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.

COVID visitor restrictions curbed under new Missouri laws ensuring access to patients

By: - June 30, 2022

Borne out of frustrations over healthcare facilities’ visitor restrictions during the pandemic, a pair of bills signed by Gov. Mike Parson Thursday will give patients’ caregivers and family clearer means to access their loved ones. Dubbed the “No Patient Left Alone Act” and “Compassionate Care Visitation Act,” the bills establish rules by which patients’ caregivers […]

Missouri AG says state abortion ban does not prohibit Plan B or contraception

By: and - June 29, 2022

After at least one hospital system in Missouri stopped providing emergency contraception because of ambiguity in the state’s abortion ban, Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s office clarified Wednesday that contraception is not prohibited under state law. “Missouri law does not prohibit the use or provision of Plan B, or contraception,” said Chris Nuelle, a spokesman for […]

Missouri charter schools will receive millions in state funds with governor’s signature

By: - June 29, 2022

Gov. Mike Parson has signed into law a bill to infuse over $60 million in state funding into charter schools. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Doug Richey, R-Excelsior Springs, aims to close a discrepancy in funding allocated to charter schools versus traditional public schools that was the result of outdated property values. The law will […]

Missouri AG, Georgia nonprofit communicated for months before school subpoenas

By: - June 27, 2022

In 2018, a rash of students were dying by suicide in southwest Missouri. The Neosho School District wasn’t immune. “We were averaging about a suicide-and-a-half a year,” said Jim Cummins, the district superintendent. “And we knew that that couldn’t continue.” The district of roughly 4,600 students launched “a full frontal assault” to address the issue, […]

Abortion is illegal in Missouri. Providers look to next frontier to ensure access

By: - June 25, 2022

Angela Huntington’s phone was constantly ringing off of the hook. When Texas’ fetal heartbeat ban on abortions went into effect last September, the number of patients calling Planned Parenthood Great Plains jumped overnight. In August, about 150 patients received financial assistance and help. In September, that increased to roughly 850. “I remember my inbox would […]

Abortion is now illegal in Missouri in wake of U.S. Supreme Court ruling

By: - June 24, 2022

ST. LOUIS – Shaking her head in disbelief while sitting at Missouri’s last remaining abortion clinic, U.S. Rep. Cori Bush threaded her fingers together and bowed her head as the constitutional right to abortion unraveled. “Oh my gosh,” Bush said Friday morning, her voice breaking as she was wrapped in a hug. “Oh my gosh. […]

Missouri Capitol

Bill gives Missouri House, Senate leaders authority over when legislature intervenes in court

By: - June 20, 2022

A bill awaiting action by Gov. Mike Parson would muzzle Democratic minorities by giving legislative leaders sole authority to intervene on behalf of the House or Senate in court cases. During last year’s court battle over implementing Medicaid expansion, GOP House leadership filed an amicus, or friend of the court, brief on behalf of the […]

Lawsuit threat forces open teacher retention commission meeting

By: - June 16, 2022

Under the threat of a lawsuit, the state education department late Thursday reversed plans to close the doors on the first meeting of a commission appointed to study teacher recruitment and retention. The initial closing raised concerns from some lawmakers who serve on the commission and the Missouri National Education Association, worried the plan to […]

Missouri Senate

Missouri Right to Life backs primary challengers to some incumbent GOP state senators

By: - June 13, 2022

Missouri’s largest and most influential anti-abortion organization is backing primary challengers to several incumbent GOP state senators, citing votes against stripping funding from Planned Parenthood through state law. In letters sent last week to candidates, the Missouri Right to Life Political Action Committee informed some they were selected “as the only candidate in your race […]

Missouri attorney general subpoenas school districts over student surveys

By: - June 8, 2022

Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced Wednesday that he’s issued subpoenas to seven school districts across the state as part of his ongoing investigation into school districts’ curriculum and practices. Schmitt, who is running in the GOP primary for U.S. Senate, said in a news release that the subpoenas target student surveys that his office characterized […]

Missouri governor signs law shielding doctors prescribing ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine

By: - June 7, 2022

A bill signed into law by Gov. Mike Parson Tuesday will shield healthcare providers from losing their medical licenses when prescribing ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine, two medications that have not been shown to be effective in treating COVID-19. The language was included in a bill dealing with professional licensing regulations, and it was not highlighted in […]

Shannon County vaccination clinic sign

Study finds 8,500 COVID deaths may have been prevented if more Missourians were vaccinated

By: - June 2, 2022

If all of Missouri’s adults were vaccinated against COVID-19, more than half of the over 14,000 deaths attributed to the virus since January 2021 may have been prevented, a new analysis concluded. The analysis, performed by researchers at the Brown School of Public Health, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health […]