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.

Battle lines remain fixed in Missouri Senate Republican factional fights as session ends

By: - May 14, 2022

In chess, a defensive move that swaps positions of the rook and the king is called castling. The move that ends the game, of course, is the checkmate. Early Thursday morning, the Missouri Senate leadership castled the congressional redistricting bill by recessing, instead of adjourning, the Wednesday session. That meant that when members returned around […]

Missouri Senate adjourns early after passing congressional redistricting map

By: - May 12, 2022

The Missouri Senate passed a congressional redistricting map Thursday and then adjourned for the year. The 22-11 vote came after Senate Majority Leader Caleb Rowden invoked a rarely-used rule to bring a bill from the Senate Select Committee on Redistricting to the floor.  The adjournment came a day before the constitutionally mandated end of the […]

Missouri Senate divisions on full display going into session’s final days

By: - May 11, 2022

The halls of the Missouri Capitol on Tuesday didn’t look like time was running out on the 2022 legislative session. The third-floor rotunda area between the House and Senate, usually bustling with activity as lobbyists confer with lawmakers and shuttle between the chambers to check the viability of amendments with less than 100 hours to […]

Missouri House pushes ahead on last-chance congressional redistricting plan

By: - May 9, 2022

The Missouri House on Monday passed a new congressional redistricting map, agreeing to a plan that its sponsor says is intended to appease critics who have blocked previous efforts at agreement. With a Friday final adjournment looming, the bill debated Monday is a long-shot for passage. Under legislative rules, the first day the Senate could […]

Legal marijuana, ranked-choice voting initiatives submitted for Missouri ballot

By: - May 9, 2022

Missourians this fall may have a chance to legalize adult marijuana use and change the way elections are conducted. Two initiatives proposing amendments to the Missouri Constitution were submitted Sunday. If each has sufficient signatures, they will likely be on the Nov. 8 ballot. The marijuana initiative would build on the 2018 amendment that legalized […]

Missouri lawmakers finish record $49 billion state budget hours before deadline

By: - May 6, 2022

The largest budget in Missouri history passed with relative ease Friday, in part because the final version was larger than the spending plans passed earlier in either the House or Senate. The total, just over $49 billion, includes big increases for school transportation, help for colleges and universities in the form of bigger budgets and […]

Missouri Senate signs off on $3 billion in federal COVID-19 relief funds

By: - May 6, 2022

The path to passage for a bill spending almost $3 billion in federal COVID-19 relief was paved with money Thursday. But about 20 minutes of discussion was all it took to win a 26-5 vote from the upper chamber after 18 new projects were added along with a $500 million set-aside from general revenue for […]

Judge grants Eric Greitens access to ex-wife’s phone records in custody case

By: - May 5, 2022

Former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens will get to look at his ex-wife’s telephone records from the days before she filed explosive allegations of child and spousal abuse against the Republican Senate candidate. In an order dated April 28, Associate Circuit Judge Leslie Schneider overruled Sheena Greitens’ motion to quash subpoenas for her phone logs and […]

‘Something for everyone’: Final votes coming for record-setting Missouri budget

By: - May 4, 2022

A record state operating budget that a top legislative Republican said “has a little bit of something for everyone” is heading for final votes in the Missouri General Assembly as tax revenue continues to pour into the treasury in historic amounts. Final figures weren’t available Wednesday, but the spending plan that emerged from a day […]

Redistricting

Missouri lawmakers to make one more attempt at congressional redistricting map

By: - May 3, 2022

Missouri lawmakers will try one more time before they adjourn for the year to reach agreement on a new Congressional redistricting map. If they fail, the job will likely fall to the courts. But with three pending lawsuits – one in federal court and two in state court – it is uncertain where a map […]

Missouri Senate committee slashes funds for building Rock Island Trail

By: - May 2, 2022

Opponents of a new cross-state recreation trail along the old Rock Island Railroad corridor have the upper hand in the General Assembly after the state Senate Appropriations Committee on Monday cut the funds needed to develop it for use. The committee approved four spending bills for the coming year to pay for new construction, repair […]

Fractured Missouri Senate enters final two weeks of the legislative session

By: - May 2, 2022

For almost a half hour Thursday afternoon, the Missouri Capitol hallways echoed with the familiar tones and gently stated voice calling state senators to the floor: “The absence of a quorum has been noted.” Inside the chamber, Sen. Mike Moon, R-Ash Grove, waited. His top priority bill, to ban transgender youth from participating on sports […]