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 judge to rule in January on legality of electronic raffle games

By: - December 16, 2021

A protracted court battle over what is and is not an illegal gambling machine will be decided in early January, just a few days before a Florida company will go on trial for putting its devices in a Linn County Eagles lodge. Associate Circuit Judge Tracey Mason-White will rule on whether Tritium International Consultants, which […]

Missouri revenue to hit record $11.4B in coming year, estimate from Gov. Parson shows

By: - December 14, 2021

Missouri revenue collections will record another $1 billion surplus this year and a growing economy will produce record receipts in the coming year, data released Tuesday by Gov. Mike Parson’s office shows. Parson and legislative budget leaders released estimates for revenue in the year that begins July 1, 2022, showing revenues are expected to total […]

Bipartisan commission moving toward plan for new Missouri House districts

By: - December 14, 2021

A bipartisan commission drawing a map for 163 Missouri House districts that will be used in the coming decade is “more than 50 percent” in agreement, members said Monday as they worked toward a Dec. 23 deadline. The 20-member House Independent Bipartisan Citizens Commission met for more than three hours Monday, but most of that […]

New redistricting rules reduce county splits in Missouri House map

By: - December 14, 2021

In Randolph County in central Missouri, there are places where a person can take two steps and move through three state House districts. The county, with 24,716 people, doesn’t have enough population for a single House district, yet after the 2010 census, it was split among four.  The same is true for Miller County, with […]

Social Services department, local agencies at odds over use of Missouri crime victims’ funding

By: - December 13, 2021

While lawmakers are considering whether to approve big building projects for college campuses and awaiting more of Gov. Mike Parson’s plans for using an unprecedented budget surplus, a fight is brewing over a smaller pot of funds used to combat domestic violence and child abuse. Each year, the Department of Social Services distributes grants from […]

classic columns from side in summer framed by green; jesse dome view from cornell

University of Missouri suspends vaccine rule after Biden order blocked by federal court

By: - December 8, 2021

The University of Missouri stopped enforcing a federal coronavirus vaccine rule Tuesday after a federal judge in Georgia blocked President Joe Biden’s executive order imposing the requirement on federal contractors. In a message sent to employees on all four UM System campuses, President Mun Choi and campus chancellors wrote that the mandate is suspended while […]

Missouri Gov. Parson proposes $15 minimum pay for state employees

By: - December 6, 2021

Gov. Mike Parson wants to tap Missouri’s enormous budget surplus to provide immediate raises to state employees and enact a new $15 an hour minimum pay for all state jobs. In a news release issued Monday, Parson said he will ask lawmakers to speed a supplemental budget bill to his desk to provide a 5.5 […]

COVID-19 Testing

First COVID case of the omicron variant found in Missouri

By: and - December 3, 2021

The omicron variant of COVID-19 has made its way to Missouri, with the first case announced Friday. In a news release, the Department of Health and Senior Services said it was notified by public health partners of a presumed positive case for the variant that came from a St. Louis resident who had recently traveled […]

Missouri health department found mask mandates work, but didn’t make findings public

By: , and - December 1, 2021

Mask mandates saved lives and prevented COVID-19 infections in Missouri’s biggest cities during the worst part of the delta variant wave, an analysis by the state Department of Health and Senior Services shows. But the analysis, conducted at the request of Gov. Mike Parson’s office in early November, was never made public and was only […]

Delta variant cases spike again in November as health officials watch for arrival of new strain

By: and - November 30, 2021

A waning delta variant summer surge gave way to a spike of cases in November, as infections and hospitalizations rose amid concerns about a new variant spreading out of South Africa. The omicron variant hasn’t been detected in Missouri, but public health officials are watching. The first place it is likely to be detected is […]

Looming deadline leaves Missouri at risk of losing $2 billion in federal education funding

By: - November 24, 2021

Missouri has so much money, coming so fast, from federal COVID-19 relief bills that it is in danger of losing almost $2 billion dedicated to schools. As Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven last week sought support for projects to improve teacher retention, members of the legislature’s Federal Stimulus Spending Subcommittee wanted to know how a key […]

An image of a multistory building with a tall, glass entrance. It is a proposed industrial research complex at Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Gov. Mike Parson wants ‘big ideas’ for using Missouri budget surplus

By: - November 23, 2021

Gov. Mike Parson wants to do big things with the budget surplus of billions of dollars and federal aid coming to Missouri, state lawmakers were told last week. During a hearing of the Federal Stimulus Spending Subcommittee, higher education leaders offered their wish-list for projects the state couldn’t afford in the past. Southeast Missouri State […]