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.

Columbia hospitals launch color-coded system to warn of COVID stress to services

By: - November 11, 2020

The state Department of Health and Senior Services reported the fourth day of more than 4,000 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday as the coronavirus continued to infect more Missourians faster than it has at any time of the pandemic. Hospitalizations continue to increase rapidly, up more than 31 percent statewide this month and creating stress […]

Missouri lawmakers likely to consider COVID liability protection in special session

By: - November 10, 2020

JEFFERSON CITY—The special legislative session called to provide new spending authority for federal COVID-19 relief funds will likely be extended to include a bill providing liability protections for businesses and schools, House Speaker Elijah Haahr said Tuesday. In a brief interview after the Missouri House passed a $1.3 billion spending bill on a 133-4 vote, […]

Missouri adds more than 4,000 new COVID cases for only third time

By: - November 10, 2020

Missouri reported its second highest daily total for COVID-19 cases Tuesday, with 4,256 new infections, just an hour before the state health director began a report to lawmakers on the status of the virus’ spread in the state. The Department of Health and Senior Services also found 138 previously unreported COVID-19 deaths in reviews of […]

Missouri House budget committee approves $1.3 billion COVID spending bill

By: - November 10, 2020

Missouri intends to spend every federal coronavirus relief dollar it can by the Dec. 30 deadline, and is using previously received funds to obtain more, state Budget Director Dan Haug told lawmakers Monday. Haug spent most of the first three hours of a hearing of the House Budget Committee explaining the individual items Gov. Mike […]

St. Louis County mulls new COVID-19 restrictions as cases set new peaks

By: - November 9, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic continued to rage out of control in Missouri over the weekend as the St. Louis metro area considers new coronavirus restrictions and lawmakers travel to Jefferson City to vote on a $1.3 billion package of relief aid. St. Louis County Executive Sam Page, at a news conference Monday morning, urged everyone in […]

COVID precautions ordered for northwest Missouri hunting site

By: - November 6, 2020

Hunters stalking ducks and geese in northwest Missouri’s Holt County will have their spots at the Nodaway Valley Conservation Area selected through an online system to reduce spread of COVID-19. The 3,900-acre conservation area was placed on COVID Red Level by the Department of Conservation after consulting with health officials in the county of 4,400 […]

‘Steep part of the curve’: Missouri faces growing COVID cases, hospitalizations

By: - November 6, 2020

JEFFERSON CITY — The main source of COVID-19 spread in Missouri, state Health Director Randall Williams said Thursday, are the places people feel safest. During Gov. Mike Parson’s weekly briefing, Williams warned that winter weather driving people indoors will require additional precautions to bring the disease under control. “We believe that people are contracting it […]

Missouri governor open to adding COVID liability to legislative special session agenda

By: - November 5, 2020

JEFFERSON CITY— Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said he would consider adding COVID-19 liability protection to a special session if legislation that can be passed quickly is brought to him. The General Assembly began the second special session of the year on Wednesday with House introduction of Parson’s $1.3 billion plan for using remaining federal coronavirus […]

Missouri reports new daily peak in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations

By: - November 5, 2020

Missouri reported a new daily high for COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations Thursday as the spreading infection created staffing shortages that are straining school districts around the state and forcing some to shift to online education. The 3,553 new cases reported Thursday is almost 500 more than the previous daily high, set Oct. 29, and is […]

Missouri lawmakers return with $1.3 billion COVID package on agenda

By: - November 5, 2020

The Missouri General Assembly is being asked to prepare for the possible return of unspent CARES Act funds held by counties and add almost $19 million to money available to prevent homelessness in the special session that begins today. Gov. Mike Parson is also asking lawmakers to put $1 million in general revenue and $1 […]

BJC cuts back on elective procedures as Missouri COVID-19 hospitalizations surge

By: - November 4, 2020

The surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations is forcing one of Missouri’s largest health care providers to cut back on elective procedures to preserve bed space. St. Louis-based BJC HealthCare, in a statement issued Tuesday, said it would delay elective procedures that require inpatient or overnight stays at four hospitals. The St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force […]

Voters repeal Clean Missouri redistricting plan they enacted in 2018

By: - November 4, 2020

Missouri voters on Tuesday repealed a constitutional amendment they enacted in 2018 that would have required legislative districts be drawn to ensure partisan fairness. They replaced it with one that critics contend could forgo the use of total population to draw districts and instead exclude all non-voters, specifically children and non-citizens — tilting the political […]