Missouri Legislature

Covering state lawmakers, bills, and policy emerging from Jefferson City.

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Governor Mike Parson said the Missouri National Guard has begun scaling back its involvement at mass vaccination sites.  The drawdown is set to be completed by June 1, according to his office.

After many of them have worked remotely for more than a year, state employees will soon return to their offices.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson issued a directive Wednesday ordering state employees to return to in-person work on May 17, even though COVID-19 vaccination rates in Missouri are far below the threshold for herd immunity.

In a news release, Parson said the availability of vaccines and low infection rates influenced his decision.

Autumn Stultz makes too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but would if Missouri follows through with a ballot initiative that passed last year.

With the legislature refusing to fund expansion, Stultz, who works as a caregiver for her mother in Springfield, is understandably anxious about whether she can afford medical care for herself.

“They’re not listening to the Missouri voters. They’re not listening to their constituents,” Stultz said. “And it’s really ticking a lot of people off.”

Missouri Senate Votes Down Funding For Medicaid Expansion

Apr 29, 2021

The Missouri Senate has voted against paying for Medicaid expansion. Senators on Wednesday voted 20-14 against a proposal to add the funding to the state budget.

The vote locks in the House's decision not to pay for Medicaid expansion. Missouri voters last year voted to expand who is eligible for government health care coverage to thousands more low-income adults. But the Republican-led Legislature has long opposed growing the program. Now they're trying to thwart expansion by blocking funding for it.

david_shane / Flickr

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson says he hopes to have a new health director within the next two months. Parson said Thursday that he thought it was in the best interest of his office and Cabinet to part ways with former health director Randall Williams. The governor did not elaborate on on specific reasons but noted that the coronavirus pandemic had created a “stressful environment” and he pushes his Cabinet members hard. The governor's office announced Williams' resignation on Tuesday.

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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Transgender girls would be banned from playing on girls' sports teams under a bill advancing in the Missouri House. House lawmakers voted 100-51 on Wednesday to add the proposal to another bill. Republican supporters argued the change is needed to protect girls in sports. They decried the risk of being called bigots, hateful or transphobic for proposing the rule. Democrats at times wept and said the rule change could push transgender children to kill themselves.

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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri's GOP-led House has passed a bill that would allow guns in churches and on public transportation. The House voted Monday to send the proposal to the Republican-led Senate. Currently, people need permission to bring firearms into places of religious worship. The bill would allow people with concealed carry permits to bring guns into churches, synagogues and mosques regardless. Another provision in the bill would ensure that gun stores are considered essential businesses.

Missourians could soon be freed from the dreaded and laborious practice of changing their clocks twice a year.

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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri House wants to redirect Medicaid expansion funding to services for people with disabilities, the elderly and other vulnerable groups. The GOP-led House on Thursday voted 143-1 to pass an alternative plan for how to spend the Medicaid expansion money. Missouri voters last year amended the state Constitution to extend access to the government health care program to thousands more low-income adults. Many Republican lawmakers don't want to give more people access to Medicaid, so the House stripped money for expansion from next year's budget.

Missouri public colleges will be able to hike tuition rates without any restrictions set previously by the state under a proposal the state House passed Tuesday.

Missouri lawmakers expressed frustration Tuesday with the Department of Labor for reneging on part of an informal deal they struck last month to pump the brakes on collection of unemployment overpayments as legislation moves through the Senate.

Missouri has been ordered to cough up nearly $138,000 in legal fees and expenses after a judge ruled last year that it “knowingly and purposefully” violated the state Sunshine Law.

The Missouri Court of Appeals upheld a Cole County judge’s finding that the state ran afoul of the law when the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services sought to charge a genealogy research group nearly $1.5 million for state birth and death records.

Courtesy of Denise Lieberman/General Counsel and Director of Missouri Voter Protection Coalition

This week, host Lisa Langley speaks with Denise Lieberman, General Counsel and director of Missouri Voter Protection Coalition.

Today’s discussion explores voter legislation occurring in many states throughout the country following the 2020 presidential election. Lieberman speaks about current bills the coalition is following through the Missouri Legislature potentially impacting voters.

Missouri House Republicans Reject Efforts To Fund Medicaid Expansion

Mar 31, 2021

The Republican majority in the Missouri House on Tuesday beat back every attempt by Democrats to restore funding for Medicaid expansion to the budget for the coming fiscal year.

Courtesy of Kane Sheek/Community Organizer with Sierra Club, Missouri Chapter

This week, host Erika Brame speaks with Kane Sheek, Community Organizer with Missouri chapter of the Sierra Club.

Today’s discussion explores the potential impact of a few bills currently moving through the Missouri Legislature.  Sheek also talks about the Ready 100 Program, encouraging Springfield to move toward fully renewable energy by 2035.