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.

Appeals court hears arguments over ballot title for Missouri abortion amendment

By: - October 30, 2023

KANSAS CITY – Abortion rights initiatives proposed for the 2024 Missouri ballot would make it impossible for the state to protect women from unsanitary conditions at clinics, attorneys representing Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft argued to  a panel of judges on Monday. The restrictions on government regulation of abortions contained in the petitions would make […]

Missouri House Ethics Committee begins inquiry into personnel moves by Dean Plocher

By: - October 27, 2023

The Missouri House Ethics Committee met Friday for more than four hours on a personnel matter. Officially, the subject of the meeting is confidential. But sources confirmed that members discussed the issues surrounding embattled House Speaker Dean Plocher. When it was over, state Rep. Hannah Kelly, a Republican from Mountain Grove and chair of the […]

Springfield businessman Mike Hamra joins Democratic race for Missouri governor

By: - October 27, 2023

A political newcomer joined the Democratic race for Missouri governor on Thursday, bringing a big checkbook and a message that he can stop “partisan food fights” that plague state government. Mike Hamra Springfield, CEO of Hamra Enterprises, said in an interview with The Independent that he’s jumping into the race that already includes another Springfield […]

Brother of Julian Assange visits Missouri to push for release of Wikileaks founder

By: - October 24, 2023

COLUMBIA, Mo. — After fighting extradition to the United States for more than four years, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has one more chance to convince British judges that espionage charges against him are an unjust political prosecution. If extradited and convicted, the Australian who created a website to share leaked government documents could be sentenced […]

Hawley, Kunce draw heavily on donors outside Missouri to fuel U.S. Senate campaigns

By: - October 23, 2023

U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley and Democrat Lucas Kunce have something big in common – their campaigns are heavily dependent on money from outside Missouri. Hawley, a Republican incumbent seeking his second term, and Kunce, who narrowly lost the 2022 Democratic primary for Senate, are the best-funded candidates in the race according to campaign finance reports […]

Jay Ashcroft joins legal team defending his summary of Missouri abortion amendment

By: - October 19, 2023

There is a new member of the legal team defending the ballot language Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft wrote for proposed initiatives that would add abortion rights to the Missouri Constitution – Ashcroft himself. Ashcroft, who was an engineer by trade until earning his law degree in 2008, rarely appeared in court on behalf of […]

Kehoe leads fundraising for Missouri governor in latest campaign filings

By: - October 18, 2023

Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe and his backers are in the best financial position in the Republican race for Missouri governor, new reports show, while Democratic candidate Crystal Quade used the summer to build a bank balance for the fall 2024 race with the GOP winner. Kehoe raised more than $500,000 for his official campaign committee […]

Pair of lawsuits challenge whether Missouri counties can ‘stack’ tax on marijuana sales

By: - October 17, 2023

Marijuana prices rose in many parts of Missouri on Oct. 1 as new local taxes took effect. Lawsuits filed in Buchanan and St. Louis counties argue that some of those taxes are illegal. The constitutional amendment that legalized recreational cannabis  sales included a 6% statewide excise tax and authorized local governments to charge a sales […]

After lengthy delay, ruling likely soon on MoDOT authority over state road fund

By: - October 6, 2023

There is $60 million at stake on the meaning of two words in the Missouri Constitution.  On Thursday, a Cole County judge said he will provide the definition as soon as possible. The money, from the state road fund, would mean significant raises for thousands of employees in the Department of Transportation. The question Circuit […]

‘Critical infrastructure’: Missouri child care shortage called a crisis for employers

By: - October 5, 2023

To pass a package of tax credits designed to expand affordable child care will require getting by the “knuckleheads” in the state Senate, Missouri Chamber of Commerce President Dan Mehan said Wednesday. As he greeted the audience and panelists at a forum on the state’s child care needs in Columbia, Mehan blamed the defeat of […]

Casinos plan appeal of ruling in unregulated slot machine lawsuit

By: - October 4, 2023

An appeals court will be asked to take another look at whether a trade association for Missouri casinos can sue a company that puts video games offering cash prizes in convenience stores and other retailers across the state. The Missouri Gaming Association said in a news release Wednesday that it will appeal the decision that […]

Judge tosses Torch lawsuit seeking to block Missouri Highway Patrol gambling investigations

By: - October 2, 2023

A civil case that could have settled whether video games that offer cash prizes to players are illegal gambling devices won’t settle anything. At least not any time soon. On Monday, with a trial set to begin Tuesday morning, Cole County Circuit Judge Daniel Green dismissed the lawsuit seeking to stop the Missouri State Highway […]