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.

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 […]

Lawsuit targets residency requirement for Missouri medical marijuana licenses

By: - December 15, 2020

A federal lawsuit filed last week seeks to strike down a Missouri requirement that medical marijuana licenses go to businesses owned by residents of the state.  A constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2018 that legalized medical marijuana requires facilities to be “majority owned by natural persons who have been citizens of the state of […]

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

Republican accused of abusing his children denied membership in House GOP caucus

By: - December 14, 2020

Rick Roeber, the Republican elected to the Missouri House while facing allegations by his adult children that he physically and sexually abused them when they were young, will not be allowed to caucus with his party when the legislative session begins next month. Roeber will be sworn into office next month, and the allegations against […]

Missouri AG joins lawsuit challenging presidential election results in four states

By: - December 9, 2020

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has thrown his support behind a lawsuit seeking to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s wins in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. On Tuesday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit asking the U.S. Supreme Court to invalidate election results in the four battleground states. He is claiming changes to election procedures […]

Medical marijuana subpoena may have been connected to Independence FBI probe

By: - December 7, 2020

The head of Missouri’s medical marijuana program testified under oath that a grand jury subpoena his agency received late last year was likely connected to an FBI investigation in Independence.  The revelation by Lyndall Fraker, director of medical marijuana regulation at the Missouri Department of Health and Seniors Services, is the first indication of the […]

Missouri Republicans hope to limit local control over public health orders

By: - December 1, 2020

A group of Republican lawmakers joined together on Tuesday to push back on local COVID-19 restrictions, announcing they will pursue legislation aimed at curbing the authority of city and county officials to shut down businesses. The GOP legislators, led by state Sen. Andrew Koenig of Manchester, were inspired by the public health order issued in […]

University of Missouri moving online after Thanksgiving due to COVID spread

By: - November 12, 2020

In an effort to reduce student population in the Columbia region during a surge of COVID-19 cases, the University of Missouri announced Thursday that classes would be moved online after Thanksgiving break. “While our experts say that MU students have not presented a direct burden to the local hospitals because they have not needed hospitalization, […]

Missouri House leadership vow investigation into allegations of abuse against Rick Roeber

By: - November 10, 2020

Accusations against a Republican elected to the legislature last week that he physically and sexually abused his children must be investigated to determine whether he will be allowed to serve in office, GOP House leaders said in a joint statement released on Tuesday. On Monday, the adult children of Rick Roeber wrote a letter to […]

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

Children of Republican accused of abuse call for Missouri House to block him from taking office

By: - November 10, 2020

Rick Roeber was elected to the Missouri House last week while facing allegations by his adult children that he physically and sexually abused them when they were young. On Monday, his children wrote a letter to House leaders asking that he not be allowed to serve. Three of Roeber’s children — Anastasia Roeber, Samson Roeber […]