Author

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.

Mike Parson speaks to the General Assembly

Missouri violated collective bargaining rights of prison guards, appeals court rules

By: - December 6, 2022

Gov. Mike Parson’s administration improperly tried to starve the labor union representing Missouri corrections officers by cutting it off from dues deducted from paychecks, the Western District Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday. In a unanimous opinion, the court ordered the state to resume dues deductions for the Missouri Corrections Officers Association, affirming on every point […]

Missouri Democrats re-elect party chair following online feud over leadership

By: - December 3, 2022

Missouri Democrats re-elected a party chairman for the first time in almost a decade Saturday after a nasty fight over the role the state party should play in promoting the election of Democratic candidates. Michael Butler, St. Louis Recorder of Deeds, defeated two challengers to retain the post he first won after the 2020 election. […]

Lawmaker wants to use Missouri surplus to widen I-70

By: - December 2, 2022

For decades, motorists crossing Missouri have cursed congestion on Interstate 70. And almost as long, the Missouri Department of Transportation has warned that the road, one of the first interstate highways to be built in the 1950s, needs major reconstruction. “The option to do nothing on I-70 is not there,” Kevin Keith, then-director of MODOT, […]

Former aide to Greitens plans bid for Missouri office in 2024

By: - November 30, 2022

Republican Will Scharf, a key player in Gov. Eric Greitens’ brief state administration, will be a candidate himself in 2024, he said Wednesday, but what office he is seeking is uncertain. Scharf issued a news release announcing he’d formed a committee to raise money for a statewide campaign. An attorney, Scharf has spent the past […]

Ashcroft criticizes Blunt support for Senate bill protecting same-sex marriage

By: - November 29, 2022

Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft said Tuesday he is “flabbergasted” retiring Republican U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt supports a bill adding federal legal protections to same-sex marriages. Ashcroft, a Republican considering a bid for governor in 2024, sent Blunt a letter Tuesday asking him to reverse his stance and work to block the Respect for Marriage […]

Missouri Capitol

Missouri state budget is bulging with $6 billion in surplus cash

By: - November 28, 2022

For the first time in its history, the only real limit on what Missouri can buy on a cash-and-carry basis is the imagination of the people spending the money. The state treasury is bulging with more than $6 billion in surplus cash, the result of 28 months of double-digit revenue growth and federal payments tied […]

‘Not a new or novel policy’: Judge rules Missouri town cannot ban woman seeking records

By: - November 16, 2022

An Edgar Springs woman won a partial victory Tuesday in her long-running dispute with her city when a judge ruled local officials violated her constitutional rights and the state’s Sunshine Law. The small Phelps County city must pay Rebecca Varney a fine of $600 plus her legal costs for “knowing and purposeful” violations of the […]

Opposition growing to Missouri Secretary of State rules on library materials for children

By: - November 16, 2022

When she was 13, Dakota Hommes felt scared and alone. She was having a crisis, didn’t feel she could talk to her parents about it and worried about her future. “At 13, I wasn’t sure that I would make it,” she said. Then, at a library, she found the novels “Parrot Fish” by Ellen Wittlinger […]

Missouri man awarded $441,000 after rocking chair collapses in state office

By: - November 15, 2022

A defective rocking chair will cost Missouri taxpayers $441,000, the Southern District Court of Appeals ruled Monday. In a case stemming from a 2015 accident at the Missouri Children’s Division office in Sikeston, the court ruled that Kenneth Gilmore, a grandfather injured when a rocking chair collapsed during a supervised visitation, must be compensated for […]

Ten rural Missouri hospitals closed since 2012. Scotland County hopes to avoid that fate

By: - November 15, 2022

MEMPHIS, Missouri – In March, Scotland County Hospital’s auditors delivered a stark warning. After five consecutive years of losses, only federal COVID-19 payments received over the previous year had kept the 25-bed hospital’s bank account solvent. In the fiscal years covered by the audit, accounting firm BKD reported, the hospital lost $7.9 million — $2.3 […]

Firings, corruption accusations create turmoil at struggling north Missouri hospital

By: - November 14, 2022

MEMPHIS, Missouri – Joni Lloyd was in her pajamas when the call came. Lori Fulk, chair of the Scotland County Hospital District Board of Directors, was calling. She asked Lloyd, the vice-chair, to come to her house to talk. When Lloyd arrived the evening of Aug. 15, she found Fulk was not alone. An emergency […]

Missouri Senate Republicans pick Rowden, O’Laughlin for leadership in 2023

By: - November 10, 2022

Republican state senators made history Thursday by selecting Sen. Cindy O’Laughlin as majority leader, making her the first woman from either party to hold the second most powerful job in the upper chamber. O’Laughlin, of Shelbina in northeast Missouri, defeated Sen. Mike Bernskoetter of Jefferson City in a vote held in a closed-door caucus. Current […]