Missouri Legislature

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

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.

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More people will soon be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.  Governor Mike Parson Thursday announced that Missouri will activate Phase 2 of the state’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan on Monday, March 29, and Phase 3 on Friday, April 9.

"With progress we're currently seeing in vaccine supply expected to increase significantly in the coming weeks, we are well ahead of schedule," said Parson.

House of Representatives

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — A complaint has been filed against a Missouri lawmaker for describing COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus.” Kansas City Democratic Rep. Emily Weber filed the complaint against Branson Republican Rep. Brian Seitz with House human resources Wednesday. Seitz didn't immediately return an Associated Press request for comment Wednesday. Weber says the term stigmatizes and denigrates people who look like her. Weber was born in South Korea. She was adopted and raised in Kansas. Seitz is one of several Missouri lawmakers who have described the coronavirus as Chinese.

david_shane / Flickr

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Republican-led Missouri House has voted to make it harder to amend the state Constitution. Lawmakers on Wednesday advanced a proposal to require a two-thirds majority vote to change the Constitution. Currently, constitutional amendments are adopted if approved by at least 51% of voters. Republican lawmakers say it’s too easy to change the state Constitution. Missouri voters in recent years have adopted a number of polices supported by Democrats despite electing primarily Republican candidates.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri Democrat who works at an organization that fights corporate monopolies is running for U.S. Senate. Lucas Kunce launched his candidacy Tuesday. The 38 year old from Independence, Missouri is a Marine veteran. He's the national security policy director at the American Economic Liberties Project. The organization advocates for government action against business concentration. Other Democratic contenders include former state Sen. Scott Sifton and activist Timothy Shepard. Republican U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt isn't running for re-election. 

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri lawmakers are considering a bill that would relax the rules for immunizations. A House committee debated a proposal Tuesday that would require only students in public schools to have immunizations. and allow students to attend school without vaccinations if they have evidence of acquired immunity from a disease. The bill also would make it easier for Missourians to exempt themselves and their families from immunizations. Republican Rep. Suzie Pollock, of Lebanon, is sponsoring the bill.

The Missouri House is considering legislation that would provide free tampons to inmates, but it may not make it out of committee because of political infighting.

david_shane / Flickr

Missouri Governor Mike Parson says pharmacies in the state will begin receiving prioritized shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine through a new State Pharmacy Program.

Starting next week, 15 percent of Missouri’s weekly vaccine allotment from the federal government will be allocated to the program, according to the governor's office in a news release.