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.

$2M Missouri witness protection fund finds few takers in second year of operation

By: - June 3, 2022

In 2020, amid the worst wave of violent crime in almost 15 years, Missouri lawmakers set up a new witness protection program proponents said would break down barriers of silence that left perpetrators unpunished. But since its creation, the program has gone almost unused. Despite being authorized to spend $2 million annually, only $14,647 has […]

Missouri to spend more than $100M settling pay claims for corrections officers

By: - June 2, 2022

Missouri corrections officers would receive a back pay settlement and future payments worth more than $100 million under an agreement to end a long-running claim the Department of Corrections was underpaying officers.  Under the proposed settlement, the corrections department does not admit any wrongdoing but accepts that the payments are reasonable considering the likely result […]

Leading Republican candidates in Missouri U.S. Senate race skip Springfield debate

By: - May 31, 2022

SPRINGFIELD – At the end of Tuesday night’s Republican Senate debate, which was skipped by the three candidates leading in the polls, U.S. Rep. Billy Long asked the audience of Greene County Republicans to remember who was absent when they vote. Long, state Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz and St. Louis attorney Mark McCloskey […]

Drawn out of district, Democrat drops out of suburban St. Louis congressional race

By: - May 27, 2022

Democrat Ben Samuels on Friday became the second Missouri congressional candidate in a strong position for their party’s nomination to abandon a campaign because of newly drawn district maps. Samuels, the leading fundraiser in the 2nd District Democratic primary, announced he was quitting the race because his home is now within the 1st District. “After […]

Missouri Supreme Court weighs impact of merit system changes on labor contracts

By: - May 25, 2022

Three state employee labor unions hoping to preserve the merit system for their members told the Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday that a law passed in 2018 doesn’t alter existing contracts. Under the law, most state employees lost protections that included grievance procedures to protest disciplinary actions and a requirement that the state have a […]

Phone records blast holes in Eric Greitens’ conspiracy claims, attorney says

By: - May 24, 2022

Phone records show Sheena Greitens didn’t talk to Karl Rove, Mitch McConnell “or any person working for these men” in the weeks before she made explosive allegations of child and spousal abuse against Eric Greitens, her attorney said Tuesday. Sheena Greitens’ call logs and text messages for the period Feb. 1 through March 22 were […]

Opioid death of son inspires first agenda item for Democratic Senate candidate

By: - May 23, 2022

Matt Valentine was 499 days sober in a court-supervised diversion program when painkillers taken for a broken nose triggered a long-term addiction. He died of an overdose in August 2020. When beer heiress Trudy Busch Valentine announced her campaign for U.S. Senate, she pointed to her son’s 2020 overdose death as a key motivation for […]

New maps make residency an issue in Missouri’s 4th Congressional District

By: - May 20, 2022

If Missouri’s primary election were held today, three candidates in the 4th Congressional District Republican contest would not be able to vote for themselves. The new district lines that took effect Wednesday already led state Rep. Sara Walsh of Ashland to quit the campaign she started last year because her home and legislative constituency will […]

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signs new congressional redistricting plan

By: - May 18, 2022

Gov. Mike Parson signed the bill revising the boundaries of Missouri’s eight congressional districts Wednesday afternoon, officially ending the most contentious legislative battle of the year. The revised districts have already led to one candidate, state Rep. Sara Walsh of Ashland, withdrawing from her campaign for the open 4th District seat. Walsh on Monday lamented […]

Attorney General Eric Schmitt preparing new round of school mask lawsuits

By: - May 18, 2022

Attorney General Eric Schmitt is preparing for a new round of lawsuits challenging school mask rules if districts reinstate orders in the face of an uptick in COVID-19 cases. During a hearing Tuesday in Boone County Circuit Court, assistant attorney general James Atkins said the new cases would involve districts that have policies triggered by […]

Missouri Senate president accuses AG of turning ‘blind eye’ to illegal gambling

By: - May 17, 2022

Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz used his exit from the legislature to blast Attorney General Eric Schmitt, arguing he failed to stop the proliferation of illegal gambling machines and cost public schools millions in revenue. Schatz, who is opposing Schmitt in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, was stymied by a filibuster in […]

Sara Walsh cites loss of voters in new map as she exits race in Missouri’s 4th District

By: - May 16, 2022

State Rep. Sara Walsh withdrew Monday from the 4th Congressional District’s crowded Republican primary, citing the loss of her constituency in the new district maps. Walsh, who lives in Ashland in southern Boone County, entered the race in July after U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler jumped into the GOP primary for the U.S. Senate. A lawmaker […]