Tessa Weinberg

Tessa Weinberg

Tessa Weinberg covers education, health care and the legislature. 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 most recently covered state government in Texas for The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Former state health department official hired to oversee creation of Missouri’s PDMP

By: - April 5, 2022

A Missouri task force assigned with overseeing the creation of a statewide prescription drug monitoring program has hired a former state health department veteran to serve as the program’s executive director. Dean Linneman, the former director of the Department of Health and Senior Services Division of Regulation and Licensure, was hired April 1. He will […]

Missouri caseworkers ‘drowning’ as Children’s Division plagued by staff shortages

By: - April 5, 2022

The new director of the Department of Social Services’ Children’s Division painted a grim picture Tuesday of an atrophying child welfare department that is facing severe staffing shortages and leaving remaining caseworkers overwhelmed. Darrell Missey, the director of the Children’s Division, told lawmakers on the Joint Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect, that there are […]

Missouri House blocks effort to limit access to out-of-state abortions

By: - March 29, 2022

A bill that would make it a felony to donate fetal tissue from abortions for research or therapies won first-round approval in the Missouri House Tuesday, but lawmakers blocked an effort to make it illegal to help a women obtain an abortion outside the state. The bill sponsored by Rep. Hannah Kelly, R-Mountain Grove, grew […]

Lawmakers weigh bills to offer suicide prevention training as mental health issues rise

By: - March 29, 2022

With mental health issues on the rise nationwide, Missouri lawmakers are weighing bills that would provide pharmacists and teachers with more training to recognize the signs of suicide. A bill sponsored by Rep. Adam Schwadron, R-St. Charles, heard Monday in the House Health and Mental Health Policy Committee, would allow suicide awareness and prevention to […]

Bills providing exemptions to COVID vaccine rules face opposition in Senate committee

By: - March 23, 2022

Bills that would bar government entities from requiring COVID-19 vaccinations and require private employers to grant religious exemptions continued to face pushback from business associations Wednesday. But the business groups and healthcare associations who testified against the bills during a hearing of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy and the Environment, said they’re […]

Rep. Brad Hudson

Missouri spent millions on pandemic no-bid contracts. Lawmakers now debating reforms

By: - March 23, 2022

After the state spent tens of millions of dollars through emergency, no-bid contracts at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, lawmakers debated a pair of bills Tuesday that aim to increase transparency and ensure emergency contracts aren’t extended in perpetuity. The bills, sponsored by Republican Reps. Doug Richey of Excelsior Springs and Brad Hudson of […]

Eric Greitens accused of physical abuse in affidavit filed by his ex-wife

By: and - March 21, 2022

Former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is facing new allegations that he physically abused his ex-wife and children, and that in the months before his resignation became so unstable that his access to firearms had to be limited.  The accusations are included in a sworn affidavit filed by former Missouri First Lady Sheena Greitens as part […]

Loophole means Attorney General rarely enforces Missouri Sunshine Law on state agencies

By: - March 18, 2022

When Missouri’s health department refused to turn over certain documents to ProPublica reporter Pamela Colloff in October 2020, she did what the attorney general’s office directs anyone to do if they believe a government agency is illegally withholding public records. She filed a Sunshine Law complaint with Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, whose office enforces […]

Protesters at Medicaid expansion rally

Medicaid enrollment backlog persists as advocates say Missouri could be doing more

By: and - March 16, 2022

Applying for health insurance through Medicaid expansion took Raven Cole just 10 minutes. But the wait to see if she’s approved has dragged on for months. The 23-year-old legal assistant applied for coverage, “well over two to three months ago.” “And I haven’t heard anything back,” Cole said. Cole is one of 72,657 Missourians who […]

Planned Parenthood sues Missouri social services agency over restricted Medicaid funds

By: - March 10, 2022

Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit Thursday against Missouri’s Department of Social Services, alleging the agency unlawfully plans to restrict Medicaid payments to the provider. A March 4 notice sent to Planned Parenthood of St. Louis Region cites a supplemental budget bill lawmakers passed last month that bars abortion providers or their affiliates from being reimbursed […]

Missouri House narrowly sends open enrollment, charter funding bills to the Senate

By: - March 9, 2022

A pair of education bills supported by school-choice advocates narrowly passed out of the Missouri House Wednesday, overcoming a diminished GOP majority that had threatened to doom their chances earlier in the legislative session.  The bills, which deal with charter school funding and establishing an open enrollment system, both earned 85 votes in support — […]

Missouri argues it shouldn’t pay Planned Parenthood’s legal fees in licensing dispute

By: - March 9, 2022

Its effort to deny Planned Parenthood a license to perform abortions in Missouri was unsuccessful, but the state health department argued Tuesday in court that it still shouldn’t have to pay the clinic’s legal fees.  An administrative hearing commission ruled in May 2020 that the state wrongly denied Planned Parenthood’s St. Louis clinic, the state’s […]