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.

Missouri House GOP pick new floor leader, speaker pro tem at post-election caucus

By: - November 9, 2022

Missouri House Republicans chose a Kansas City-area lawmaker as majority floor leader Wednesday and a southeast Missouri representative as the caucus nominee for speaker pro tem in a post-election meeting in the Capitol. State Rep. Jonathan Patterson of Lee’s Summit, who will be starting his third term in January, was chosen to serve as  majority […]

Democrats prevail in hotly contested Missouri legislative races

By: - November 9, 2022

This story has been corrected since it was first published.  Missouri House Democrats had their best election night in years Tuesday, adding three seats to increase their caucus to its highest total in a decade.  The party also successfully defended a St. Louis County state Senate seat that saw massive spending by Republicans. Democrats went […]

Eric Schmitt pays $75,000 for ad during Chiefs game to close out Missouri Senate race

By: - November 4, 2022

On Sunday evening, the Kansas City Chiefs will host the Tennessee Titans in a game essential to both teams’ hopes to enter the NFL playoffs with the best record in their conference. With Election Day approaching on Tuesday, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Eric Schmitt is targeting the enormous hometown audience expected to tune in with […]

Missouri ballot measures put state investments, National Guard before voters

By: - November 4, 2022

In the first four months of Missouri’s fiscal year, the state earned $42.8 million in interest for the general revenue fund, more than in the past two full years combined. The enormous increase is due to two factors — a record surplus in the fund and the rapid rise in interest rates. On Tuesday, voters […]

People hold up signs that read "Protect safe, legal abortion."

Missouri hospital the first confirmed federal investigation of denied emergency abortion

By: - November 2, 2022

President Joe Biden’s administration told hospitals in July they must provide emergency abortions when necessary even in states with strict bans in place.  And here in Missouri, a Joplin hospital is apparently the first in the nation to be investigated for possibly violating federal law by telling a woman experiencing an emergency that she needed […]

State says feds initiated investigation of Missouri hospital that denied emergency abortion

By: - October 31, 2022

The federal government, not state political leaders, initiated an investigation of the care Freeman Health Services in Joplin provided after a denying a woman an emergency abortion, a Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services spokeswoman said Monday. On Aug. 2, Mylissa Farmer came to the emergency room at Freeman Health after her water broke […]

Crystal Quade

Democrat alleges Missouri investigating hospital in retaliation for ad critical of Eric Schmitt

By: - October 28, 2022

Missouri House Democratic leader Crystal Quade on Friday demanded to know why a state agency is investigating a southwest Missouri hospital that treated a woman featured in an ad attacking Attorney General Eric Schmitt over state abortion laws. Investigators from the Department of Health and Senior Services visited Freeman Health System in Joplin this week, […]

Missouri Senate race spending slows after heated primary contests

By: - October 20, 2022

Outside groups poured money into Missouri in the weeks leading up to the Aug. 2 U.S. Senate primary, with political action committees spending nearly $20 million on television ads boosting or tearing down candidates.  Since then, they’ve all gone silent.  Fall ad spending in the Senate showdown between Republican Eric Schmitt and Democratic nominee Trudy […]

Jay Ashcroft can delay review for 2024 initiative petitions until after election, Missouri judge rules

By: - October 13, 2022

There is no way under Missouri law to save time on initiative petitions by submitting them early, Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem ruled Wednesday. In the decision, Beetem wrote he found “unpersuasive” the arguments of Jeff Basinger, a Columbia attorney, that the law requires Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft to conduct a required review […]

Missouri judge hears lawsuit challenging Biden student debt relief plan

By: - October 12, 2022

Whether student debtors will get the loan relief promised by President Joe Biden is now in the hands of a Missouri federal judge. For nearly two hours Wednesday, attorneys for the six states challenging the plan to forgive almost $500 billion in student debt argued with Department of Justice lawyers over which laws should govern […]

‘Winter is here’: Chess champion Kasparov warns that Ukraine war is a test for democracies

By: - October 7, 2022

FULTON – The invasion of Ukraine awakened free countries to the threat posed by Russia and Vladimir Putin, but whether they will sustain that resistance to dictators is an open question, former world chess champion Garry Kasparov said Friday during a speech at Westminster College. On the Missouri campus where Winston Churchill warned in 1946 […]

Missouri Supreme Court upholds law stripping state workers of merit system protections

By: - October 4, 2022

Most Missouri state employees are “at-will” workers not entitled to seniority protections or grievance rights when they are fired, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled Tuesday. In an opinion that overturned a Cole County Circuit Court decision, the high court declared that a 2018 law repealing the merit system for most state workers is constitutional. Three […]