Missouri

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St. Louis Public Radio

Governor Mike Parson says Missouri's hospitals are struggling to cope with rising COVID-19 cases.

COVID-19: "Out of Control" in 90% of Rural Missouri

Oct 26, 2020

COVID-19 cases are on the rise almost everywhere, but the share of new cases in Missouri's rural counties is outpacing the new caseload in metro counties.

Missouri Health officials say a “database extract error” resulted in an incorrect inflation of the number of reported COVID-19 cases in the Show Me State going back over several days.

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Missouri Gov. Mike Parson says he has been cleared to return to the office after battling COVID-19.

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Associated Press

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican who has steadfastly refused to require residents to wear face coverings, has tested positive for COVID-19.

His office confirmed the positive test Wednesday. Parson was tested after his wife, Teresa, tested positive earlier Wednesday.

More than 7,000 college-age people in Missouri have tested positive for COVID-19 since colleges and universities opened for the fall semester, fueling spikes in cases in college towns across the state.

Missouri has paid a consulting firm 522-thousand dollars in federal funds designed for COVID-19 pandemic-related expenses.

When physician Erik Martin left his home in southwest Missouri to help with New York’s COVID-19 outbreak in April, his county had fewer than 10 confirmed cases of the virus. Now he’s back — and watching those numbers skyrocket. More than 400 Jasper County residents have tested positive, and more than 800 are in quarantine.

“I never expected that within such a short period of time, my home town would become a COVID hotspot, as it has now," Martin says. He was alarmed when he learned a patient who tested positive worked at the Butterball poultry processing plant in nearby Carthage. After seeing a second Butterball worker, Martin alerted the county health department to the potential outbreak.

Missouri lawmakers are headed back to the state capitol Monday to pass a state budget by May 8. 

The coronavirus has left the 2020 legislative session in limbo, and there’s still serious concerns about spreading the virus. But House Speaker Elijah Haahr said it’s imperative to get a budget complete. 

“Our constitution doesn’t allow us to do anything but to pass it by May 8,” said Haahr. 

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Missouri Governor Mike Parson announced all public and charter schools will remain closed for the remainder of the academic year. 

Missouri voters will almost certainly have another say this year on how state Senate and House districts are drawn.

They’ll choose between keeping a system they voted for in 2018, in which a demographer holds much of the power to draw maps, and a modified version of the old system.

It’s a debate that’s elicited national attention from redistricting enthusiasts and political parties, especially since the complex and wonky subject of mapmaking has an immense impact on how citizens are represented in government. 

Destini Hutson spent much of her childhood picturing what life would be like when her dad came home.

Over time, her plans turned to the practical: teach him how to use an iPhone, help him find a job, go to Chick-fil-A together.

“‘It’s a lot that you’re going to have to learn,’” Hutson told her dad, Donald, who went to prison in 1997 when she was still a baby.

Those plans came to a halt last September, when Donald Hutson died of a drug overdose at Missouri Eastern Correctional Center in Pacific. He’s one of more than 430 inmates who have overdosed in state prisons since May 2017, according to internal data from the Missouri Department of Corrections. While there are many ways drugs are smuggled into prisons, DOC employees say internal corruption is a key part of the problem.

Abortion rights advocates are concerned the legal dispute over the last existing abortion clinic in Missouri may have already hindered access to abortion.

The license for Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region has been in jeopardy for months as state officials delayed action on its application. To compel the state to act, Planned Parenthood took state officials to court.

Circuit Court Judge Michael Stelzer has kept the license in effect while the arguments play out in court. But abortion rights advocates say the legal process as well as Missouri’s increasingly stringent abortion regulations could discourage doctors from providing the procedure in the future.

Updated at 4 p.m. on Thursday with the filing of the ACLU's lawsuit:

Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft rejected bids to place a newly signed abortion ban up for a statewide vote in 2020, citing the fact that a provision in the measure goes into effect right away.

At least one group seeking to overturn the eight-week ban has gone to court against the GOP statewide official’s action.

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Critics say a Missouri bill aimed at protecting student free speech on college campuses would also limit professors' speech.                

At issue is a bill by Republican Rep. Dean Dohrman to ban what are known as ``free speech zones'' for student expression. It calls for colleges and universities to adopt free speech policies.                 

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State and federal lawmakers from Missouri have unveiled a plan to turn two highways into Interstate 57.

The goal of the Future I-57 project is to connect Chicago to Little Rock, Arkansas.

The state of Missouri is moving toward medical marijuana, naming an outgoing lawmaker to a leadership role and announcing the start of the process for those who want to grow, make or sell marijuana products.

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Missouri voters will decide on a ballot measure tomorrow that would gradually raise the state's minimum wage to $12 an hour. New research estimates the effects if Proposition B is approved.

Prosecutors have dropped an invasion-of-privacy charge against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens but say they hope to refile the case.

Tuesday is when candidates can start filing for Missouri's August primary.

The Cape Girardeau County Democrats went before the media Monday to talk about the organization's agenda for 2018.

It didn't take long after Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens was indicted for alleged invasion of privacy for Missouri Democrats to tie him to Attorney General Josh Hawley, the presumed GOP front runner in Missouri's hotly contested U.S. Senate race.

Updated Feb. 23 at 9:10 a.m. with  additional comments from Kim Gardner — A St. Louis grand jury has indicted Gov. Eric Greitens for felony invasion of privacy for allegedly taking a semi-nude photo of a woman without her permission. Greitens was arrested Thursday afternoon, but was released without having to post bond. 

One of his attorneys, Edward Dowd, said in a statement that he plans to file a motion to dismiss the charges.

“In forty years of public and private practice, I have never seen anything like this. The charges against my client are baseless and unfounded. My client is absolutely innocent,” he said.

A Missouri panel is recommending increasing the state's 17-cent fuel tax by 10 cents for gas and 12 cents for diesel to pay for road and bridge work.

Raising Missouri’s fuel tax leads off a list of recommendations released Tuesday by a joint House-Senate task force.

The 21st Century Missouri Transportation System Task Force is recommending a 10 cent hike in the gas tax to 27 cents a gallon. It also wants to raise the diesel fuel tax to 29 cents a gallon. Both the gas and diesel taxes have been set at 17 cents for roughly two decades.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Physicians will have to meet with women seeking abortions three days before the procedure and Missouri’s attorney general will have the ability to enforce abortion laws under the bill headed to Gov. Eric Greitens on Tuesday.

For the hundreds of rural U.S. hospitals struggling to stay in business, health policy decisions made in Washington, D.C., this summer could make survival a lot tougher.

Updated 7:45 p.m. May 22  with number of bills filed Monday – On the eve of his first legislative special session, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens and his allied nonprofit group are attacking one of the pivotal legislators  needed to win approval of the governor’s favored bill.

The nonprofit group is called A New Missouri and can collect unlimited donations from unidentified donors. It is targeting state Sen. Doug Libla, a Republican whose southeast Missouri district includes the now-closed aluminum smelting plant that Greitens hopes to reopen, along with a possible steel mill.

Libla says he supports the projects. But the senator questions some provisions in the expected special-session bill that he says could reduce state oversight over Ameren, which provides electricity to much of eastern Missouri.

Missouri will no longer require workers who benefit from collective bargaining to pay union dues. That means Illinois is going to be surrounded by so-called right-to-work states.

The most expensive race for governor in the country is going on in Missouri. In fact, it's not even close: The more than $50 million spent in Missouri's governor race is more than the combined spending in the Indiana and North Carolina gubernatorial contests, according to the National Institute of Money in State Politics.

Missouri's so-called religious freedom bill may be dead for this year. The amendment to the state Constitution would have protected people who didn't want to provide services related to same-sex marriages, including clerks, clergy and businesses.

Wednesday's 6-6 vote by a House committee stopped the measure from advancing, The Associated Press reports. Three Republicans joined three Democrats in opposition, the AP says.

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