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.

Lawmakers say next step is up to Parson for Missouri Medicaid expansion

By: and - May 7, 2021

The General Assembly made swift work of $35.7 billion in appropriations Friday, passing 15 bills to fund state government operations and capital needs while leaving one big question, worth about $2 billion more, unanswered. The operating budget increases state support for school transportation to its highest level in years, provides a modest boost to higher […]

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

Parson withdraws nominee to replace Steelman on the University of Missouri curators

By: - May 7, 2021

David Steelman of Rolla will remain a member of the University of Missouri Board of Curators until at least the end of this year’s legislative session. On Thursday, Gov. Mike Parson withdrew the nomination of Keith Holloway of Cape Girardeau to the 8th Congressional District seat on the nine-member board. Holloway, who was nominated March […]

Exterior Missouri State Capitol building

Abortion amendment imperils bill crucial to Missouri Medicaid finances

By: - May 7, 2021

Over the past 30 years, as Missouri legislative majorities shifted from Democratic to Republican and party control of the executive changed five times, one piece of recurring legislation has retained strong bipartisan support. On 16 occasions, lawmakers have renewed a set of taxes on medical providers essential to funding the Medicaid program. Usually, the votes […]

Missouri lawmakers agree on more money for hospitals, higher education

By: - May 5, 2021

Hospitals, higher education and people who owe the state money from mistakenly paid unemployment benefits were the winners Wednesday in state budget negotiations. There’s also extra money to help defendants in limbo because they are on public defender waiting lists and federal COVID-19 relief funds from the American Rescue Plan to help homeowners and renters […]

Opponents scuttle effort to add benefit limits to Missouri unemployment debt bill

By: - May 4, 2021

A bill to forgive mistakenly paid unemployment benefits from 2020 will include a waiver for debts to the state but won’t include provisions limiting the duration of benefits, the sponsor, Sen. Mike Bernskoetter, said Tuesday. Bernskoetter, R-Jefferson City, triggered a Democratic rebellion Monday over the bill that previously had bipartisan support when he tried to […]

Missouri hospitals lobby for changes to new Medicaid payment system

By: - May 3, 2021

Missouri lawmakers must finish work on the fiscal 2022 budget by Friday.  And while the biggest spending issue of the session, Medicaid expansion, is off the table, there are other big issues to resolve in the state-run health care program. One of the largest is whether to provide a cushion for hospitals that will lose […]

Missouri Gaming Commission chooses former judge as new chief

By: - April 29, 2021

Peggy Richardson, a former circuit judge from Central Missouri, will be the new executive director of the Missouri Gaming Commission, a news release issued Thursday stated. Richardson, who was on the bench for 22 years, takes over an agency facing several challenges and will bring a fresh perspective from outside, Chairman Mike Leara said in […]

Missouri Senate rejects funding for voter-approved Medicaid expansion

By: - April 29, 2021

The Missouri Senate voted against funding Medicaid expansion Wednesday night, after a debate that will not be the final word on whether 275,000 Missourians become eligible for coverage on July 1.  By a 14-20 vote, with four Republicans breaking ranks with the rest of their party, the Senate rejected an amendment to the Department of […]

Defeat of gambling bill likely dooms legislative push against ‘gray market’ machines

By: - April 28, 2021

The Missouri Senate late Tuesday defeated a three-pronged effort to expand gambling in Missouri while suppressing unregulated devices that offer cash prizes to players. The vote that defeated the bill may have been the last chance this legislative session to address the proliferation of devices that some prosecutors have attacked as illegal and that others […]

Democrats vow court battle if lawmakers don’t fund Missouri Medicaid expansion

By: - April 28, 2021

With the Missouri Senate poised for what promises to be a lengthy debate over Medicaid expansion, legislative Democrats said Tuesday that the fight over funding will move to the courts if lawmakers don’t approve money for the new coverage. During a rally on the Capitol Building lawn, Senate Democrats promised to push for adding the […]

Missouri colleges gain most in House construction spending proposal

By: - April 26, 2021

Lawmakers are starting to fulfill the wish lists for new construction and repair funding by tapping money from the extra federal share of Medicaid the state is receiving due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For the University of Missouri, there’s $15 million for a new veterinary medicine diagnostic laboratory on the Columbia campus. For Truman State […]

The University of Missouri-Columbia's iconic columns, remains of the school's first building, stand in front of Jesse Hall, which houses administrative offices. (University of Missouri photo)

University of Missouri to close center studying state economy, taxes

By: - April 26, 2021

A little over a year ago, when the University of Missouri needed to show the value of a new research center under construction in Columbia, administrators tapped an in-house research center that’s been analyzing the state’s economy since the early 1970s. The Economic and Policy Analysis Research Center’s report estimated that the $221 million NextGen […]