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 says government-funded nonprofit not subject to Missouri Sunshine Law

By: - May 29, 2023

At a 2014 gathering of licensed drug counselors at the Tan-Tar-A resort in Osage Beach, Chuck Daugherty delivered a warning.  Marijuana legalization activists in Missouri, he said, were using tactics akin to 1960s radicals to advance their cause.  Daugherty is executive director of ACT Missouri, a nonprofit established in 1991 to promote drug and alcohol awareness. […]

Judge rules Missouri AG had no authority to order end of school mask mandates

By: - May 27, 2023

Former Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt lacked any legal authority to order school districts to end COVID-19 mitigation measures, a Jackson County judge ruled Friday.  In his 18-page decision, Judge Marco Roldan concluded that the attorney general’s office did not follow Missouri law when it demanded last year that Lee’s Summit R-7 School District rescind […]

Former Missouri House Speaker John Diehl fined $47K by state ethics commission

By: - May 23, 2023

A former Missouri House speaker who was forced to resign in disgrace in 2015 has been fined $47,000 by the Missouri Ethics Commission for allegedly misusing campaign funds. John Diehl, a Republican from Town and Country, signed a consent decree with the ethics commission released Tuesday acknowledging probable cause that he violated state campaign finance […]

A stone government building on a cold, grey day

Lawsuit over Missouri AG push to inflate cost of abortion IP heads to trial next month

By: - May 22, 2023

A Cole County judge set June 7 to hear arguments in a lawsuit demanding the state finalize its work on an abortion-rights initiative petition so proponents can begin collecting signatures. Circuit Court Judge Jon Beetem scheduled a bench trial in the case during a hearing last week. The ACLU of Missouri filed its lawsuit earlier […]

Changes to Missouri donor privacy law would restore access to state contracts

By: - May 19, 2023

A legislative fix to a donor privacy law blamed for impeding public access to state contract information is sitting on Gov. Mike Parson’s desk.  The Personal Privacy Protection Act received bipartisan support on its way to being signed into law last year. The aim was to shield nonprofits from having to disclose their donors to […]

Winners and losers of Missouri’s 2023 legislative session

By: - May 15, 2023

After two years of drama and gridlock, the Missouri Senate showed up in January determined to put the conflict between the conservative caucus and GOP leadership in the past.  Submerged but ever-lurking, factionalism finally torpedoed the apparent comity in the session’s final week, and the Senate sank into the depths of filibusters and procedural hijinks. […]

Missouri Senate dysfunction leads to gridlock on final day of 2023 legislative session

By: - May 12, 2023

The Missouri Senate held itself together longer than most had expected.  But on Friday, hours before the constitutionally mandated adjournment, it went off the rails.  Sen. Bill Eigel, a Weldon Spring Republican running for governor next year, attempted a procedural move to force a vote on personal property tax cut legislation.  Instead, the chamber voted […]

Sports wagering impasse upends the Missouri Senate a day before adjournment

By: - May 11, 2023

A Republican lawmaker running for governor next year held up all action in the Missouri Senate Thursday night, arguing one of his top legislative priorities was being held hostage in negotiations over legalizing sports wagering.  Sen. Bill Eigel, R-Weldon Spring, spent much of the evening reading aloud from a biography of Ronald Reagan and from […]

Push to reinstate Missouri presidential primary stalls in Senate

By: - May 11, 2023

Hopes of reversing last year’s vote to ditch the Missouri’s presidential primary were dashed on Thursday, as gridlock in the Senate forced the issue to be set aside with just a day left before the end of the legislative session. Sen. Andrew Koenig, R-Manchester, sent the bill back to the House asking that a litany […]

Missouri lawmakers enter final week of session with major GOP priorities unfinished

By: - May 8, 2023

Missouri lawmakers must adjourn for the year at 6 p.m. on Friday, leaving just five days to complete work on some of the highest-profile — and controversial — items on the GOP supermajority’s agenda.  And while the last two legislative sessions were defined in their final week by the simmering tension between Republicans in the […]

A stone government building on a cold, grey day

ACLU asks judge to force state to finalize ballot summary for Missouri abortion amendment

By: - May 4, 2023

The ACLU of Missouri is asking a Cole County judge to force the secretary of state’s office to finalize its work on an abortion-rights initiative petition so proponents can begin collecting signatures.  The legal maneuver, which was filed Thursday afternoon, comes after The Independent revealed a behind-the-scenes push by Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey to […]

Missouri auditor says AG trying to falsely inflate projected cost of abortion amendment

By: - May 4, 2023

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey is trying to convince the state auditor’s office to increase the projected cost of an initiative petition seeking to enshrine abortion rights in the constitution, according to records obtained by The Independent. Auditor Scott Fitzpatrick has refused to make the changes Bailey demanded, arguing that the attorney general is trying […]