Jaclyn Driscoll | St. Louis Public Radio

Jaclyn Driscoll

Statehouse & Politics Reporter

Jaclyn Driscoll is the Jefferson City statehouse reporter for St. Louis Public Radio. She joined the politics team in 2019 after spending two years at the Springfield, Illinois NPR affiliate. Jaclyn covered a variety of issues at the statehouse for all of Illinois' public radio stations, but focused primarily on public health and agriculture related policy. Before joining public radio, Jaclyn reported for a couple television stations in Illinois and Iowa as a general assignment reporter.

Jaclyn has an undergraduate degree in History with a middle and secondary education teaching endorsement from Monmouth College. She was the History Department Chair at Greenfield High School in Illinois, but after one year she decided to go back to school for a master's in journalism at DePaul University. Though she has a passion for education and hasn't ruled out teaching again in the future, Jaclyn enjoys the every day excitement that comes with political reporting.

She's a 6th generation descendant on her family farm back in Illinois, but is excited to plant some roots of her own in the Show-Me state. When she isn't busy working, Jaclyn can be found trying to entertain her twin boys who still think she's a cool mom (for now). She loves cheeseburgers, hiking, 2% milk, and binge listening to true crime podcasts.

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Missouri Gov. Mike Parson delivers his first State of the State address at the Missouri State Capitol building Wednesday afternoon. Jan. 16, 2019
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Gov. Mike Parson is calling a special session next month to clear up an issue regarding sales tax bills on new cars. 

In June, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled in Kehlenbrink v. Director of Revenue that the sale proceeds of only one used vehicle can be applied as a credit on a new car. The Department of Revenue was allowing couples to turn in more than one used vehicle to bring down the sales tax on a new model. 

Legal medical marijuana
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

With the deadline to submit an application for a medical marijuana business closed, more than 2,100 were received, bringing in more than $5.3 million in fees, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. 

On Thursday, the department announced it would extend the deadline to 4:30 p.m. Monday. Initially the cutoff was midnight Saturday, but with a slow start early in the application period, the department expected an influx toward the end. 

Gov. Mike Parson addresses a crowd of supporters at the Governor's Ham Breakfast on Aug. 15, 2019
Jaclyn Driscoll | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri’s two likely nominees for the 2020 governor’s race have similar stances on gun reform measures needed in the state, but are on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to access to abortion. 

Democratic Auditor Nicole Galloway and Republican Gov. Mike Parson both spoke with members of the press at the annual Governor’s Ham Breakfast at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia on Thursday. 

Parson has not officially entered the race yet, but Galloway, who announced her candidacy Monday, was critical of the incumbent’s leadership. 

File photo | Thomas Hawk | Flickr

The ACLU and the MacArthur Justice Center of Missouri are asking a judge to order the expedited treatment of prison inmates infected with the hepatitis C virus. 

They’ve filed a class-action lawsuit against the Missouri Department of Corrections and its private medical provider, Corizon, but that may not get started for another year. 

DHSS begins accepting medical marijuana applications
Jaclyn Driscoll | St. Louis Public Radio

After taking in $4.2 million in early application fees, Missouri’s medical marijuana program is off to a slow start since it began accepting full applications on Saturday.

Roughly 600 applicants chose to pay their required fees in advance, but so far only 27 full applications have been submitted. The application process is extensive, and the deadline isn’t until Aug. 17. Still, Lyndall Fraker, the director of the state’s medical marijuana program, said he was surprised by the low numbers. 

State Rep. David Wood, R-Versailles
Tim Bommel I House Communications

State Rep. David Wood is the latest guest on the Politically Speaking podcast. The Versailles Republican spoke with St. Louis Public Radio’s Jaclyn Driscoll and Jason Rosenbaum about controversy in the state’s Medicaid program and other issues.

Wood was elected to Missouri’s 58th House District in 2012. He’s currently serving his final term in the General Assembly’s lower chamber, where he’s chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee for health, mental health and social services.

Tens of thousands of Missourians are still waiting to receive their state tax refunds this year. 

And some are saying this year’s wait is particularly bad.

State Auditor Nicole Galloway said this has been an issue for years, under both Republican and Democratic governors. Despite significant improvements in the timeliness of refunds last year, Galloway said problems persist and little has been done to remedy the situation.

This fall, U.S. Census Bureau workers will come to St. Louis to verify, using in part smartphones, the agency's address lists, compiled using a new method. Those lists will help the Bureau conduct the 2020 Census.
U.S. Census Bureau

Missouri is prepping for the 2020 census and working to make sure that everyone is counted. 

The data that will be collected is used to provide an official count of the United States' population, but also ensures each state is fairly represented. Population helps determine the amount of federal money allocated to each state, as well as the number of congressional districts. 

A decade ago, when the last census was taken, Missouri lost billions of dollars in federal funding and a U.S. congressional seat due to an apparent undercount. State demographer Matt Hesser said that shouldn’t be the case in 2020. 

State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick on Thursday announced a low-interest loan program to help small-business owners and farmers who have suffered losses from storms and flooding this year.

LIFT (Linked Deposits to Invest and Fund a Timely Recovery) offers loans of up to $2 million for those affected by natural disasters. 

Jaclyn Driscoll | St. Louis Public Radio

Bayer AG plans to relocate 500 jobs to Creve Coeur and promises a total capital investment of $164 million for the state of Missouri. 

The announcement, made on Tuesday from Missouri Gov. Mike Parson’s office, comes after Bayer decided to close its North American crop sciences headquarters in Raleigh, North Carolina. The 500 jobs in St. Louis will be a combination of transfers from that facility and new hires.

File photo | Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson vetoed a bill Friday that would have repealed the state’s mandatory helmet law because he disagreed with an unrelated portion of the proposal. 

The law would have allowed qualified motorcyclists 18 and older with proper health-insurance coverage to ride without a helmet. But the provision got tied into a larger, omnibus transportation bill covering everything from left turns onto one-way streets at red lights to motor-vehicle rental fees.

Gov. Mike Parson signs "Hailey's Law" surrounded by supporters of the legislation on Thursday, July 11.
Jaclyn Driscoll | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has signed legislation that will speed up the process of issuing Amber Alerts for missing children throughout the state.

The measure, known as “Hailey’s Law,” was named after 10-year-old Hailey Owens of Springfield. In February 2014, she was lured into a car by a stranger, raped and later killed. At the time, the Amber Alert process was burdened with several steps that kept alerts from going out sooner. 

Illinois has been mulling over the idea of legalizing recreational cannabis for years. While some proponents tout it as a social justice issue, others focus on the additional revenue it could bring in for the cash-strapped state.

It was a good day to be a Democrat in Illinois as Governor J.B. Pritzker was sworn in on Monday along with a diverse group of statewide office holders. In his inaugural speech, Pritzker set the stage for an ambitious progressive agenda in the upcoming legislative session. But, the Democratic governor along with a Democratic majority in the General Assembly have their work cut out for them.

With growing support among politicians and the public, Illinois could likely legalize recreational marijuana as soon as next year. But, passing legislation may hinge on where the revenue will go. 

In the wake of mass shootings comes the debate around gun laws. This week, I explore a different angle: the personal responsibility of carrying a firearm. 

Lawmakers see chance for green with recreational marijuana.

Marijuana legalization is getting another look in Illinois, particularly for the money it could bring the state. The state has overdue bills nearing $9 billion after a more than two-year budget stalemate, and some argue a little extra cash could go a long way.