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.

Commission wants to speed payouts for Missouri low-income housing tax credits

By: - July 16, 2021

Significant changes are being considered for Missouri’s low income housing tax credits, one of the state’s most expensive and controversial incentive programs, that proponents claim would make it more efficient and provide more housing at the same cost. The Missouri Housing Development Commission on Thursday unanimously approved the draft plan for tax credits that will […]

Missouri House Democrats continue fight over Medicaid expansion brief

By: - July 15, 2021

Missouri House Democrats are questioning the cost and authority for a friend-of-the-court brief filed on behalf of the full House in the Medicaid expansion appeal heard this week by the Missouri Supreme Court. In a letter sent Wednesday to House Speaker Rob Vescovo, Minority Floor Leader Crystal Quade of Springfield and Assistant Minority Floor Leader […]

As COVID causes hospitals to fill, Springfield asks Missouri for temporary care site

By: and - July 14, 2021

Facing a looming shortage of beds caused by rapidly rising COVID-19 cases, healthcare providers in Springfield are asking the state to set up temporary hospital beds so existing hospital space can be dedicated to caring for the most severely ill. The alternate care site would treat patients stable enough to be removed from local hospitals, […]

Fate of Missouri Medicaid expansion in the hands of the state Supreme Court

By: - July 13, 2021

After an eight-year fight over Medicaid expansion, the arguments are over.  The question of whether 275,000 people will receive state-paid health care coverage is in the hands of the Missouri Supreme Court. Oral arguments took place Tuesday in an expedited appeal. The seven judges must decide whether Medicaid eligibility will expand, as directed by the constitutional […]

Linn County roiled by prosecutor’s charge of racism, sexism in Marceline police

By: - July 13, 2021

When Linn County Prosecuting Attorney Shiante McMahon saw a photo of one of her campaign shirts defaced with obscene, racist and sexist writing — and learned it had been on display in the headquarters of the Marceline Police Department — she decided a complaint with the city wouldn’t do any good. So she posted the […]

Missouri health officials predict weeks of rising COVID cases due to Delta variant

By: - July 9, 2021

The Delta variant of COVID-19 is causing a surge in infection in Missouri’s large urban areas, and the state can expect at least “a few more weeks” of rising case numbers before an improvement, the state’s epidemiologist said Friday morning.  Speaking to reporters in an online briefing just hours after the state reported its highest […]

Missouri Supreme Court to decide if remote testimony protects constitutional rights

By: - July 9, 2021

One of the most cherished rights guaranteed to Americans is the right to look accusers in the eye and make them give evidence in public. In the Sixth Amendment, it is stated as a criminal defendant’s right “to be confronted with the witnesses against him.” In the Missouri Constitution, it is the right “to meet […]

Sara Walsh joins growing field in Missouri’s 4th Congressional District

By: - July 7, 2021

A crowded Republican primary is emerging in Missouri’s 4th Congressional District, a solidly GOP seat that is also the only one of the state’s eight districts certain to have a new lawmaker at the end of 2022. State Rep. Sara Walsh, R-Ashland, on Wednesday became the latest candidate to enter the race to replace U.S. […]

Bob Griffin, longest-serving Missouri House speaker, has died at age 85

By: - July 7, 2021

Bob F. Griffin, who served as speaker of the Missouri House for 15 years until he was forced to resign in the face of a federal criminal investigation, died Wednesday in Columbia. He was 85. Griffin was the longest-serving speaker in the state’s history. During his tenure as speaker from 1981 to 1996, the General Assembly […]

COVID-19 Testing

Delta variant spread means Missouri COVID cases may ‘double or triple’ in July

By: - July 2, 2021

During June, as the Delta variant of COVID-19 took hold in Missouri, the seven-day average of new cases doubled. And now that the easily spread mutation has reached every corner of the state, July will be a repeat of June, or worse, according to the University of Missouri professor monitoring wastewater for the coronavirus. “Pretty […]

Medicaid expansion rally

‘Who do they work for’: On day Medicaid expansion would have started, Missourians protest

By: and - July 1, 2021

Protesters had a special delivery for Gov. Mike Parson on Thursday, but they couldn’t reach him. On the day more than 275,000 Missourians would have been eligible to enroll in Medicaid if the voter-approved expansion had gone into effect, a dozen clergy members stood in the entrance to the Missouri Department of Transportation offices with […]

Despite massive surplus, Gov. Parson vetoes $115 million from Missouri budget

By: - June 30, 2021

Missouri will enter the new budget year with a record budget surplus and no restrictions on appropriations. The $35.6 billion budget includes rate increases for some Medicaid providers, higher funding for colleges and universities and new mental health crisis centers. A few hours after lawmakers passed an extension of provider taxes vital to funding Medicaid, […]