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.

Opposition to Missouri marijuana amendment creating strange political bedfellows

By: - October 27, 2022

The Missouri Baptist Convention and Pro-Choice Missouri don’t often find themselves on the same team.  Same for the Missouri NAACP and Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys.  But this year, each is part of an ideologically scattershot constellation of organizations and elected officials that have come out of the woodwork in recent weeks to urge Missourians […]

National report finds Missouri student test scores dropped during pandemic

By: - October 25, 2022

A new report released this week documents the impact of COVID-19 on student performance in Missouri, with test scores for math and reading dropping from pre-pandemic levels.  The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) assesses students in fourth and eighth grades throughout the nation in math and reading every two years, though its 2021 assessment […]

More Missouri legislative races could be competitive this year thanks to a new map

By: - October 25, 2022

Republicans have had super majorities in both chambers of the Missouri legislature for the past decade. And every election cycle, Democrats vow to begin crawling out of the legislative wilderness. This year is no different. But a new legislative map — drawn by a bipartisan redistricting commission — has created more potentially competitive districts, giving […]


Two years after launching The Missouri Independent, we’re still detectives for the people

By: - October 20, 2022

I often joke that 75% of my job involves aimlessly wandering the Missouri Capitol in the hopes of bumping into news.  But the only funny part of that bit is that it’s not really a joke.  Look: I’ve covered statehouses around the Midwest for nearly 20 years, and there has never been a day when […]

Medical marijuana companies pour money into legalization PAC in campaign’s homestretch

By: - October 13, 2022

With less than a month to go before voters head to the polls, the campaign to legalize recreational marijuana is getting a financial boost from the medical marijuana industry.  Legal Missouri 2022 — the political action committee supporting a marijuana proposal that will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot as Amendment 3 — has raised […]

Eric Schmitt deletes Kanye West tweet after backlash over anti-semitic comments

By: - October 12, 2022

Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Eric Schmitt tweeted Tuesday night in praising Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, then quickly deleted it as criticism rolled in over the rapper’s recent anti-semitic comments.  “America needs a @kanyewest @KidRock tour,” Schmitt, Missouri’s attorney general, wrote Tuesday night. “Let’s go!” The tweet drew backlash since it was published just […]

Missouri governor doesn’t plan to issue blanket pardons for marijuana offenses

By: - October 7, 2022

While announcing a plan to pardon those with prior federal offenses of simple marijuana possession, President Joe Biden urged governor’s to follow suit for those convicted of state offenses.  Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, who has granted clemency to more people than any Missouri governor in the past four decades, doesn’t appear ready to heed the […]

Missouri AFL-CIO endorses marijuana legalization constitutional amendment

By: - October 6, 2022

The push to legalize recreational marijuana has won the endorsement of Missouri’s largest labor organization. Missouri AFL-CIO president Jake Hummel on Thursday announced his organization was endorsing the proposal, which will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot as Amendment 3, calling it a “huge step forward for criminal justice reform in Missouri.” “Amendment 3 will […]

Missouri governor signs $764 million income tax cut, rural incentives package

By: - October 5, 2022

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Wednesday signed an income tax cut and a package of incentives targeting rural economic projects into law, putting the finishing touches on a special legislative session he convened last month. Both proposals were the result of vetoes issues earlier this year by Parson, who objected to a tax rebate plan […]

Scattershot polling leaves both sides of Missouri marijuana campaign optimistic

By: - October 3, 2022

A pair of polls in recent weeks found voters closely divided over the question of whether Missouri should legalize recreational marijuana use.  Meanwhile, a third poll expects legalization will cruise to a double-digit victory.  Five weeks before Election Day, despite public polling all over the place, proponents of the marijuana initiative petition — which will […]

Missouri governor’s symbolic action on hunger lights up Democrats

By: - September 27, 2022

Hoping to bring awareness to the need to combat hunger, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson officially declared September “Hunger Action Month” — lighting the state Capitol and governor’s mansion in orange to encourage involvement in efforts to end hunger in local communities. “When people think of hunger and food insecurity, they may often think of people […]

Schmitt no-shows Missouri Senate debate, Valentine slams Chinese ownership of farmland

By: - September 16, 2022

LAKE OZARK– Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who last week accused Democrat Trudy Busch Valentine of dodging debates, refused to show up for the first debate of Missouri’s U.S. Senate campaign on Friday.  Organized by the Missouri Press Association as part of its annual convention in Lake Ozark, Valentine, Libertarian Party candidate Jonathan Dine and Constitution […]