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 Senate leader Dave Schatz mulls entry into 2022 U.S. Senate race

By: - April 1, 2021

The list of potential U.S. Senate candidates for the seat being vacated by Roy Blunt now includes Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz, who told The Independent he was “definitely considering” the race in an interview Wednesday. Schatz, a Franklin County Republican, said he is concerned about the possibility that disgraced former Gov. Eric Greitens […]

Senate committee approves Todd Graves nomination to University of Missouri curators

By: - March 31, 2021

Former Missouri Republican Party Chairman Todd Graves is one step closer to a seat on the University of Missouri Board of Curators following a Senate committee vote that saw bipartisan support and opposition to his appointment. One Democrat — Sen. Brian Williams of Ferguson —  joined six Republicans in the 7-4 vote in the Gubernatorial […]

UM curator worried he’d lose his seat if he didn’t ‘play ball’ with controversial lobbyist

By: - March 31, 2021

In late February, University of Missouri Curator David Steelman raised objections that one of the system’s lobbyists — former House Speaker Steve Tilley — was using his connections to the university to seek business for other clients. Steelman called the arrangement “an obvious conflict,” and openly worried that if he didn’t “play ball” he would […]

Missouri House Republicans reject efforts to fund Medicaid expansion

By: - March 30, 2021

The Republican majority in the Missouri House on Tuesday beat back every attempt by Democrats to restore funding for Medicaid expansion to the budget for the coming fiscal year. The House spent more than seven hours debating the 13 spending bills that comprise Missouri’s $32 billion spending plan for fiscal 2022 state operations. On voice […]

House to debate Missouri budget as surpluses grow to record levels

By: - March 30, 2021

Near the end of last week’s marathon House Budget Committee meeting, state Rep. Peter Merideth tried to add $3.6 million to the Office of Public Defender to clear its backlog of cases awaiting attorneys. He targeted two funds for the money — the cash operating expense fund, a reserve fund where lawmakers parked $173.7 million […]

Missouri sues over tax cut penalties in federal COVID-19 relief bill

By: - March 29, 2021

Missouri on Monday became the first state to challenge a punitive provision of the $1.9 billion federal COVID-19 relief bill signed early this month by President Joe Biden. In a lawsuit filed in federal court in St. Louis, Attorney General Eric Schmitt is asking the court to limit how states could lose promised budget aid […]

Todd Graves gets high-powered help lobbying for University of Missouri curator position

By: - March 26, 2021

A deep-pocket political donor from the Kansas City area squired Todd Graves around the Capitol this week, as the former state GOP chairman works to quell concerns about his bid for a seat on the University of Missouri Board of Curators. Michael Ketchmark, who along with his firm has donated more than $1 million to […]

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

Republican lawmakers vote down funding for Missouri Medicaid expansion

By: - March 25, 2021

A partisan battle over Medicaid expansion in the House Budget Committee ended Thursday with a vote against spending $1.9 billion to implement the medical program approved by voters in August. The arguments for and against a special spending bill that separated expansion costs from other Medicaid budget lines echoed the debates of past years – […]

Abortion amendment puts bill to finance Missouri Medicaid program in limbo

By: - March 24, 2021

Missouri Senate leadership pulled a bill vital for funding the state’s Medicaid program from floor debate Tuesday after adopting an amendment barring the use of public money for common contraceptive treatments. The amendment, sponsored by Republican Sen. Paul Wieland, could endanger the state’s entire Medicaid program by eliminating a health care service required by federal […]

Budget plan shows first Missouri savings from federal Medicaid changes

By: - March 22, 2021

The first examples of what Missouri taxpayers will save in the coming fiscal year as the federal government shoulders a bigger share of Medicaid costs were presented Monday to the House Budget Committee. One of the amendments prepared by Gov. Mike Parson’s administration for the committee recognizes $83 million in general revenue savings in the […]

Federal aid, Medicaid expansion top issues for Missouri House Budget Committee

By: - March 22, 2021

The House Budget Committee will submit its revisions to Gov. Mike Parson’s $34.1 billion state operating budget to the full House this week without the benefit of clear guidelines for spending new infusions of federal cash. The committee must also decide whether and how it will use a record general revenue surplus. The fund’s cash […]

Convenience store owner pleads guilty in Missouri illegal gambling case

By: - March 19, 2021

A northwest Missouri county is free of video games that offer cash prizes to players following the successful prosecution of a convenience store owner. Mohammad Saqib, owner of The Junction in Andrew County, pleaded guilty Tuesday to possession of a gambling device, a Class A misdemeanor. Saqib received a suspended imposition of sentence and was […]