Jaclyn Driscoll

Jaclyn Driscoll is the Jefferson City statehouse reporter for St. Louis Public Radio. She joined the politics team in 2019 after spending two years at the Springfield, Illinois NPR affiliate. Jaclyn covered a variety of issues at the statehouse for all of Illinois' public radio stations, but focused primarily on public health and agriculture related policy. Before joining public radio, Jaclyn reported for a couple television stations in Illinois and Iowa as a general assignment reporter.

Jaclyn has an undergraduate degree in History with a middle and secondary education teaching endorsement from Monmouth College. She was the History Department Chair at Greenfield High School in Illinois, but after one year she decided to go back to school for a master's in journalism at DePaul University. Though she has a passion for education and hasn't ruled out teaching again in the future, Jaclyn enjoys the every day excitement that comes with political reporting.

She's a 6th generation descendant on her family farm back in Illinois, but is excited to plant some roots of her own in the Show-Me state. When she isn't busy working, Jaclyn can be found trying to entertain her twin boys who still think she's a cool mom (for now). She loves cheeseburgers, hiking, 2% milk, and binge listening to true crime podcasts.

After years of debating whether to expand Medicaid in Missouri, voters will finally get the chance to decide in the August primary election. 

Currently, the government-funded health insurance program for low-income Missourians and those with disabilities takes up roughly one-third of the state’s $35 billion budget. Supporters of expansion say there are still significant gaps in coverage.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced Wednesday that he was calling lawmakers back to the state Capitol on Monday, July 27, for a special legislative session to address violent crime. 

“As your governor and former law enforcement officer for 22 years, protecting our citizens and upholding the laws of our state are of the utmost importance to my administration,” Parson said at a news conference Wednesday surrounded by law enforcement officers from across the state. 

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced Tuesday that he is making $50 million from the federal coronavirus relief funds available to businesses throughout the state.

“The COVID-19 crisis has severely impacted Missouri businesses,” Parson said. “However, this challenge has not stopped them from stepping up and finding new ways to serve Missourians. These critical programs will help Missouri businesses continue their operations, cover costs for increased PPE production, and keep them safe and moving forward.”

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced Thursday he will use $125 million in federal funding for job training and to assist public universities in the fall. 

The money, which was distributed from the federal government to help states deal with the coronavirus pandemic, comes with restrictions on how it can be used. 

Colleges and universities will collect $80 million to help them prepare for students and faculty returning next month. Higher Education Commissioner Zora Mulligan said the money will be used for a variety of purposes to make public spaces safe. 

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Monday signed an omnibus crime bill that he said will allow law enforcement to crack down on violent criminals. 

The bill creates the offense of vehicle hijacking, mandates prison time for certain offenses, stiffens penalties for armed criminal action and unlawful possession of a gun and also allows someone to be charged in a conspiracy to commit a crime. 

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Wednesday signed legislation that modifies how plaintiffs are awarded punitive damages.

The measure requires plaintiffs to prove that the defendant intentionally harmed them or acted in a deliberately flagrant manner to collect. 

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced that he signed the state budget on Tuesday but is withholding $448.8 million in order to keep it balanced after the state’s economy was ravaged by the coronavirus. 

The area hit hardest is K-12 education funding. According to the Office of Administration, $123.3 million will be withheld from the foundation formula. Higher education is expected to see the next-largest reduction in planned spending, with $27.9 million in withholds, and community colleges will see $18.4 million. 

Medical marijuana is now being grown legally in Missouri, but it won’t be ready for the more than 52,000 patients waiting to buy it until at least late summer. 

Despite initial projections that medical marijuana would be available for purchase in the spring, the Department of Health and Senior Services only earlier this month approved two of the state’s 60 cultivation sites to begin growing. 

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Thursday signed legislation allowing people at higher risk of contracting the coronavirus to vote absentee without needing an additional notarized statement. 

“Any Missourian affected by COVID-19 should still be able to vote, including those who are sick or considered at-risk,” Parson said in a statement. “I applaud Senator Dan Hegeman, Representative Dan Shaul, and the rest of the legislature for taking this important step, which provides Missourians with a safe and secure way to vote while still safeguarding our elections and ballot process.”

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced Tuesday he will deploy more than 1,000 additional members of the National Guard to assist local law enforcement statewide after four police officers were shot in St. Louis on Monday. 

After a day of protests in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, the city experienced an outbreak of violence and looting. Parson said this will not be tolerated. 

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced Monday he will restrict $209 million in planned spending for June, largely affecting higher and K-12 education. 

Parson has already restricted more than $220 million due to budget constraints during the coronavirus, but he said withholding more now will hopefully allow for fewer cuts in the next fiscal year that begins in July. 

Updated at 9 p.m. with lawsuit filed against the initiative

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced Tuesday that the question of whether to expand Medicaid will be placed on the August primary ballot, a move he said is more about policy than politics. 

Parson said that expanding Medicaid to insure more low-income people will be a “massive spending initiative” and that the state needs to know where it stands financially. 

Sen. Paul Wieland has seen a lot of startling events during his 12 Missouri legislative sessions.

The Imperial Republican has witnessed resignations of House speakers, deaths of statewide officials and implosions of gubernatorial administrations. But Wieland says he’s never gone through anything like 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic massively altered the Legislature’s workload and focus.

Missouri lawmakers capped an unprecedented 2020 legislative session by expanding access to absentee ballots during a pandemic and passing a wide-ranging crime bill — even as other priorities failed to get final approval.

And while the session featured some major budget moves aimed at combating the coronavirus, lawmakers from both parties expressed frustration about missed opportunities — and how the legislative process unfolded.

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