. Holly Rehder, a Sikeston Republican who has sponsored […]

Parson vows to veto crime bill if it includes penalties for lying to Missouri legislature

By: - May 11, 2021

The fate of a wide-ranging crime bill was called into question on Tuesday over a provision that would stiffen penalties for lying under oath to the legislature or obstructing a legislative investigation. During a conference committee on Tuesday morning convened to work out differences on Senate Bill 53, House members said the bill stands no […]

AG Schmitt joins effort to convince Facebook to abandon plans for children’s Instagram

By: - May 10, 2021

Nearly every state attorney general, including Missouri’s Eric Schmitt, signed onto a letter this week demanding Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg abandon plans to create an Instagram for kids, arguing that the company has a “record of failing to protect the safety and privacy of children on its platform.” In a letter from the National Association of […]

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Secrecy around ownership records raises questions about Missouri marijuana networks

By: and - May 10, 2021

Greenlight Dispensary advertises 16 medical marijuana locations across Missouri, from Cape Girardeau to Kansas City, and all points in between. Justice Grown, a Pennsylvania-based company, has ties to 14 dispensaries in Missouri. Yet Missouri’s constitution prohibits the state from granting more than five dispensary licenses to any single entity or individual. The goal was to […]

Longtime Republican political consultant, lobbyist indicted on felony tax charge

By: - May 6, 2021

David Barklage, an influential campaign consultant and lobbyist who has been a fixture in Missouri Republican politics for decades, has been indicted for allegedly failing to pay more than $150,000 in taxes over the course of a three-year period. The indictment was handed down in U.S. District Court in St. Louis on April 28, but […]

Nonprofit hopes to free Missouri man serving 23 years on marijuana charges

By: - April 26, 2021

Eric McCauley was a first time marijuana offender when he was sentenced to 23 years in federal prison in 2012.  A federal jury convicted him on four counts of marijuana trafficking and 26 counts of money laundering as part of his role in distributing marijuana in Boone County. Now advocates with the nonprofit Weldon Project […]

Gov. Parson holding fundraiser with Missouri medical marijuana companies

By: - April 23, 2021

Individuals and companies that were awarded lucrative medical marijuana licenses by the state will gather next week to raise money for Missouri Gov. Mike Parson.  An invitation to Tuesday’s fundraising reception was sent out to members of the Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association by its executive director, Andrew Mullins. The event will be held in […]

Missouri House expels Rick Roeber, a Republican accused of sexually abusing his children

By: - April 21, 2021

Rick Roeber, a Lee’s Summit Republican accused by his adult children of sexual and physical abuse, was expelled from the Missouri House on Wednesday on a 153-0 vote. One legislator voted “present.”  Only one member of the Missouri House has ever been expelled before. The charge at that time, in 1865, was disloyalty to the […]

Panel recommends Missouri House expel Republican accused of sexually abusing his children

By: - April 19, 2021

The Missouri House Ethics Committee voted unanimously on Monday to recommend Rep. Rick Roeber be expelled from the Legislature. The committee, made up of five Republicans and five Democrats, said evidence obtained over the course of its four-month investigation confirmed Roeber had sexually abused two of his children in 1990, when they were 9 and […]