Rachel Lippmann

Lippmann returned to her native St. Louis after spending two years covering state government in Lansing, Michigan. She earned her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University and followed (though not directly) in Maria Altman's footsteps in Springfield, also earning her graduate degree in public affairs reporting. She's also done reporting stints in Detroit, Michigan and Austin, Texas. Rachel likes to fill her free time with good books, good friends, good food, and good baseball.

Missouri lawmakers sent legislation banning abortion after eight weeks to Gov. Mike Parson, the culmination of an emotional and contentious week that ended with many of the GOP governor’s priorities accomplished.

And while legislators Friday also finished a bridge-repair bonding plan and proposal to institute term limits for statewide officials, they fell short on overhauling the state low-income housing tax-credit program and another measure undoing a new state legislative redistricting system.

Updated at 6 a.m. May 16 with Senate passage — Missouri is a step closer to having some of the strictest limits on abortion in the country.

The measure approved by the state Senate early Thursday bans abortion after a heartbeat can be detected, usually around six to eight weeks. There is no exception for rape or incest and there are also complete bans on abortion if a fetus is diagnosed with Down syndrome, or based on race or gender.

In the last month of Missouri's legislative session, lawmakers are likely to change — if not completely eliminate — some of the initiative petitions the state’s voters passed in November.

Republican leaders in both the state House and Senate said they are prepared to make changes to Amendment 1, an ethics proposal also known as Clean Missouri. The House has already passed a bill chipping away at the minimum wage increase, and the Senate has debated, though not approved, a measure that would allow younger employees and tipped workers to make less.

In the last month of Missouri's legislative session, lawmakers are likely to change — if not completely eliminate — some of the initiative petitions the state’s voters passed in November.

Republican leaders in both the state House and Senate said they are prepared to make changes to Amendment 1, an ethics proposal also known as Clean Missouri. The House has already passed a bill chipping away at the minimum wage increase, and the Senate has debated, though not approved, a measure that would allow younger employees and tipped workers to make less.

Senator Roy Blunt, R-Missouri, was the first in his family to go to college.

Yet the good economic news in the state, and especially his hometown of Springfield, has him championing other routes than four-year degrees, such as certificate programs and associates degrees.

Nearly five years after Michael Brown’s death sparked protests and a movement over police treatment of African-Americans, his mother, Lezley McSpadden, is running for a Ferguson city council seat in the southern part of town where her son died.

“I hope that people will see that I’m still standing after all that I’ve been through,” McSpadden said. “And I’m still fighting. And I will always be a voice for Michael Brown and all of our other black and brown children who are being mistreated and who have been up against police brutality.”

A Missouri House committee has approved major changes to the state’s criminal justice system, including giving judges more leeway in nonviolent crime sentencing.

The action Thursday by the House Special Committee on Criminal Justice is just the first step in what its chairman, Rep. Shamed Dogan, R-Ballwin, acknowledges could be a long fight.

An election cycle in Missouri that saw 371 petitions submitted to change the state’s laws or constitution is prompting a new discussion among lawmakers about ways to limit the process.

The House Committee on Elections and Elected Officials heard several hours of testimony on nine proposals Wednesday, though it did not vote on any of them. Measures making similar changes are awaiting first-round approval in the Senate.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson delivered his first State of the State address Wednesday, giving the GOP chief executive a chance to detail an ambitious agenda for state government.

Parson took the opportunity to flesh out his main priorities of bolstering workforce-development programs and improving roads and bridges. He told lawmakers that he wants to reorient economic-development programs to train people for local jobs — and fight opioid abuse and boost money for drug courts.

Updated at 7:15 p.m. with comments from St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner — Four St. Louis police officers were indicted on federal charges Thursday in connection with the assault of an undercover officer during protests related to the Jason Stockley court ruling in 2017.

The four St. Louis Metropolitan Police officers named in the indictment are Dustin Boone, 35, Bailey Colletta, 25, Randy Hays, 31, and Christopher Myers, 27. All have been suspended without pay.

St. Louis Public Radio’s political trio – Jason Rosenbaum, Jo Mannies and Rachel Lippmann – did a postmortem of Tuesday’s election results on the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast.

When Missouri last boosted its gas tax 22 years ago, the TV show “Third Rock from the Sun” premiered, “Cats” became the longest-running musical on Broadway, and a gallon of gasoline cost $1.32.

Drivers pay 17 cents a gallon in state tax in Missouri, among the lowest in the nation. Proposition D, on the Nov. 6 ballot, asks voters if they want to gradually raise the rate to 27 cents by 2022.

An attorney who represented the ex-husband of the woman at the center of the Eric Greitens trial has admitted that he violated a court order that forbid attorneys in the case from talking about it to reporters.

Al Watkins on Friday apologized to Judge Rex Burlison. He will have to make 100 hours of presentations to outside groups on the importance of complying with court orders and how not doing so can harm the justice system.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and her GOP rival, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, sparred over how they would improve health care in an hour-long debate Thursday night that featured familiar themes.

Hawley said McCaskill adheres to the Democratic Party stance and has, over 12 years, moved away from the views of her state, where voters went for President Donald Trump by 19 points. McCaskill emphasized her independence, as someone who will work with “anyone, anytime” to address the state’s needs.

St. Louis area Democrats are using an appeal of a court ruling against Missouri’s voter photo identification law as a rallying cry in the state’s competitive race for U.S. Senate.

U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay, D-University City, joined Democratic members of the Missouri General Assembly Monday to demand that Attorney General Josh Hawley drop his defense of the law. A Cole County judge last week declared unconstitutional the sworn statement voters who used non-photo identification like a utility bill had to sign to cast a ballot.

Pages