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.

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 […]

Founding member of Senate conservative caucus exploring 2024 run for Missouri governor

By: - September 12, 2022

Missouri Sen. Bill Eigel, a St. Charles County Republican who helped establish a faction of GOP senators that tied the legislature in procedural knots over the last two years, is exploring a run for governor.  Eigel announced his intentions to create an exploratory committee for a 2024 gubernatorial bid  at a fundraiser on Saturday. He […]

Jay Ashcroft clarifies position in high-profile U.S. Supreme Court election case

By: - September 9, 2022

Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft wants to be clear that his amicus brief in a high-profile U.S. Supreme Court case is not an endorsement of the so-called “independent state legislature” doctrine.  He’s not denouncing it, either.  Instead, Ashcroft is floating a theory of his own: That Congressional redistricting is a duty reserved solely for […]