Caleb Rowden

GOP divisions in the Missouri Senate bedevil legislative session

BY: - May 17, 2021

When the Missouri Senate gathered early Friday morning, with just under 18 hours before the state Constitution requires lawmakers to conclude their session, Sen. Paul Wieland asked a fellow lawmaker a question. “How long do you think me and you are going to have to talk, in these next 18 hours?” Wieland, R-Imperial, asked Sen. […]

Are Missouri Republicans pushing to change primary elections because of Eric Greitens?

BY: - May 13, 2021

Missouri Republicans are pushing for changes in the state’s primary elections to require a runoff if no candidate garners more than 50% of the vote.  And some think they know what inspired the change. “We are changing the way we are doing elections in Missouri for one person,” said Senate Minority Leader John Rizzo, D-Independence. […]

Lawmakers say next step is up to Parson for Missouri Medicaid expansion

BY: and - May 7, 2021

The General Assembly made swift work of $35.7 billion in appropriations Friday, passing 15 bills to fund state government operations and capital needs while leaving one big question, worth about $2 billion more, unanswered. The operating budget increases state support for school transportation to its highest level in years, provides a modest boost to higher […]

Rep. Phil Christofanelli, R-St. Peters, sponsor of HB 349, speaks during the third reading of his legislation/

Missouri Senate sends education savings account program to governor’s desk

BY: - May 6, 2021

With only a week left in the legislative session, the Missouri Senate passed a bill Thursday that would establish scholarship accounts to pay for costs like private school tuition — sending a top priority for school choice advocates and legislative leadership to the governor’s desk. After less than 15 minutes of debate, House Bill 349, […]

Rep. Ben Baker speaks on the House floor.

After voting down Senate COVID liability bill, House focus turns to pared down version

BY: - April 29, 2021

After voting down a sweeping bill to shield businesses from most COVID-19 related lawsuits Monday night, House lawmakers have pinned their hopes on a much more narrow version. Rep. Ben Baker, R-Neosho, added provisions onto Senate Bill 27 on Thursday in the House Committee on Downsizing State Government, which he chairs. The bill was passed […]

Missouri Senate rejects funding for voter-approved Medicaid expansion

BY: - April 29, 2021

The Missouri Senate voted against funding Medicaid expansion Wednesday night, after a debate that will not be the final word on whether 275,000 Missourians become eligible for coverage on July 1.  By a 14-20 vote, with four Republicans breaking ranks with the rest of their party, the Senate rejected an amendment to the Department of […]

Senate filibuster stalls Graves nomination to University of Missouri curators

BY: - April 1, 2021

The Missouri Senate spent about three hours Thursday debating the controversial nomination of former state Republican Chairman Todd Graves to a seat on the University of Missouri Board of Curators without getting the appointment to a vote. Listeners who stayed with the entire debate heard a history of the university and each campus, discussions of […]

The Missouri House floor for the 2019 State of the State address.

Missouri House plan to reject Medicaid expansion faces uncertain fate in the Senate

BY: - April 1, 2021

Republicans in the Missouri House finalized their plan to block funding for voter-approved Medicaid expansion on Thursday, giving final approval to its version of the state’s budget and sending it to the Senate. What happens next remains unclear. House Democratic Leader Crystal Quade said she’s confident the Senate will restore the $1.9 billion in Medicaid […]

Senate committee approves Todd Graves nomination to University of Missouri curators

BY: - March 31, 2021

Former Missouri Republican Party Chairman Todd Graves is one step closer to a seat on the University of Missouri Board of Curators following a Senate committee vote that saw bipartisan support and opposition to his appointment. One Democrat — Sen. Brian Williams of Ferguson —  joined six Republicans in the 7-4 vote in the Gubernatorial […]


Capitol Perspectives: Legislative efforts vs. the Constitution

BY: - March 5, 2021

This year, an effort to provide financial help for parents to send their kids to alternative schools could run afoul of two very clear provisions of the state’s Constitution. The issue arises from a bill that started out as a simple idea to give home-schooled kids the right to participate in public school sports. But […]

House Speaker Rob Vescovo, R-Arnold, speaks during floor debate of HB 349.

‘Compromise to be had’: School choice bills face both success and gridlock in Missouri

BY: - March 1, 2021

It was a mixed week for education reform in the Missouri legislature, with historic success in one chamber and gridlock in the other. An education savings accounts program managed to clear a major hurdle, barely passing out of the House after heated debate and a rare speech from the House speaker. But on the other […]

COVID liability advances in Missouri Senate, expands to shield religious orgs

BY: - February 3, 2021

Churches would be immune from most lawsuits alleging COVID was contracted on their premises after an exemption was carved out for religious organizations during the Senate’s first filibuster of the session Tuesday over liability protections for businesses and healthcare providers. After nearly 15 hours of debate and negotiations behind the scenes, legislation sponsored by Sen. […]