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.

Contraception, Planned Parenthood dominate debate as Missouri Senate returns to Capitol

By: and - June 23, 2021

If state lawmakers approve the limits on Planned Parenthood’s participation in state medical funding suggested by Gov. Mike Parson, it would not cost the organization any money. Lawmakers are back in session this week because they failed earlier this year to extend provider taxes vital to funding Medicaid after a push from conservatives in the Missouri […]

After relying on local officials to combat COVID, Parson signs limit on health orders

By: - June 15, 2021

Gov. Mike Parson’s strategy to contain the spread of COVID-19 was simple: local officials know best. Statewide mandates emanating from Jefferson City didn’t make sense in a state as diverse as Missouri, Parson argued amid the pandemic’s peak while rebuffing calls for him to take statewide action. But on Tuesday Parson signed a bill curbing […]

Missouri AG can’t enforce Sunshine Laws in governor’s office because it’s ‘a client’

By: - June 11, 2021

Attorney General Eric Schmitt has determined his office cannot investigate an alleged violation of Missouri’s open records laws by the governor’s office, an interpretation of state law that has transparency advocates alarmed. Missouri’s attorney general’s office is in charge of enforcing the Sunshine Law, which requires meetings, records, votes, actions and deliberations of public governmental […]

Gov. Parson signs Senate Bill 63

Governor signs bill ending Missouri’s designation as last state without a PDMP

By: - June 7, 2021

With the swipe of a pen Monday, Missouri will soon become the last state in the nation to establish a statewide prescription drug monitoring program. After nearly a decade of failed attempts, Gov. Mike Parson signed Senate Bill 63, sponsored by Sen. Holly Rehder, R-Sikeston, into law. The bill establishes a system that allows physicians […]

Student studying at desk in classroom

Missouri lawmakers passed a tax credit program to fund school choice. How will it work?

By: - June 2, 2021

Missouri is on the cusp of creating a program that directs donations funded by tax credits to help parents offset the cost of sending their kids to private school. Lawmakers laid out the parameters of the program, like who qualifies and where they must reside. But weeks after school choice advocates scored their historic legislative […]

Republican-backed law targeting public unions rejected by Missouri Supreme Court

By: - June 1, 2021

The Missouri Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s ruling Tuesday and struck down a 2018 law that sought to impose new restrictions on collective bargaining for public sector unions while exempting public safety unions from the requirements. In a 5-2 decision, the court ruled that the bill violated public employees’ constitutional right to receive equal […]

COVID surge in north Missouri creates worries for summer as vaccinations decline

By: and - May 28, 2021

In the last week of April, the Linn County Health Department signaled that the COVID-19 pandemic had cooled enough that it could discontinue weekly reports on new cases. With only three active cases on April 21, the urgency for frequent updates seemed to have passed. But the coronavirus came roaring back this month, with Mother’s […]

Missourians, health care providers pause plans as Medicaid expansion heads to court

By: and - May 22, 2021

Nina Canaleo wishes she could have known years ago she would one day be diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Maybe then she could have better prepared. Nearly six years ago Canaleo was diagnosed with the chronic nerve disease, which leaves her dizzy and her feet feeling numb all the time. After a recent hospital stay, just […]

A patient has their blood drawn for syphilis testing at an AIDS Project of the Ozarks clinic.

Free testing aims to curb STIs that went unchecked as COVID spread in Missouri

By: - May 18, 2021

As the case counts of the novel coronavirus began to tick up last March across Missouri, providers who offer tests for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) found their resources were being pulled in two directions. Swabs were in short supply as they became needed for COVID-19 testing. Contact tracers, who reach out to track an infection’s […]

Members of the Missouri House of Representatives celebrate the close of the 2021 legislative session

Bill shielding Missouri businesses from most COVID-related lawsuits heads to governor

By: - May 14, 2021

In the last hour of the 2021 legislative session, the Missouri House sent a sweeping bill that would shield businesses from most COVID related lawsuits to the governor’s desk. Despite an attempt to kill Senate Bill 51 in the final minutes of the session, it was passed out of the House by a vote of […]

Exterior Missouri State Capitol building

Missouri lawmakers head home without passing bill crucial to Medicaid funding

By: , and - May 14, 2021

Missouri lawmakers ended the 2021 legislative session with a $2 billion question left unanswered.  For the first time in 30 years, the General Assembly failed to renew taxes on hospitals, nursing homes and pharmacies that last year accounted for $2.3 billion of Missouri’s $10.8 billion Medicaid program.  A fight over birth control and abortion derailed […]

Missouri lawmakers send bill to prevent abuse in religious reform schools to governor

By: - May 13, 2021

Inspired by horrific stories of abuse and neglect that former students experienced at unlicensed religious reform schools in Missouri, lawmakers sent to the governor’s desk a bill Thursday that aims to provide greater oversight and better protections for students. House Bill 557, which was sponsored by Reps. Rudy Veit, R-Wardsville, and Keri Ingle, D-Lee’s Summit, […]