Rudi Keller

Rudi Keller

Rudi Keller covers the state budget and the legislature. A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, he spent 22 of his 32 years in journalism covering Missouri government and politics for the Columbia Daily Tribune, where he won awards for spot news and investigative reporting.

Republican LG hopeful files lawsuit seeking to toss out 71 Missouri initiative petitions

By: - November 24, 2023

A Republican from St. Louis County is trying to derail 71 proposed initiative petitions with a lawsuit that claims they were improperly certified by Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft. The court case filed in Jefferson City by Paul Berry III argues that campaign finance filings are wrong or missing for petitions to reinstate abortion rights, […]

Missouri voter ID trial digs into purpose, results of strict 2022 law

By: - November 21, 2023

Almost one out of every 10 voters who cast ballots in Missouri’s two largest jurisdictions during recent elections lacked the identification now required at polls in the state, an expert testified Monday at a trial over the voter ID requirement. Kenneth Mayer, a political scientist from the University of Wisconsin, estimated that about 175,000 votes […]

Missouri pension board rejects push by Vivek Malek for China divestment

By: - November 20, 2023

The board overseeing Missouri’s state employee pension plan voted down a proposal by state Treasurer Vivek Malek to sell off any investments in Chinese stocks and other securities.  On a voice vote last week, the 11-member board of the Missouri State Employees Retirement System rejected Malek’s call to punish the Asian economic powerhouse for COVID-19, […]

Jay Ashcroft to appeal abortion ballot summary ruling to Missouri Supreme Court

By: - November 17, 2023

Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft will try again to salvage the ballot summary he wrote for abortion rights initiative petitions with an appeal to the Missouri Supreme Court. Ashcroft’s language has been savaged in opinions from two courts, most recently when the Western District Court of Appeals ruled his summaries are “replete with politically partisan […]

Challenge to Missouri voter ID law focuses on barriers faced by the elderly, disabled

By: - November 15, 2023

Missouri’s requirement for voters to show government-issued photo identification before casting a ballot will be on trial starting Friday. Over four days, Cole County Circuit Judge John Beetem will hear familiar arguments that the law passed in 2022 unconstitutionally restricts the right to vote by imposing burdens that disenfranchise large numbers of people. In 2006 […]

Missouri House GOP caucus sticks with Plocher as speaker – for now

By: - November 9, 2023

Missouri House Speaker Dean Plocher scurried away from waiting reporters Thursday rather than answer questions about the events that have launched an ethics inquiry and caused some members of his party to ask for him to step down from his powerful post.  Plocher spent most of the afternoon in a closed-door Republican caucus meeting at […]

Missouri House ethics panel to hold further hearings in Plocher investigation

By: - November 8, 2023

The Missouri House Ethics Committee appears to be prepared to advance an investigation over House Speaker Dean Plocher’s personnel actions and expense reimbursement requests. The panel met behind closed doors for more than two hours on Wednesday. The discussion is confidential, but afterward Chair Hannah Kelly told assembled reporters that another hearing would be scheduled, […]

Phelps County judge rules Missouri city tried to ‘intimidate’ woman with ban on city hall visits

By: - November 8, 2023

A small Missouri city’s attempt to “intimidate and silence” a critic violated both her First Amendment rights and the Missouri Sunshine Law, a judge ruled Tuesday. Edgar Springs, a town of 200 in southern Phelps County, must pay a nominal fine of $150 to Rebecca Varney for banning her from city hall for four years, […]

Democrat leaves ethics inquiry into Dean Plocher to avoid conflict of interest

By: - November 7, 2023

A Democrat running for the same statewide office as Missouri House Speaker Dean Plocher will not participate in a House Ethics Committee inquiry into the speaker. House Assistant Minority Leader Richard Brown of Kansas City, who is running for lieutenant governor, was replaced Tuesday on the committee by Rep. David Tyson Smith of Columbia. In […]

Players in Missouri gambling debate chase stakes worth billions

By: - November 7, 2023

Missourians spend billions every year in pursuit of instant riches. They buy lottery tickets, play casino games and dab bingo cards.  And increasingly in recent years, they play games of questionable legality in convenience stores, truck stops and small gaming parlors. Everyone involved in the industry thinks people would spend more, if given the chance. […]

Judge approves pay raise plan for Missouri transportation agency workers

By: - November 1, 2023

The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission can give employees big raises to cut job turnover and attract new workers, a Cole County judge ruled Tuesday. In a long-awaited decision, Circuit Judge Cotton Walker decided that the commission’s plan for a “market adjustment” is authorized by constitutional language controlling the State Road Fund. In his ruling, […]

Appeals court swats down Ashcroft arguments on Missouri abortion rights petitions

By: - October 31, 2023

Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft wrote ballot titles for six proposals to restore abortion rights that were “replete with politically partisan language,” a Missouri appeals court unanimously ruled Tuesday. In an expedited decision issued a day after hearing arguments, a three-judge panel of the Western District Court of Appeals upheld, with only minor revisions, the […]