John Rizzo

‘Clown show’ vs. ‘tyranny’: Missouri Senate GOP divide on display during veto session

BY: - September 16, 2021

On one side were tyrannical oligarchs. On the other, petulant children.  Or at least that was the takeaway from the Missouri Senate’s day-long rules debate Wednesday. Gathered for the legislature’s annual veto session, the demons that have haunted the upper chamber for more than a year didn’t take long to reappear.  The seven members of […]

Three members of the Missouri Housing Development Commission, all white men in suits, are showing discussing a policy issue during the Sept. 1, 2021, commission meeting.

Missouri low income housing tax credits put on accelerated payout plan

BY: - September 2, 2021

The Missouri Housing Development Commission is moving ahead with a plan to accelerate redemption of some low-income housing tax credits despite misgivings of powerful members of the state Senate. The 10-member commission voted unanimously Wednesday to speed up the payouts on half of the tax credits that will be issued later this year or early […]

A headshot of a bearded man with reddish hair, wearing a blue shit, red tie and suit coat.

New CIO for Missouri retirement plan arrives under cloud of Kentucky lawsuit

BY: - August 27, 2021

When the head of the Missouri State Employees Retirement System told her board of trustees she’d picked T.J. Carlson to be chief investment officer, she focused on his recent record from Texas — and didn’t mention a lawsuit over investment losses that almost sank Kentucky’s pension system. Carlson, who begins work Oct. 1 for the […]

Protesters at Medicaid expansion rally

Lawmakers say special session likely unneeded to fund Missouri Medicaid expansion

BY: - August 11, 2021

Legislative leaders of both parties said Tuesday that a special session is likely not needed to appropriate additional funds following a court order to begin covering Missourians who are eligible under voter-approved Medicaid expansion. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Dan Hegeman, R-Cosby, Senate Minority Leader John Rizzo, D-Independence, and Rep. Peter Merideth, D-St. Louis and ranking […]

Judge orders state to immediately allow Missourians to enroll in expanded Medicaid

BY: - August 10, 2021

The Missouri Department of Social Services must allow newly eligible residents that qualify for benefits under voter-approved Medicaid expansion to enroll and cannot impose greater restrictions on them, a Cole County judge ruled Tuesday. Cole County Circuit Court Judge Jon Beetem sided with the plaintiffs who urged him to allow Medicaid expansion to take effect […]

Medicaid expansion rally

Missouri Supreme Court rules voter-approved Medicaid expansion is constitutional

BY: - July 22, 2021

Missouri must expand Medicaid to 275,000 eligible people who were expecting coverage under a constitutional amendment that took effect July 1, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled Thursday. In an unanimous opinion, the court overturned a trial court ruling that the amendment, passed in August 2020 was unconstitutional because it may increase the state’s cost for […]

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 […]

Missouri Senate Democratic leader says delay in special session will allow tempers to cool

BY: - June 3, 2021

The state Senate’s leading Democrat on Wednesday praised Gov. Mike Parson’s signal that he won’t call a special session to renew medical provider taxes that fund Medicaid without assurances a bill would pass. The taxes, which are expected to provide $2.6 billion to fund Medicaid in the coming fiscal year, will expire Sept. 30. The […]

Medicaid? Voting rights? Critical race theory? Parson faces special session demands

BY: - May 27, 2021

A tax that funds $2 billion of Missouri’s Medicaid program. A push to ban the teaching of critical race theory in public schools. An effort to undermine changes to Kansas City’s police budget.  And a litany of bills seeking to overhaul how Missouri conducts its elections.  The calls from Missouri lawmakers for Gov. Mike Parson […]

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. […]

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 […]