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200,000 Missourians estimated to lose Medicaid as eligibility renewals resume

18 hours ago

The director of Missouri’s Medicaid program said he expects “about 200,000” Medicaid enrollees to lose coverage over the course of a year as a result of the state resuming annual eligibility renewals after a three-year pause.  The state’s Department of Social Services has not previously provided a public estimate of those projected to lose coverage. […]

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Clara Bates

Trade agreements, access to foreign markets debated in U.S. Senate farm bill hearing

19 hours ago

WASHINGTON – In its first meeting of the new congressional session, the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry gathered Wednesday for a hearing on the trade and horticulture titles in the upcoming farm bill. The legislators prioritized enforcing the nation’s agricultural trade agreements, expanding access to international markets and supporting underserved producers. “The […]

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Adam Goldstein

Biden, McCarthy hold ‘productive’ and ‘frank’ debt limit talks as fiscal cliffs loom

20 hours ago

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden and U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy huddled behind closed doors at the White House on Wednesday in the first of what will likely be several conversations as the country approaches two fiscal cliffs this year amid divided government. The top issue at the moment is when and how to address […]

The post Biden, McCarthy hold ‘productive’ and ‘frank’ debt limit talks as fiscal cliffs loom appeared first on Missouri Independent.

Jennifer Shutt

Black Senators hold up Missouri GOP’s critical race theory legislation

1 day 8 hours ago

Black Democrats in the Missouri Senate held the chamber for roughly three hours Wednesday as they condemned a Republican-sponsored bill targeting diversity training and race curriculum. The debate at times got heated, such as when Democratic Sen. Barbara Washington accused Republican Sen. Rick Brattin of disrespectfully interrupting her during a discussion of the nation’s history […]

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Annelise Hanshaw

Missouri lawmakers warn lack of confidence in MoDOT could stall funding for major projects

1 day 10 hours ago

The state Senate’s top leader delivered a stern warning Wednesday to the governor’s nominees for the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission, saying lawmakers have “no confidence” in the transportation department’s leadership and that could stall plans for major highway investments. The warning came during the Senate Gubernatorial Appointments Committee hearing for Brian Treece, a former […]

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Rudi Keller

Missouri House gives initial approval to raising bar for voters to amend the constitution

1 day 12 hours ago

Legislation to make it harder for voters to amend the state constitution through the initiative petition process won initial approval in the Missouri House on Wednesday.  After more than two hours of debate, the legislation sponsored by House Speaker Pro Tem Mike Henderson was approved 106-50. It will need to be approved one more time […]

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Jason Hancock

Lawmaker proposes tool to fill ‘hard-to-staff’ positions in Missouri school districts

1 day 13 hours ago

A Missouri House committee heard a bill Wednesday that seeks to give school districts a way to recruit educators into “hard-to-staff” positions – though some worried it could have ill effects on teachers of popular subjects. State Rep. Ed Lewis, R-Moberly, told the Missouri House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee that his legislation has the […]

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Annelise Hanshaw

Billions in federal farm payments flow to a select group of producers, report shows

1 day 14 hours ago

WASHINGTON — The top 10% of recipients of federal farm payments raked in more than 79% of total subsidies over the last 25 years — producing billions of dollars for a relatively small group of U.S. producers, according to a new analysis of federal data from an environmental group. In total, the federal government paid more […]

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Allison Winter

Of more than 7,500 threats against members of Congress in 2022, just 22 prosecuted

2 days 9 hours ago

WASHINGTON —  Members of Congress receive thousands of threats a year, though just a fraction of the people who call, mail or email will ever be prosecuted — a situation that’s of great concern to the police who guard members. Just 22 of the 7,501 threats lobbed at members during 2022 led to prosecution, the […]

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Jennifer Shutt

New U.S. House Natural Resources chair opposes limits on fossil fuel development

2 days 14 hours ago

The incoming chairman of the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee wants to allow more mining and believes technology — not limitations on fossil fuel production — is the best way to address climate change. As part of their organization of the chamber they now control, U.S. House Republicans selected Arkansas’ Bruce Westerman to lead the […]

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Jacob Fischler

Missouri Senate leader’s tweet about drag performance helped kickstart controversy

2 days 16 hours ago

With a single tweet, Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Caleb Rowden turned a local controversy over what Columbia Public Schools told parents about the drag entertainment at a city diversity breakfast into a state issue. At 8:44 p.m. on Jan. 19, Rowden wrote that his “office has been inundated with calls & emails re: grade […]

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Rudi Keller

Missouri lobbyist vs. Federalist Society: AG rivals building 2024 campaign war chests

2 days 20 hours ago

In the likely 2024 GOP showdown for the Missouri attorney general’s office, the fundraising race has already begun.  Attorney General Andrew Bailey, who was appointed to the office when his predecessor was elected to the U.S. Senate, began raising money through an independent political action committee even before officially launching his campaign last week.  Will […]

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Jason Hancock

U.S. House Oversight chair’s agenda: Hunter Biden, COVID origins, classified documents

3 days 10 hours ago

WASHINGTON — House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chair James Comer on Monday previewed his priorities for this Congress, which he says will include a heavy focus on the handling of classified documents, the origins of the COVID-19 virus, and what he described as possible “influence peddling” by Hunter Biden. The Kentucky Republican addressed reporters and […]

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Ashley Murray

USDA to use outdoors recreation to boost economy around national forests, grasslands

3 days 13 hours ago

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture began planning this month to develop outdoor recreation opportunities near national forests and grasslands, part of a broader Biden administration push to help communities reap economic rewards from the growing recreation sector. Three USDA agencies — the U.S. Forest Service, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture and […]

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Adam Goldstein

Missouri Republican pushes to legalize ‘magic mushrooms’ to treat depression, PTSD

3 days 16 hours ago

The magic in “magic mushrooms” may be the ability to defeat post-traumatic stress disorder, and a St. Charles County Republican lawmaker wants to make them legal in a treatment setting. State Rep. Tony Lovasco of O’Fallon isn’t a hippie. He says he’s never taken psilocybin mushrooms or smoked a joint. “I’ve never even smoked a […]

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Rudi Keller

Lengthy timeline for DACA legal fight puts lives on hold for years

3 days 17 hours ago

WASHINGTON — Karen Judith Briseno Ortiz mailed in her application for a program meant to protect undocumented children from deportation, one day after her twin sister’s application. Her sister was accepted into the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, but Briseno Ortiz, who grew up in Dallas, was not. Now her application is in limbo […]

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Ariana Figueroa

Push for open enrollment picks up steam as Missouri GOP focuses on education bills

3 days 20 hours ago

The push to allow Missouri students to transfer out of their home district and direct tax money toward their new school of choice is picking up momentum, with a state Senate committee set to approve a pair of bills this week. The bills — one that would allow public districts and charter schools to open […]

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Annelise Hanshaw

Capitol Perspectives: Improving Missouri’s Sunshine Law

3 days 20 hours ago

The 50-year golden anniversary of Missouri’s Sunshine Law has led me to reflect on what could be done to restore the vision of Missouri’s original Sunshine Law sponsors. Recent news stories and editorials of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Kansas City Star concluded the Sunshine Law needs an “overhaul.” I could not agree more […]

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Phill Brooks

White House launches new push to help states remove lead pipes that carry drinking water

3 days 20 hours ago

WASHINGTON — The White House on Friday announced plans to speed up the use of infrastructure law funds to replace lead pipes in underserved communities, with a focus on Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin beginning this year. The four states, each led by Democratic governors, will be part of what’s called the Lead Service […]

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Ashley Murray

Sunshine Law violations by AG’s office under Josh Hawley could cost Missouri $300K

6 days 19 hours ago

Following a Missouri judge’s determination that the attorney general’s office “knowingly and purposefully” violated the state’s open records law while it was being run by now-U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, plaintiffs in the case say they are owed more than $300,000 in legal fees.  In November, Cole County Judge Jon Beetem determined the attorney general’s office […]

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Jason Hancock