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.

The Missouri House floor for the 2019 State of the State address.

Missouri House committee votes to forgive federal unemployment debts

By: - February 17, 2021

Thousands of Missourians facing repayment of mistakenly paid unemployment benefits would get some relief under legislation passed with a bipartisan vote Wednesday in a Missouri House committee. The bill, which will likely be debated on the House floor next week, would forgive debts due to overpayments from federal coronavirus relief programs but would not stop […]

COVID spread slows in Missouri, new cases now half national rate

By: - February 15, 2021

The spread of COVID-19 in Missouri has been slower than in the nation as a whole for more than 11 weeks, and this month so far the increase in cases has been half the national average. The number of new cases reported by the Department of Health and Senior Services has exceeded 1,000 on only […]

Missouri House tucks lawmakers cast out of caucuses into tiny offices

By: - February 12, 2021

For most Missouri lawmakers, a fourth-floor office is about the best perch in the Capitol Building, absent a stint in the much larger offices of the legislative leadership. On the north side of the building there’s a panoramic view, with the Missouri River in the foreground framed against limestone bluffs a mile across the floodplain. […]

Missouri lawmakers eye federal funds to cover cost of mistakenly paid unemployment

By: - February 11, 2021

A legislative committee may have found a way to relieve all the debt of Missourians who were mistakenly paid too much from federal and state unemployment programs after COVID-19 crashed the economy. The best part for lawmakers? They might be able to use federal funds, instead of general revenue, to cover the cost to the […]

Indicted lawmaker claims University of Missouri faculty post in Florida filing

By: - February 10, 2021

A state representative under federal indictment for medical fraud falsely claimed she had a faculty appointment at the University of Missouri when she applied for a medical license in Florida. State Rep. Tricia Derges, R-Nixa, facing 20 federal felony charges under an indictment unsealed on Feb. 1, has been licensed in Missouri as an assistant […]

Senate resolution condemns 1852 Missouri Supreme Court decision in Dred Scott case

By: - February 9, 2021

For two brief periods of his life, Dred Scott was a free man. The first period of freedom began with the decision of a St. Louis jury in January 1850 and continued until March 1852. During that time, Scott and his wife, Harriet, were emancipated because Missouri law recognized they were freed when their owners […]

Missouri House GOP boots indicted lawmaker out caucus, though she says she won’t resign

By: - February 8, 2021

The House Republican Caucus voted Monday to eject a freshman lawmaker indicted Feb. 1 on 20 federal charges of medical fraud and improperly prescribing narcotics and amphetamines. The caucus wants state Rep. Tricia Derges, R-Nixa, to resign her seat, the House GOP leadership said in a joint statement from Speaker Rob Vescovo, R-Arnold, Speaker Pro […]

American Airlines to furlough nearly 1,200 St. Louis employees

By: - February 8, 2021

American Airlines will furlough more than 1,100 employees who work in St. Louis as part of cutbacks nationally that will reduce the airline’s workforce by more than 13,000. Citing the continued issues surrounding COVID-19 and its impact on travel, the company said it would reduce its workforce at St. Louis Lambert International Airport by 1,173, […]

Missouri Gaming Commission spent $400K on licensing report. It won’t make it public

By: - February 8, 2021

The Missouri Gaming Commission is citing attorney-client privilege for refusing to release a report on how it conducts licensing investigations. The report, prepared by a Kansas City law firm at a cost of almost $400,000, was received by the five-member commission during a closed session Jan. 27. When The Independent filed a Sunshine Law request […]

Missouri Gov. Parson remains adamant on unemployment repayments

By: - February 5, 2021

Gov. Mike Parson on Thursday showed no indication he was changing his mind about forgiving any part of the approximately $150 million in unemployment benefits paid erroneously by the state in 2020. In a news conference, Parson said it may take several years for those who received the money to repay it, but that it […]

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

Competition increasing for KC-area seat on University of Missouri curators

By: - February 5, 2021

The field of candidates vying for a seat on the University of Missouri Board of Curators currently held by a former Kansas City-area lawmaker is growing. Lisa Weixelman, an attorney with Polsinelli law firm, is the latest addition to the list of people angling for Gov. Mike Parson’s appointment to the nine-member board. In an […]

Missouri House Speaker calls on indicted lawmaker to resign

By: - February 3, 2021

A southwest Missouri lawmaker indicted on charges of medical fraud and improperly prescribing narcotics should resign her seat, House Speaker Rob Vescovo said in a statement issued Wednesday afternoon. Vescovo, R-Arnold, stripped state Rep. Tricia Derges, R-Nixa, of her committee assignments on Monday afternoon, just a few hours after she was named in a 20-count […]