Federal court in St. Louis hears arguments on Arkansas ban on transgender health care
Missouri Independent
by Debra Chandler Landis
2d ago
The Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse in St. Louis, home of the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Missouri (Rebecca Rivas/Missouri Independent). Federal appeals court judges in St. Louis on Thursday heard legal counsel for the national ACLU and the U.S. Department of Justice argue that transgender minors have a constitutional right to gender-affirming care, while Arkansas’ deputy solicitor general said a state law prohibiting such care was in the best interest of youth and not discriminatory. At issue is the 2021 Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act, which b ..read more
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Nearly 1 in 4 adults dumped from Medicaid are now uninsured, survey finds
Missouri Independent
by Phil Galewitz
2d ago
(Getty Images). Nearly a quarter of adults disenrolled from Medicaid in the past year say they are now uninsured, according to a survey released Friday that details how tens of millions of Americans struggled to retain coverage in the government insurance program for low-income people after pandemic-era protections began expiring last spring. The first national survey of adults whose Medicaid eligibility was reviewed during the unwinding found nearly half of people who lost their government coverage signed back up weeks or months later — suggesting they should never have been dropped in the f ..read more
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Disabled workers can be paid less than the minimum wage. Some states want to end that
Missouri Independent
by Kevin Hardy
2d ago
Nicholas Costanzo, 31, works at the ice cream counter at the Golden Scoop in Overland Park, Kan. While the nonprofit shop could have sought permission to pay its workers with intellectual and developmental disabilities below the federal minimum wage of $7.25, everyone is paid at least $15 per hour. Some states are moving to end subminimum wage pay (Kevin Hardy/Stateline). OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — High-fives, fist-bumps and hugs come with the ice cream at the Golden Scoop. Tucked into a shopping center in suburban Kansas City, the shop employs 15 people with developmental disabilities. While cust ..read more
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Mandatory minimum sentences are an old idea, but not a good one
Missouri Independent
by Jeremy Cady
2d ago
(Caspar Benson/Getty Images) It should be common sense: Criminal justice laws ought to make us safer. Currently, in Missouri, there are many pieces of legislation under consideration that would increase the use of mandatory minimums and roll back parole eligibility. The truth is, these bills won’t make us safer – but they will cost a lot. Mandatory minimum sentences are an old idea, but not a good one. They’re a “one size fits all scheme” that forces judges to operate as glorified clerks, ticking off boxes that add up to certain mandatory minimum prison terms. These types of laws restrict jud ..read more
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After Missouri Senate filibuster, KC landfill critics hope to cut a deal with developers
Missouri Independent
by Allison Kite
3d ago
A sign just outside Creekmoor, a golf course subdivision in Raymore, implores drivers to stop a proposed landfill less than a mile away. Officials from the city of Raymore are negotiating with developers of the project to keep it from being built (Allison Kite/Missouri Independent). Kansas City-area communities fighting a proposed landfill are hopeful negotiations with the developers will end the controversy and “eliminate” the project. For more than a year, communities that border south Kansas City have been fighting a proposed 270-acre landfill. They’ve pleaded with state lawmakers to pass ..read more
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U.S. Senate committee critical of MOHELA after widespread complaints
Missouri Independent
by Annelise Hanshaw
3d ago
The Higher Education Loan Authority of the State of Missouri (MOHELA)'s Columbia operating center, as photographed Feb. 28 (Annelise Hanshaw/Missouri Independent). A U.S. Senate committee on Wednesday dug into complaints against a Missouri-based student-loan servicer, though the organization’s executive director refused to attend.  Wednesday’s meeting of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs focused on the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority, or MOHELA, and other loan servicers that have received widespread criticism in recent years.  U.S. Sen. Elizabe ..read more
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Gaza and the failed lessons of the past
Missouri Independent
by Rasha Abousalem
3d ago
Palestinian emergency services and local citizens search for victims in buildings destroyed during Israeli raids in the southern Gaza Strip on Oct. 17, 2023 in Khan Yunis, Gaza (Ahmad Hasaballah/Getty Images). As a humanitarian aid worker, having traveled to over 40 refugee camp sites around the world throughout Europe, the Middle East and South Asia, I have seen the worst of human nature: experiencing second-hand trauma through horrific recounts of torture, sexual assault, slaughter, and oppression. Yet even after all of my field experiences, I have yet to see anything so intentionally cruel ..read more
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Missouri Senate gives initial approval to complete ban on child marriage
Missouri Independent
by Clara Bates
4d ago
Sen. Holly Rehder, R-Scott City, listens during Senate debate of an initiative petition bill Monday, Feb. 12 (Annelise Hanshaw/Missouri Independent) A bipartisan bill to ban child marriage in Missouri won initial approval in the state Senate Wednesday afternoon. Under current law, 16 and 17-year-olds are allowed to get married with parental consent. Marriage between a minor and anyone 21 or older is prohibited. The legislation discussed Wednesday would prohibit issuing a marriage license to anyone younger than 18 under any circumstances.  Under identical bills co-sponsored by Republican ..read more
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U.S. Capitol Police chief describes preparations for possible post-election turmoil
Missouri Independent
by Jennifer Shutt
4d ago
A pro-Trump mob breaks into the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Win McNamee/Getty Images). WASHINGTON — U.S. Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger sought to ease concerns from the lawmakers in charge of his agency’s budget on Wednesday, saying the department is preparing for major upcoming events — including another potential Jan. 6 — by trying to grow the size of its force and overhauling its intelligence gathering activities. During an hour-long hearing in front of the House Appropriations Legislative Branch Subcommittee, Manger argued the agency is far better positioned th ..read more
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‘The water wars are coming’: Missouri looks to limit exports from rivers, lakes
Missouri Independent
by Allison Kite
4d ago
Missouri River and Capitol Building during sunset in Jefferson City (Getty Images). Missouri House members on Wednesday took a step toward prohibiting exports of water, arguing the state’s “most precious resource” should be protected and reserved for residents. The bill, which prohibits water exports without a state permit, cleared an initial Missouri House vote 115-25. It needs second approval before it moves to the Missouri Senate, where a similar bill has passed a committee vote and awaits action by senators. Speaking in favor of the bill, Bridget Walsh Moore, a Democrat from St. Louis, sa ..read more
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