Missouri Legislature

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

Gov. Mike Parson picked a veteran of Illinois’ emergency management and public health agencies to lead the department that plays a big role in Missouri’s COVID-19 response.

And in his introductory remarks Wednesday to reporters in Jefferson City, Don Kauerauf said there’s a clear solution to Missouri’s rise in COVID-19 cases.

“This all comes back to people need to get vaccinated. It’s a clear answer,” Kauerauf said. “People need to get vaccinated. If you don’t understand the vaccine or need additional information, seek your medical provider. Seek your health authority.”

NIAID, Used with permission

A statewide vaccination incentive program is underway in Missouri.  Governor Mike Parson announced the launch of MO VIP on Wednesday.  It’s meant to encourage vaccination among Missourians 12 and older, according to a news release from his office.

Both sides of a legal battle over voter-approved Medicaid expansion made their cases in front of the Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday.

At stake is whether roughly 275,000 people gain access to the health care program — or expansion remains out of reach in Missouri for the foreseeable future.

Missouri Republicans Ponder Crowded U.S. Senate Contest

Jun 18, 2021

Near the end of Missouri’s Lincoln Days gathering in Kansas City, GOP activist Cecilia S. Johnson summed up the party’s position nationally.

“We as a party feel defeated. Beat down, kicked down. And that may be so for a little while,” Johnson said. “But I assure you: We are not finished.”

Local governments will have their ability to enact public health restrictions curtailed under a law that Gov. Mike Parson signed Tuesday.

Public health experts say the law could hamstring governments and put lives at risk, but Parson said the new rules require local governments to make a strong case when issuing public health orders.

After having served in office starting in 1982, former U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill said she’s now enjoying being a political commentator on MSNBC.

KANSAS CITY — In some respects, Missouri Republicans are the mirror image of national politics: The GOP controls most of Missouri’s statewide offices and has commanding majorities in the legislature, while in the nation’s capitol Republicans are on the outside looking in, with Democrats holding the presidency and both houses of Congress.

But Missouri Republican Party Chairman Nick Meyers contends that the state’s GOP activists shouldn’t get too cocky.

The arguments for and against Missouri Medicaid expansion that are about to be heard in Cole County Circuit Court are not surprising.

Three plaintiffs who would qualify for Medicaid based on passage of a 2020 constitutional amendment say that Missouri has no choice but to let them sign up for the health care program. Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s office counters that since the legislature didn’t appropriate money, the amendment is basically inoperative.

A panel of federal appeals court judges in St. Louis has blocked a 2019 Missouri law that banned most abortions at eight weeks or because a fetus has Down syndrome.

The three-judge panel from the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday upheld a federal judge’s decision last year that blocked the state from enforcing the law, known as HB 126.

KSMU - Ozarks Public Radio

A federal appeals court panel has blocked Missouri from enforcing a sweeping state abortion law that bans the procedures at or after eight weeks of pregnancy. A three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis handed down the ruling Wednesday.

The panel heard arguments in September in the legal battle over the 2019 law, which also would prohibit a woman from having an abortion because the fetus has Down syndrome.

With the swipe of a pen Monday, Missouri will soon become the last state in the nation to establish a statewide prescription drug monitoring program.

After nearly a decade of failed attempts, Gov. Mike Parson signed Senate Bill 63, sponsored by Sen. Holly Rehder, R-Sikeston, into law.

Lawsuit seeks to force Missouri to enact voter-approved Medicaid expansion

May 21, 2021

The least surprising lawsuit of the year, to force Missouri to provide Medicaid coverage to 275,000 people eligible under a 2020 initiative petition, was filed Thursday in Cole County.

JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Mike Parson announced Tuesday that Missouri will end participation in a federal program providing an additional $300 a week in unemployment benefits.

Other GOP-led states have made similar moves in recent weeks, contending that the benefit is incentivizing people not to work — and in turn causing labor shortages at places like restaurants.

Missouri is set to shed its distinction as the only state without a statewide program to track opioid prescriptions.

The state House voted 91-64 Tuesday to adopt a prescription drug monitoring program. By January 2024, all health care providers who are legally able to prescribe opioids such as oxycodone will have to enter that information into a database in real time. The intent is to keep people with substance use disorder from going to multiple providers.

The Senate already approved the program, and Gov. Mike Parson is expected to sign it into law.

The Missouri House gave final approval late Tuesday to raising the state’s gas tax by 12.5 cents over the next five years, a hard-fought victory for advocates of finding a dedicated funding source for transportation projects.

The Senate passed the bill earlier in the session. The increase now goes to Gov. Mike Parson, who is expected to sign it into law.