Sarah Kellogg | KBIA

Sarah Kellogg

Student Producer

Sarah Kellogg is a first year graduate student at the University of Missouri studying public affairs reporting. She spent her undergraduate days as a radio/television major and reported for KBIA. In addition to reporting shifts, Sarah also hosted KBIA’s weekly education show Exam, was an afternoon newscaster and worked on the True/False podcast. Growing up, Sarah listened to episodes of Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me! with her parents during long car rides. It’s safe to say she was destined to end up in public radio. 

Despite distractions created by Governor Greitens’ scandals, some senators are pleased with what they’ve accomplished this legislative session.

The session ended Friday, and many senators ended their state politics careers due to term limits. Senator Dan Brown is among them. He says the mark of a good session is passing a good budget.

“I’m leaving my last term, and I’m leaving with a budget that I’m proud of that doesn’t have holes in it. I tried to prevent hat for whomever the new appropriations chair may be,” Brown says.

A bill requiring lessons on consent and sexual assault passed the legislature Tuesday night after it was added as an amendment to a larger education bill.

The original House bill, written by students and sponsored by Rep. Holly Rehder, R-Sikeston,  never got a vote in the House chamber. 

The legislation was then added by Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis, to House Bill 1606 during Senate debate, where it was adopted.

missouri house floor
File photo / KBIA

Sen. Bill Eigel, R-Weldon Spring, thought there was a consensus among his fellow lawmakers on a House tax bill when he brought it to the floor. However, differing opinions on the bill may have killed chances for this year.

The bill would reduce the income tax rate for the highest bracket by .4%, with the possibility of a reduction of .5%

Senate floor at the Missouri Capitol
File / KBIA

Current lawmakers win some and lose some under a proposal that would allow them to serve much longer in the legislature but prohibit them from taking lobbyists' gifts.

The legislation, which has already passed the Senate and was approved by a House committee Tuesday, includes a complete ban on all meals, tickets and other perks from lobbyists. It also includes a new form of term limits, but with a twist: Any lawmaker who was elected before Dec. 6, 2018 would be allowed to return to the Capitol for an additional 16 years.

Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

A newly published Economic Impact report says that the University of Missouri System brings in over $5 billion dollars each year to the state of Missouri.

Sarar Kellogg / KBIA

A House bill that limits how Missouri residents can spend temporary assistance funding received scrutiny during a Senate committee hearing Wednesday morning.

The legislation, which passed the House with a vote of 100 to 46, would stop residents from using their Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF cards, to access cash.


It also makes it illegal to purchase certain items like alcohol, tobacco products or pornography.

Missouri Capitol Building
j.stephenconn / Flickr

Nine people testified during a house committee meeting Tuesday evening, on behalf of a bill that would change how minors are charged with crimes.

The bill, which would be enacted in 2021, requires individuals under the age of 18 to be tried as juveniles for most crimes, unless they are certified as an adult.

Minors could still be charged as adults for violent or serious crimes such as murder or robbery.

File Photo / KBIA

The House General Laws Committee held public hearings Tuesday night on two bills related to guns after already hearing at least ten gun bills this session.

One bill would allow a gun owner with a concealed carry permit to bring their firearm into a place of worship.

Currently, the law allows guns if given permission by the minister or whoever is in charge.

Missouri Capitol
David Shane / Flickr

The prospects for industrial hemp in Missouri are looking up this year.

Missouri Senators advanced a bill Tuesday that would create a pilot program in the state to study the growth, cultivation, processing and marketing of industrial hemp in cooperation with Missouri’s Department of Agriculture.

Multiple individuals spoke on behalf of a House bill Monday afternoon that would create more restrictions on accessing pornography.

The bill, entitled the “Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation Act,” would prohibit distributors from selling any devices that would provide access to obscene material that has no “literary, artistic, political or scientific value” unless the devices are equipped with blocking software.

Sarah Kellogg

The House General Laws Committee has passed a bill allowing firearms in current “gun free zones” along with other legislation concerning guns.

Of the eight bills that had public hearings on Monday, five passed through committee Tuesday evening. The voting mostly went by party lines, with all five Republican sponsored bills and one Democrat-backed bill passing the majority republican committee.

This includes a bill that allows firearms without a conceal and carry permit into current gun free zones such as bars, hospitals and churches.

Senate floor at the Missouri Capitol
File / KBIA

Representatives on behalf of both public universities and community colleges spoke against a proposed Senate bill Tuesday afternoon that would limit fee increases at public universities.

While public universities in Missouri currently face a cap with tuition costs, legislation allows the same universities to raise fees to their discretion. A Senate bill proposed Tuesday afternoon to the education committee would place the same cap on fees, prohibiting them from being higher than the inflation rate.

missouri capitol
Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

Proposed legislation would allow some Missouri employees to take unpaid leave to take care of matters relating to domestic violence.

The Senate Seniors, Families and Children Committee held a public forum on the bill Wednesday morning.

The bill would legally require workplaces with a minimum of fifteen employees to allow workers to take one week of leave concerning matters of domestic violence. These days could be used to seek medical attention, obtain counseling, seek legal help or other matters related to a situation of domestic violence.  Employers with at least 50 employees would be required to allow two weeks.

Missouri Capitol Building
j.stephenconn / Flickr

Missouri could fall in line with other states hoping to implement work requirements for “able-bodied” Missourians on Medicaid.

A Senate Committee held a public forum Wednesday morning on legislation that would require some residents to engage in 20 hours of work, education, job searching or other services per week.

File / KBIA

The Missouri House of Representatives heard and advanced a bill Tuesday night that would criminalize the practice of revenge porn. The bill makes it a felony when an image that would reasonably be understood as private, is intentionally shared without the knowledge or consent from the other party.

KBIA/file photo

A proposal to expand sexual education curriculum to require discussion about consent, sexual assault and violence started with a meeting between a state lawmaker and a group of MU students.

"We want to make sure that everyone in Missouri is getting this education, not just those that can afford a higher education," said Chelsea Spence, legislative director for The Associated Students of the University of Missouri, during a hearing Tuesday at the state Capitol. "It prepares students before they enter college."

A recent criminal case in Massachusetts has paved the way for legislation to expand Missouri’s definition of manslaughter.

Under the bill, involuntary manslaughter would include instances where bullying incites an individual to commit suicide. A senate committee held a public hearing on the bill Monday morning.

The introduction of this bill comes after the case of Michelle Carter, the Massachusetts teenager who convinced her boyfriend through text messages to commit suicide.

KBIA/file photo

Currently, Missouri has no way of keeping track of processed sexual assault collection kits. A proposed bill hopes to fix that.

During a hearing Monday afternoon, members of the public spoke in favor of a bill that would create an online system that uploads and stores information on sexual assault kits.

Right now, a survivor of rape would possibly not have the ability to know where that kit is. Sen. Jeanie Riddle, R-Mokane, the bill’s sponsor, cited Attorney General Josh Hawley’s proposed statewide audit to determine just how many rape kits are untested in the state of Missouri.

David Shane / Flickr

Governor Eric Greitens defended his tax plan at a news conference Thursday afternoon, stating that the tax cuts would lead to more money for residents and would not decrease the amount of funding the government receives.

Greitens was responding to comments from the state auditor’s office that stated any more tax cuts would ultimately harm Missouri’s economy.

A bipartisan group of senators spent over 20 hours filibustering a bill that rewrites Missouri’s utility laws.

The hours-long discussion ranged from Amazon’s future headquarters, to Gov. Eric Greitens’ proposed tax plan, to Eminem.

Missouri Capitol Building
j.stephenconn / Flickr

A ban on abortions after twenty weeks drew support and criticism on a hearing Tuesday night.

The proposed bill, one of more than bills related to abortion this session, prohibits an abortion after twenty weeks. Rep. Donna Lichtenegger, R-Jackson, the bill’s sponsor, chose this cutoff period because that is when the fetus can feel pain.

Shellie Gonzalez / Flickr

While the Attorney General’s office is taking on cases to combat human trafficking and is even investigating Google, they are planning on doing that with a slightly smaller budget.

The proposed core operating budget for the 2019 fiscal year is $25,332,059.

The cut Attorney General Josh Hawley recommends is the elimination of two, full time, executive administrative positions: an IT post and one executive assistant. According to Hawley this would equal to about $100,000. A cut this small would amount to less than one percent of the budget.

File / KBIA

A proposed house bill would require law enforcement officials to obtain a warrant to use any device that intercepts communication from wireless devices. This includes: cell phones, tablets and laptops. Currently, it is against the law to gather wired communication such as landlines without a warrant.

The Special Committee on Homeland Security held a public hearing on the bill Thursday morning.

Missouri lawmakers are expressing concern about proposed budget cuts to higher education. 

During an appropriations hearing on Wednesday afternoon, state representatives heard a presentation from the Missouri Department of Higher Education on an overview of the 2019 budget. 

Governor Eric Greitens' budget recommends a cut on higher education of over ninety-six million dollars. 

KBIA/file photo

As a part of the Missouri Capitol’s Sex Trafficking Awareness Day, lawmakers and other officials spoke at a rally held Tuesday afternoon. The day was a part of Missouri’s Sex Trafficking Awareness Month, which takes place in January.

The rally, assembled by Missouri Senator Jamilah Nasheed, featured speeches by lawmakers on the importance of combating sex trafficking in the state.

Representative Cora Faith Walker, who currently sponsors a bill that “prohibits the prosecution of minor children for prostitution,” emphasized how awareness is not enough.

missouri house floor
File Photo / KBIA News

The House Committee on Crime Prevention and Public Safety held a public hearing Tuesday morning on a proposed bill that criminalizes the nonconsensual circulation of private sexual images. A more commonplace term for this is revenge porn.

According to the statements made at the hearing, thirty eight states have similar laws already.