Author

Rudi Keller

Rudi Keller

Rudi Keller covers the state budget, energy and the legislature. He’s spent 22 of his 30 years in journalism covering Missouri government and politics, most recently as the news editor of the Columbia Daily Tribune. Keller has won awards for spot news and investigative reporting.

Missouri Supreme Court upholds law stripping state workers of merit system protections

By: - October 4, 2022

Most Missouri state employees are “at-will” workers not entitled to seniority protections or grievance rights when they are fired, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled Tuesday. In an opinion that overturned a Cole County Circuit Court decision, the high court declared that a 2018 law repealing the merit system for most state workers is constitutional. Three […]

Missouri Senate

Missouri lawmakers pass rural incentives bill as special session draws to a close

By: - October 4, 2022

Missouri lawmakers wrapped up their special session Tuesday when the state Senate overwhelmingly approved a $40 million package of incentives targeting rural economic projects. The bill, passed 26-3, creates tax credits for fuel retailers to sell gas and diesel with higher blends of biofuels and to establish urban farms. It extends the life of incentives […]

Missouri judge to decide when Jay Ashcroft must begin review of 2024 initiative petitions

By: - October 4, 2022

It is settled law in Missouri that those seeking to amend the state constitution or law through the initiative petition process must wait a day after the general election to begin collecting signatures. What is uncertain, and what Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem will decide soon, is whether the secretary of state must conduct […]

After four decades, Hancock Amendment continues to shape Missouri tax policy

By: - September 30, 2022

In the late 1970s, inflation pushed wages into higher tax brackets and squeezed homeowners as property tax bills rose with the value of their residences. A southwest Missouri businessman named Mel Hancock, inspired by the California tax limitation ballot measure known as Proposition 13, enlisted the Missouri Farm Bureau and put his own plan for […]

Legislature sends $764 million income tax cut to Missouri governor

By: - September 29, 2022

The Missouri House on Thursday abandoned its attempt to cut corporate income taxes after Gov. Mike Parson signaled his opposition to the move. Instead, House Republican leaders put a Senate-passed tax cut plan up for a vote, but not before one Democrat called “shenanigans” because the move blocked plans to offer amendments. By a 98-32 […]

Cost of tax cut swells as Missouri House committee seeks to eliminate corporate tax

By: - September 28, 2022

The Missouri House will debate a tax cut bill Thursday that goes far beyond the special session agenda set by Gov. Mike Parson after the Budget Committee on Wednesday added an amendment repealing the corporate income tax to a Senate-passed measure. The committee approved the legislation, which has a total cost approaching $2 billion, on […]

Missouri House leaders scramble to save the governor’s agriculture incentives bill

By: - September 26, 2022

Passing a package of tax credits for rural economic projects should have been the easy part of Missouri Gov. Mike Parson’s special session agenda. A bill with everything he requested passed with big bipartisan majorities during the regular session, the only opposition coming from conservative Republicans who dislike tax credits generally. But when the bill […]

Missouri lawmakers push ahead on tax cuts, rural credits in special session

By: - September 21, 2022

Missouri lawmakers are moving swiftly to complete the special session agenda set by Gov. Mike Parson, with both the House and Senate passing incentives for farms and rural businesses and the Senate finishing work on a tax cut. Only one thing hasn’t gone the way Parson and legislative leaders hoped. While the Missouri House was […]

Scaled-back income tax cut wins initial approval in Missouri Senate

By: - September 20, 2022

The Missouri Senate gave first-round approval Tuesday to a $335 million income tax cut over objections from liberal members who saw fiscal problems ahead and conservative members who wanted deeper cuts. The bill, which needs a final vote before it moves to the Missouri House, is a pared-down version of the $700 million tax cut […]

Income tax cut plan heads to Missouri Senate floor for debate

By: - September 19, 2022

The Missouri Senate this week will debate an income tax cut that doesn’t immediately lower rates as much as Gov. Mike Parson proposed but would, if passed, promise future reductions. Under a proposal passed on a party-line vote Monday in the Senate Appropriations Committee, the top state income tax rate for next year would be […]

Missouri auditor candidates spar over independence from partisan influence

By: - September 16, 2022

LAKE OZARK ‐‐ The Republican trying to get the only statewide office currently held by Democrats pledged Friday he would show no partisan favoritism, while his opponents said only they could provide the independence needed in the office. State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick, former state Rep. Alan Green and accountant John Hartwig Jr. met in their […]

Multiple plans emerge as Missouri lawmakers begin governor’s tax cut special session

By: - September 14, 2022

The special legislative session called by Gov. Mike Parson to cut income taxes began Wednesday, and by the time lawmakers adjourned for the day, one thing was clear — there is no agreement on a plan. And that could upend the governor’s hopes of a quick session. In the state Senate, expected to act first […]