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.

Missouri lawmakers are headed into the last week of the 2020 legislative session Monday, with leadership saying they’d like to keep it “uneventful.” 

Typically, the final days of session mimics that of a college student cramming for finals. It’s reserved for some of the bigger and more controversial pieces of legislation, but the coronavirus halted much of the lawmaking process. 

House Minority Leader Crystal Quade is the latest guest on Politically Speaking. The Springfield Democrat joined St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jaclyn Driscoll to provide her impressions of how the Missouri General Assembly is faring after it was idle for weeks due to the coronavirus.

Quade represents a House district that takes in part of Springfield. As the leader of the House Democrats, Quade is largely responsible for crafting her party’s message and strategy in the Missouri House.

Missouri is spending $66 million in federal money to help with child care needs because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The money will allow low-income families looking for work to be eligible for 90-day child care benefits through December, Missouri Department of Social Services Director Jennifer Tidball said Wednesday. 

In addition, families with incomes up to 215% of the poverty level and with a “documented child care need” will have access to subsidies for transitional child care through August. 

The Missouri House passed a $34 billion state budget on Wednesday that reflects the economic costs of COVID-19. 

House Budget Chair Cody Smith, R-Neosho, said the plan includes $146 million less compared to the state’s current budget. However, Smith said that Missouri is doing much better than most states during the virus outbreak. 

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced on Monday that every business throughout the state will be allowed to open on Monday, May 4. 

This is Parson’s first phase in his “gradual” and “strategic” reopening plan that he said will lead to economic recovery. 

“All of Missouri’s businesses, employers and employees are vital to our state’s economy and well-being,” Parson said at a press briefing on Monday. “Opening these businesses is going to look very different for awhile, but I’m confident Missourians will abide by the guidelines as we move forward.” 

Missouri lawmakers are headed back to the state capitol Monday to pass a state budget by May 8. 

The coronavirus has left the 2020 legislative session in limbo, and there’s still serious concerns about spreading the virus. But House Speaker Elijah Haahr said it’s imperative to get a budget complete. 

“Our constitution doesn’t allow us to do anything but to pass it by May 8,” said Haahr. 

Several hundred men, women and children gathered in Jefferson City and St. Louis County on Tuesday asking Gov. Mike Parson to lift his statewide stay-at-home order and let Missourians get back to work. 

Some protesters ignored social distancing restrictions and stood close together, with only a few wearing masks. They held signs that read, “Poverty Kills People Too," "Freedom For Missourians” and “We Have Rights.” 

Missouri businesses and residents will see restrictions because of the coronavirus until at least May 3.

Gov. Mike Parson announced Thursday that he is extending his statewide stay-at-home order until that date so the state can prepare to reopen some businesses on May 4. 

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and St. Louis County Executive Sam Page also announced indefinite extensions of their orders, which are stricter than the state’s.

Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft is asking about 40 employees who have their own offices to return to work on Monday, one week after a statewide stay-at-home order was issued by Gov. Mike Parson. 

In an email obtained by St. Louis Public Radio, Trish Vincent, executive deputy secretary of state, said Thursday that “those who have offices should return to work” next week “unless otherwise directed.” The email goes on to suggest employees use the handicap entrance and activate the button that opens the door with their elbows to enter the office building.

The Missouri Legislature on Wednesday approved $6.2 billion to fight the coronavirus statewide. 

The supplemental budget gives Gov. Mike Parson spending authority for the money, most of which comes from the federal government’s stimulus package. That money has yet to be doled out to states, and there is some speculation as to how it can be spent. 

Gov. Mike Parson’s statewide stay-at-home order to fight coronavirus that began Monday includes few additional restrictions compared to a social distancing order issued more than two weeks ago.

According to Parson, that’s the way he intended it to be. 

“The first order I done in the state of Missouri was the most strict order we have done,” he said in Monday’s virtual press briefing. “It was no more than 10 people could ever be grouped up together, and six feet apart.” 

As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, Missouri lawmakers say they are planning to return to Jefferson City next week to pass a supplemental budget that includes millions of state and federal dollars to help deal with the outbreak. 

Legislation creating a statewide prescription drug monitoring program cleared its last major hurdle on Thursday — passing the Missouri Senate 21-10.

The measure has passed in the House for years, but a strong filibuster in the Senate has allowed some of the conservative members to kill the proposal due to privacy concerns. A monitoring program is designed to prevent abuse, especially of opioids. 

Democrats in the Missouri House are fighting to undo a state requirement for abortion providers to perform pelvic exams prior to abortions.

Legislation filed late last month would prohibit health care providers from requiring such examinations unless they are medically necessary.

The Missouri House on Thursday passed legislation that would exempt private and religious school workers from statewide minimum wage increases.

The measure passed by a vote of 94 to 53. The bill aims to create parity between public and private schools, said state Rep. Tim Remole, R-Excello, who sponsored the proposal.

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