Tessa Weinberg

Tessa Weinberg

Tessa Weinberg covered education, health care and the legislature with the Missouri Independent. She previously covered the Missouri statehouse for The Kansas City Star and The Columbia Missourian, where her reporting into social media use by the governor prompted an investigation by the Attorney General’s office. She also covered state government in Texas for The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Two yellow school buses are show in bright sunshine outside a two-story brick school building in Columbia, Missouri.

Few Missouri school districts used a COVID testing program. Vendor was paid over $16 million

By: - October 21, 2022

A Boston biotech company was paid over $16 million in Missouri for its work operating a little-used COVID testing program that only 25 school districts opted into. Ginkgo Bioworks was originally contracted by the state last year to operate a screening COVID testing program backed by nearly $185 million in federal funds. The program had […]

‘Attempted intimidation’: Missouri AG sent five requests for MSU emails, records

By: - October 19, 2022

Jon Turner isn’t shy about sharing his opinion. An associate professor at Missouri State University in Springfield, Turner’s personal social media is typically filled with articles he shares about education or about his research focus of four-day school weeks. But occasionally Turner dips into politics, especially after Attorney General Eric Schmitt began suing, subpoenaing and […]

‘Invading academic freedom:’ Missouri AG’s probe for university emails raises concerns

By: - October 11, 2022

A push by the attorney general’s office for the emails of professors and staff at the University of Missouri has academic freedom advocates concerned the office is being weaponized to stifle free speech and deter researchers’ work. In June, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s office sent two records requests to the university. The first sought […]

Planned Parenthood launching mobile abortion clinic in Illinois to boost access in Missouri

By: - October 3, 2022

In an effort to fortify access to abortion throughout the Midwest and in Missouri, where the procedure is almost entirely banned, Planned Parenthood is launching a mobile clinic across the state line in southern Illinois.  The mobile clinic will be part of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, and will provide […]

Trial on Missouri’s restricted Medicaid payments to Planned Parenthood pushed back

By: - September 27, 2022

A trial on the state’s restricted Medicaid payments to Planned Parenthood will be delayed until December, after the reproductive health care provider was given permission Tuesday to drop five counts in its lawsuit against the Missouri Department of Social Services. Cole County Circuit Court Judge Jon Beetem Tuesday granted Planned Parenthood’s motion to amend its […]

August calls from Missouri to new 988 crisis hotline up 34% from last year

By: - September 23, 2022

A revamped national hotline that aims to aid people in a mental health crisis saw a 34% increase in calls from Missouri in August from a year prior. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline transitioned nationwide July 16 to the new three-digit 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, which aims to assist callers in moments of crisis […]

Missouri AG’s lawsuit against St. Louis abortion access fund sent back to state court

By: - September 19, 2022

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s lawsuit against St. Louis’ use of federal funds to support abortion access will be sent back to the state courts to decide — a move both Schmitt and national abortion-rights groups had hoped for. On Monday, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri Judge Audrey Fleissig sent the […]

Missouri Capitol

Hospitals in ‘crisis’ as staff shortages persist at Missouri mental health facilities

By: - September 15, 2022

Hospitals across Missouri are facing a “crisis” caring for patients in acute care settings who can’t find long-term care through the Department of Mental Health due to the agency’s chronic shortage of workers. Patty Morrow, vice president of behavioral health services for Mercy Health, testified during a legislative hearing Wednesday that “the problem is pervasive […]

Missouri officials say Medicaid applications are now processed within federal deadline

By: - September 14, 2022

Missouri officials said Wednesday Medicaid applications are now being processed within the federally-mandated timeline of 45 days, a step towards bringing the state into compliance with a mitigation plan to address a backlog of applications. Robert Knodell, the acting director of the Department of Social Services, broke the news to lawmakers Wednesday during a hearing […]

COVID Testing

Counties can’t intervene in case that struck COVID regulations, appeals court rules

By: - September 13, 2022

Five counties and health centers will not be permitted to intervene and appeal a ruling that struck down state regulations on the control of infectious diseases, a panel of judges on the Missouri Western District Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday. A three-judge panel affirmed a lower court’s ruling that St. Louis County, Jackson County, the […]

Appeals court leaves marijuana on Missouri ballot. Supreme Court refuses to take case

By: - September 12, 2022

An initiative petition to legalize recreational marijuana in Missouri will remain on the ballot after a panel of judges on the Missouri Western District Court of Appeals affirmed that the steps Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft took to certify the petition were proper. A three-judge panel heard arguments Monday afternoon in Kansas City and ruled […]

Judge dismisses lawsuit that sought to block Missouri marijuana legalization from ballot

By: - September 9, 2022

A Cole County Circuit Court Judge Friday dismissed a lawsuit that sought to block an initiative petition to legalize recreational marijuana from appearing on the November ballot. A day after a three-hour hearing, Cole County Judge Cotton Walker determined Joy Sweeney, an anti-drug legalization activist who filed the lawsuit, lacked standing to sue because she […]