Samuel King | KCUR

Samuel King

Missouri Government and Politics Reporter

Samuel covers Missouri government and politics for KCUR. He comes to KCUR from the world of local television news, where he worked for 14 years in markets like Minneapolis, New York City and Montgomery. Samuel has extensive experience covering elections and state government in states across the country. He has won Associated Press awards for spot news coverage and investigative reporting. A native of Queens, New York, Samuel also spent time growing up in Alabama. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Intergrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University.

Samuel King / KCUR 89.3

Missouri has long been a conservative state in its outlook, no matter the party in charge. So in January, when legislative leaders celebrated the 100th General Assembly and the 100th anniversary of the Assembly meeting at the Capitol building in Jefferson City, there were no fireworks over the Missouri River or a grand gala.

Instead, there was a special joint session of the General Assembly and a reception with a “massive” cake in the rotunda.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced the resignation of Department of Revenue Director Joel Walters on Friday morning, a move made after months of criticism over the agency’s handling of income tax withholdings.

Samuel King / KCUR 89.3

Any member of the public can go to the debates in Missouri House or Senate. And in November, voters said the discussions about legislation and strategy that lawmakers have in emails and other documents should be public knowledge, too.

But some legislators are looking to once again shield those records from public view, a move that opponents say is a step backward for government openness and transparency.

Samuel King / KCUR 89.3

The acting head of the Missouri State Highway Patrol may soon have the job permanently. Governor Mike Parson appointed Lt. Colonel Eric Olson as superintendent on Tuesday. Olson will continue to serve as acting superintendent until his appointment is confirmed by the Missouri Senate.

“This is certainly a humbling experience for me, and I would do my best to represent the patrol in a manner that’s consistent with those who have gone before me,” Olson said.

Samuel King / KCUR 89.3

The founder of the Steamboat Arabia Museum in Kansas City backs legislation that would move it to Jefferson City.

Samuel King / KCUR 89.3

Kansas and Missouri are accustomed to throwing millions of dollars in tax incentives at businesses to lure them across state lines. But under a bill unanimously approved Thursday by the Missouri Senate, the “border war” would stop in the Kansas City metro area — only if Kansas officials agree. 

File photo / Creative Commons

The Missouri House of Representatives voted 117-39 Wednesday to approve a bill that would effectively ban abortions in Missouri except for medical emergencies. 

The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Nick Schroer, R-O’Fallon, would ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is usually around six weeks of pregnancy.

Samuel King / KCUR 89.3

Some residents of Clay County, Missouri, are so frustrated by what they say is a lack of transparency in county government that they've asked for a state audit of the Clay County Commission. Now, two Clay County legislators have introduced bills that would give Missouri voters the right to remove county commissioners through recall petitions.

One bill, filed by Republican Rep. Kenneth Wilson of Smithville, was heard in a House committee on February 20. The other bill, filed by Democratic Sen. Lauren Arthur of Kansas City, is awaiting action.

Samuel King / KCUR 89.3

A Kansas City-based project aimed at helping end homelessness among veterans was touted as a national model Wednesday by United States Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Missouri, who toured the campus of the Veterans Community Project in south Kansas City.

Samuel King / KCUR 89.3

A Missouri House committee heard testimony Monday evening on a bill that would extend annual state appropriations for the Truman Sports Complex and the Kansas City Convention Center, better known as Bartle Hall. Without action from legislators, the funding expires this year.

Capitol
Marshall Griffin / St. Louis Public Radio file photo

The majority of Missouri state representatives decided Thursday to subject local officials to the same lobbying and campaign contribution limits that state legislators face, as well as limit the amount of official records that can be made public.

Samuel King / KCUR 89.3

Missouri remains the only state without a statewide prescription drug monitoring program, though it is a step closer. Again. 

Missouri Auditor's Office

The Clay County Commission is looking to limit the scope of an ongoing, resident-requested state audit of the county’s finances and operations.

The county filed a lawsuit Thursday just hours after Auditor Nicole Galloway issued a subpoena to force the county to turn over documentation from all Clay County Commission meetings in 2017 and 2018.

Samuel King / KCUR 89.3

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson’s budget plan includes a raise for all state employees, who on average are the lowest-paid in the nation.

“We're going to invest in the state workforce,” state budget director Dan Haug said. “We have had some studies done and we had employees below what the market minimums were, so we're going to try to get almost all of our employees up to that.”

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

A little more than a week after his first State of the State address, in which he outlined his focus on workforce development and infrastructure, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson expanded on those ideas during an interview with Steve Kraske on KCUR’s Up to Date.

KCUR 89.3 file photo

Two Missouri lawmakers are looking to ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected — similar to laws that have been struck down in at least three states, most recently Iowa.

Michael Coghlan / Creative Commons-Flickr

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is planning to close Crossroads Correctional Facility in Cameron and transfer prisoners to the nearby Western Missouri Correctional Facility.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3 file photo

Former Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill said she’s “doing great” after losing her re-election bid. She’s known for being outspoken, and seems even more so now that she’s out of office.

She addressed a number of topics in a wide-ranging interview Friday on KCUR’s Up to Date with host Steve Kraske. Here are the highlights:

Carolina Hidalgo / St. Louis Public Radio file photo

All over Kansas City, its suburbs and outlying areas, new Missouri lawmakers will be taking their seats this week in Jefferson City. Who are the people representing you? Read on.

Samuel King / KCUR 89.3

Missouri’s lawmakers return to the Capitol in Jefferson City this week for the first session under Gov. Mike Parson. There’s a host of issues on the agenda for General Assembly’s 100th session, and here’s a look at the major ones.

Samuel King / KCUR 89.3

The $2.9 billion settlement between Volkswagen and the federal government could bring newer buses to Missouri’s roads, but it’s up to local transit authorities and bus companies to apply. 

Samuel King / KCUR 89.3

When the 100th Missouri General Assembly starts Jan. 9, more than 30 percent of the seats will be filled by new lawmakers. Many are finding that it’s one thing to run for state office, it’s another to actually serve. 

C-SPAN

Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill expressed both her love for and frustration with her colleagues Thursday as she gave her formal farewell speech to the Senate.

Aviva Okeson-Haberman / KCUR 89.3 file photo

Updated at 7:20 p.m. Dec. 10 with a response to the investigation from the Office of the Attorney General.

Updated at 2:10 p.m. Dec. 10 with secretary of state's office requesting the auditor's help in the investigation— Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley is under investigation for possibly using "public funds" in his bid for U.S. Senate, the Secretary of State's Office announced Thursday.

KCUR 89.3 file photo

Missouri saw its highest turnout for the November midterm election in 20 years, and is one of only 12 in the U.S. that doesn’t have a form of no-excuse absentee voting.

Kansas City Democratic Sen. Lauren Arthur is looking to change that in the next legislative session. Her measure is one of several bills that were prefiled ahead of the 2019 legislative session to deal with the state’s election and initiative petition processes.

Samuel King / KCUR 89.3

More than 100 local officials from both Kansas and Missouri gathered Saturday morning to discuss ways to combat climate change on the local and regional level. 

'This is by far the largest collection of elected officials that are addressing climate change, climate disruption and global warming that I've seen in my time here," said Brian Alferman, sustainability manager of Johnson County, Kansas. "So I want it to be a part of it and hope that it drives some of the work that I do."

Samuel King / KCUR 89.3

Missouri’s comprehensive revamp of ethics laws goes into effect this week, as does a new redistricting process that is unique among all U.S. states.

Despite passing with 62 percent of the vote in November, Amendment 1 (or Clean Missouri) still rankles opponents, who are pushing to bring the topic back to the ballot box.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3 file photo

Advocates for more transportation funding in Missouri say lawmakers need to quickly consider alternative funding sources after voters rejected a gas tax increase at the polls this month.

Samuel King / KCUR 89.3

Gov. Mike Parson appointed state Treasurer Eric Schmitt as Missouri’s next attorney general Tuesday morning, filling the office that will be vacated by Josh Hawley, who was elected to the U.S. Senate last week.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3 file photo

Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill’s long political career appears to be over, having lost her re-election bid Tuesday night to Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley. McCaskill indicated in recent weeks that, no matter the outcome, this would likely be her last campaign.

She prided herself on reaching out not only to traditionally Democratic constituencies, but also rural areas in a state that has trended far more Republican since she was first elected to the Senate in 2006. But in the end, she got less than 30 percent of the rural vote, even as she won the state’s urban areas by close to 300,000 votes.

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