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.

Judge says Missouri House rule limiting access to public records is constitutional

By: - January 26, 2023

A Cole County judge has concluded that a rule implemented by the Missouri House in 2019 allowing lawmakers to withhold certain information from public records does not violate the state constitution.  The lawsuit was filed by Mark Pedroli, founder of the Sunshine and Government Accountability Project. He challenged a rule adopted by the Missouri House […]

Donor privacy law being used by Missouri agencies to conceal public records

By: - January 24, 2023

Over the course of two nights in early December, Gov. Mike Parson hosted a holiday gala for individuals and corporations who donated money to the nonprofit that helps maintain the Missouri Governor’s Mansion.  Who were the big donors who cut a check and got to dine with Parson and his taxpayer-funded staff? The Governor’s office […]

Missouri Democrats praise Parson’s speech — and four other State of the State takeaways

By: - January 19, 2023

Early in his annual State of the State address on Wednesday, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson sang the praises of an income tax cut enacted by the Republican-dominated General Assembly late last year.  Closer to the end of his nearly one-hour speech to a joint session of the legislature, Parson vowed to “support and defend our […]

Missouri attorney general’s social media lawsuit rallies anti-vaccine activists

By: - January 11, 2023

Days after the death of baseball legend Hank Aaron in January 2021, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. went on social media to seemingly suggest — without evidence — that his passing could be connected to the COVID-19 vaccine. Kennedy, the nephew of the former president, has been a major figure in the anti-vaccine movement for more […]

With abortion fight likely looming, Missouri GOP looks to raise bar to change constitution

By: - January 9, 2023

A handful of proposals to raise the state’s minimum wage have been submitted to the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office to potentially put the issue on the 2024 ballot.  Other proposals would guarantee paid sick leave for Missouri’s workers or establish ranked-choice voting. And rumblings of a possible constitutional amendment that would roll back Missouri’s […]

Stephen Webber launches campaign for Missouri Senate seat in Boone County

By: - January 9, 2023

A former Democratic state lawmaker and Marine veteran announced Monday he was running for a Boone County-based seat in the Missouri Senate. Stephen Webber, who served eight years in the Missouri House representing Columbia, ran for the 19th Missouri Senate District in 2016 but lost to Republican Caleb Rowden in a district that included both […]

Democrat Lucas Kunce says he’ll challenge Josh Hawley in 2024 Missouri Senate race

By: - January 6, 2023

Marine veteran Lucas Kunce announced Friday that he plans to challenge Republican Josh Hawley in the 2024 race for U.S. Senate in Missouri.  Kunce, 40, chose the second anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection to make his announcement. Hawley received fierce criticism for his actions on the day of the insurrection, from pumping his […]

New Missouri House speaker says massive budget surplus should mean more tax cuts

By: and - January 4, 2023

Missouri’s top lawmaker opened the 2023 legislative session Wednesday by proclaiming that the state’s massive budget surplus should translate into more tax cuts.  House Speaker Dean Plocher, R-Des Peres, noted that Missouri lawmakers approved a nearly $800 million tax cut in September. But with a projected state budget surplus of $6 billion, Plocher believes “there […]

Will Scharf puts $500,000 into his campaign for statewide office in Missouri

By: - January 4, 2023

Republican Will Scharf has not yet formally declared which statewide office he plans to seek in 2024. But on Tuesday, the former assistant U.S. attorney and policy director in Gov. Eric Greitens’ brief administration donated $500,000 to his own campaign. Scharf, 36, is widely expected to run for attorney general. He was among the candidates […]

Independence lawyer tied to utility projects that drew FBI scrutiny indicted for tax evasion

By: - December 22, 2022

An attorney and former elected official in Independence was indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury on felonies related to tax evasion.  John C. Carnes, 67, was charged with one count of tax evasion, one count of corruptly endeavoring to obstruct the IRS and seven counts of failure to pay taxes. He appeared in the […]

Missouri governor taps political newcomer to serve as next state treasurer

By: - December 20, 2022

Gov. Mike Parson has named Vivek Malek to serve as state treasurer, the first Indian American to hold a statewide office in Missouri.  Malek, 45, will replace Republican Scott Fitzpatrick, who was elected state auditor in November.  “We interviewed a lot of great candidates for state treasurer, all of which have promising and rewarding careers […]

Mike Kehoe firefighters

Mike Kehoe scores another $250,000 from Missouri mega donor Rex Sinquefield

By: - December 16, 2022

For the second time in a year, the political action committee supporting Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe’s 2024 bid for Missouri governor has received a $250,000 check from the state’s most prolific donor. Rex Sinquefield, a retired investor from St. Louis, gave the same amount to Kehoe’s nearly one year ago. Over the last decade, Sinquefield […]