Briefs

Voting rights advocates air worries about onslaught of new state election laws

BY: - April 2, 2021

WASHINGTON — A U.S. House elections panel on Thursday heard from witnesses about the need to craft a new formula that identifies which states or jurisdictions have problematic histories of racial discrimination when it comes to access to the ballot box.   The hearing in the House Administration Committee’s elections subcommittee also served as a way […]

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 […]

Former Missouri lawmaker sentenced to 21 months in prison for misusing campaign funds

BY: - March 31, 2021

Former Democratic state Rep. Courtney Curtis was sentenced to 21 months in prison on Wednesday for using campaign funds for his own personal expenses. He was also ordered to pay $47,000 in restitution. United States District Judge Stephen Clark handed down the sentence nearly five months after Curtis pleaded guilty to three counts of wire […]

Lawmakers raise concerns bill would limit oversight of dark money, affect labor unions

BY: - March 30, 2021

A discussion on giving electric cooperatives an additional year to vote remotely at their annual meetings after the governor’s emergency declaration expires turned into a long-ranging discussion Tuesday about dark money and Missouri’s labor union laws. The provision addressing electric cooperatives was tacked onto Senate Bill 333, sponsored by Sen. Eric Burlison, R-Battlefield. The bill […]

Lawsuit against Missouri House over lack of mask mandate moved to federal court

BY: - March 29, 2021

A lawsuit alleging an employee of the Missouri House was fired because he raised concerns about the lack of a mask mandate in the Capitol has been moved to federal court at the request of Attorney General Eric Schmitt. Tad Mayfield, who had worked in the Missouri House since 2011 before he was fired last […]

Rachel Levine confirmed as highest-ranking openly transgender federal official

BY: - March 25, 2021

WASHINGTON — Dr. Rachel Levine on Wednesday became the first openly transgender individual to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate for a federal position. The Senate voted 52-48 to confirm her as an assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services. Two Republicans, Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, […]

Four big questions about the feds’ scrutiny of oil and gas leasing on public lands

BY: - March 23, 2021

In his first week in office, President Joe Biden paused new oil and gas leasing on federal lands as his administration reviewed fossil fuel development policy.  Now that Interior Secretary Deb Haaland has taken office, the administration is gearing up to begin that process. A forum comprising the energy industry, conservation groups, labor organizations and […]

Mike Kehoe passes on 2022 Senate run to focus on 2024 Missouri governor’s race

BY: - March 22, 2021

Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe announced Monday morning he would not seek the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate, the second prominent Republican to forgo the race. Kehoe, who was appointed lieutenant governor in 2018 and won a full term last year, said he will instead focus his attention on a run for governor in 2024. […]

CDC says it’s OK for students to sit 3 feet apart in classrooms

BY: - March 19, 2021

WASHINGTON — Federal health officials have revised their guidance to schools on how far apart students should be spaced in a classroom, now saying desks can be placed 3 feet apart instead of 6 feet to limit the spread of COVID-19.  The updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention comes as schools […]

EPA to environmental reporters: We are committed to openness

BY: - March 19, 2021

Top public affairs staffers from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday told journalists the agency is taking actions to be more open. The Society of Environmental Journalists invited EPA representatives to field questions from journalists. The session was planned as EPA Administrator Michael Regan, who was sworn in Wednesday, prepared to take office. SEJ is a 1,500-member nonprofit, nonpartisan […]

Exterior Missouri State Capitol building

Lawsuit alleges university leaked confidential records to undermine Title IX bill

BY: - March 17, 2021

A lawsuit filed last month in St. Louis alleges Washington University leaked confidential information about an expelled student in order to undermine a legislative push to change how Missouri colleges handle cases of sexual assault and harassment.  The lawsuit, which was first reported by the St. Louis Business Journal, lists as its plaintiff “John Doe.” […]

Wayne Lovern receives his COVID-19 vaccine

Study: Most Missourians who got first COVID vaccine dose got recommended second shot

BY: - March 15, 2021

Only 2.5 percent of Missourians who received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose skipped out on receiving the second one, according to a study released Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that looked at a two-month period. Out of the 50 states, Missouri had the 10th highest rate of completion of the vaccination […]