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.

Appeals court finds Greitens’ use of self-destructing text message app wasn’t illegal

By: - June 7, 2022

Though the use of self-destructing text-messaging apps has the practical effect of “side-stepping the reach of Missouri’s Sunshine Law,” their use by former Gov. Eric Greitens and his staff was not illegal, a panel of appeals court judges ruled Tuesday. While Greitens was still serving as governor, he and his staff used a text-messaging app […]

Pair of lawsuits expose a potentially massive hole in Missouri’s Sunshine Law

By: - June 6, 2022

In 2017, in two different state government agencies, Missouri’s Sunshine Law was put to the test. Just weeks after Josh Hawley was sworn in as attorney general that year, his staff began using private email accounts — instead of government-issued addresses that are automatically subject to the Sunshine Law — to discuss public business with […]

Democrat Senate hopeful in Missouri faces backlash over NRA fundraiser at family estate

By: - June 1, 2022

Democratic Senate hopeful Trudy Busch Valentine says she convinced the board she serves on that oversees her family’s St. Louis estate to cancel a fundraiser for the National Rifle Association scheduled for September. News of the fundraiser was first revealed Tuesday by The Intercept and drew intense backlash from Democrats, coming so soon after a […]

GOP infighting in the Missouri Senate will shape primary battles across the state

By: - May 31, 2022

Bad blood bedeviled the Missouri Senate for much of the last two years. And now it’s about to spill out onto the campaign trail.  GOP primaries around the state will be the battleground to determine who steers the fate of a chamber coming off its most dysfunctional legislative session in recent memory.  Will it be […]

Missouri AG seeks to dismiss suit alleging the office under Josh Hawley broke Sunshine Law

By: - May 26, 2022

A Cole County judge on Thursday heard arguments over whether staff in the Missouri attorney general’s office, while it was being run by now-U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, used private email accounts in order to subvert the state’s open records laws. A lawsuit filed in 2019 by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee alleges Hawley’s office violated […]

‘Gray market’ gaming company pumps $250K into PACs tied to Missouri lobbyist

By: - May 25, 2022

​​A company accused of operating illegal gambling machines in Missouri made six $40,000 donations this week to a constellation of political action committees run by its lobbyist. Wildwood-based Torch Electronics cut the checks Monday to MO Majority PAC, Missouri Growth PAC, Missouri C PAC, Missouri Senior PAC, Missouri AG PAC and Conservative Leaders of Missouri. […]

Mike Parson speaks to the General Assembly

Missouri governor laments failure of transgender sports bill, ban on critical race theory

By: - May 19, 2022

Gridlock in the Missouri Senate doomed issues that the GOP should have used its supermajority to accomplish, Gov. Mike Parson said Wednesday, pointing specifically at legislation targeting transgender students and banning critical race theory in schools. In an interview with KFTKs Mark Reardon, Parson lamented that the legislature spent so much time and effort this […]

Ashcroft won’t use random sampling to certify marijuana, ranked-choice initiatives

By: - May 19, 2022

Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft will not use random sampling to verify whether a pair of initiative petitions submitted this month collected enough signatures to be placed on the November ballot, his office confirmed Wednesday. Instead, Ashcroft will rely on the traditional method of line-by-line checking by local election officials to verify and count […]

Appeals court hears arguments over Greitens’ use of self-destructing text message app

By: - May 16, 2022

A panel of state appeals court judges heard arguments last week over whether former Gov. Eric Greitens and his staff used self-destructing text-message apps in 2017 to illegally circumvent Missouri’s transparency laws.   While Greitens was still serving as governor, it was revealed he and his staff were using a text-messaging app called Confide. The app […]

Missouri Capitol

Winners and losers of Missouri’s raucous 2022 legislative session

By: - May 16, 2022

The 2022 legislative session ended last week the same way it began back in January: With the Missouri Senate bogged down and barely able to function thanks to bitter divisions within the Republican majority.  Over the course of five months, there were filibusters, procedural hijinks and ugly back-and-forths between members of the Senate’s conservative caucus […]

Missouri legislature ends tumultuous 2022 session marked by gridlock, GOP infighting

By: and - May 13, 2022

A flurry of activity in the Missouri House on Friday kept 2022 from earning the ignominious distinction of least productive legislative session in modern history.  With GOP infighting in the Senate forcing it to adjourn a day early after a session that’s seen it mired in gridlock, the House returned Friday morning to pass 20 […]

Ethics panel dismisses complaint from Democrat who was censured by Missouri House

By: - May 12, 2022

The Missouri House Ethics Committee on Wednesday unanimously dismissed a complaint against Speaker Rob Vescovo filed by a Democratic lawmaker who was censured last year for ​​allegedly lying about a sexual encounter with an intern and retaliating against an employee who reported it. Rep. Wiley Price of St. Louis filed the complaint Tuesday alleging Vescovo […]