No changes in committee as FRA bill heads to Missouri House for debate

BY: - June 29, 2021

After receiving a warning that any delay beyond Wednesday for the bill extending medical provider taxes could be catastrophic, the House Budget Committee voted 27-2 to send it to the full chamber without any changes from the version passed last week in the state Senate. The new state fiscal year begins Thursday, and Gov. Mike […]

Missouri Senate approves FRA, rejects push to ban Planned Parenthood from Medicaid

BY: - June 26, 2021

A bipartisan coalition handed anti-abortion activists a rare defeat in the Missouri Senate Friday night, rejecting a push to ban Planned Parenthood as a Medicaid provider as it passed a bill to secure billions for the state’s Medicaid program. And only a restatement of the state’s already existing ban on using public funds to pay […]

Missouri Senate set to debate dueling bills extending tax crucial to Medicaid funding

BY: - June 24, 2021

After about three hours of testimony Thursday, the Missouri Senate Appropriations Committee approved two bills to extend medical provider taxes vital to funding the state’s share of Medicaid. The first bill brought up for a vote would extend the taxes for five years, limit the types of contraceptives available to women on Medicaid and block […]

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 […]

Parson calls special session, setting up debate on contraceptives, Planned Parenthood

BY: - June 22, 2021

A special session to extend provider taxes essential to the state’s Medicaid program will begin at noon Wednesday, Gov. Mike Parson announced Tuesday afternoon. The announcement was issued just minutes after a noon deadline set by Parson on Monday. The call came after seven members of the Senate Conservative Caucus sent him a letter demanding […]


Capitol Perspectives: The price of a purge

BY: - June 22, 2021

A recent suggestion by a Missouri Senator of a Senate leadership purge reminded me about the last time the Senate’s top leader was ousted. Sen. Paul Wieland, R-Imperial, made his suggestion in a letter to Republican senators, reported by The Missouri Independent, complaining about how Senate leaders consulted with Democrats on his amendment to ban Medicaid […]

Special session on tax crucial for Medicaid in doubt over Planned Parenthood amendment

BY: - June 18, 2021

On Tuesday, Republicans appeared to have reached a fragile consensus around extending a tax crucial to Missouri’s Medicaid finances — opening the door for Gov. Mike Parson to call lawmakers into special session next week.  By Friday afternoon, that consensus appears to have been derailed, at least temporarily, by disagreements over a proposed amendment that […]

Parson set to call special session to extend FRA with ban on certain contraceptives

BY: - June 16, 2021

Missouri lawmakers appear to be headed into a special session next week to renew medical provider taxes vital to sustaining the state’s Medicaid program. Gov. Mike Parson met Tuesday with the state Senate Republican caucus. The group discussed  language that would bar the state from paying for some contraceptive medications and devices and extend the […]

People hold up signs that read "Protect safe, legal abortion."

Federal appeals court upholds injunction blocking Missouri eight-week abortion ban

BY: - June 9, 2021

A federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld a lower court’s decision to block a Missouri law criminalizing abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy, with no exceptions for rape or incest. Almost immediately after the ruling, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said he would ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case. Reproductive Health Services […]

Missouri is sitting on a huge budget surplus. But without FRA extension, cuts loom

BY: - June 9, 2021

With three weeks before the new state fiscal year begins, top legislative budget writers think progress in discussions on medical provider taxes could allow Gov. Mike Parson to issue a call for a special session by the end of the week. Parson has said he will only issue the call if lawmakers can work quickly.  […]

Missouri Republican calls for a change in Senate leadership over handling of FRA bill

BY: - May 28, 2021

The simmering division among Republicans over a bill crucial to funding Missouri’s Medicaid program boiled over this week, with the state senator at the center of the debate calling for a change in the chamber’s leadership.  Sen. Paul Wieland, R-Imperial, led the charge to include language banning the use of taxpayer money for certain contraceptives […]

Ashcroft urges Missouri Senate to shut off debate to pass Medicaid funding tax bill

BY: - May 19, 2021

Republicans in the Missouri Senate should move to shut off debate if a filibuster blocks anti-abortion lawmakers from putting their stamp on provider taxes that fund Medicaid, Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft said in an interview with The Independent this week. The advice was not, however, well received by the Senate’s Republican or Democratic leaders. […]