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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Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture, was taken down for restoration for the first time in nearly 100 years.
Dana Millier | Missouri House of Representatives

Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture, returned to Jefferson City on Friday. The 1,400-pound statue normally sits atop the Capitol dome but was taken down for restoration for the first time in almost 100 years. 

“Hopefully the public will get to see a part of history here,” said Gov. Mike Parson at the public unveiling of the statue. 

Bob Priddy, past president of the State Historical Society of Missouri, said this will likely be the only time visitors will see the statue up close before it’s hoisted 240 feet in the air. 

Protesters hold LGBTQ pride flags at a Rainbow Workers' Alliance rally.
Andrea Smith | St. Louis Public Radio

Nationally, the number of reported hate crimes remained fairly stagnant in 2018 compared to the year before, but Missouri saw a 39% reduction. 

According to the FBI, there were more than 16,000 law enforcement agencies participating in the Hate Crime Statistics Program in 2018, but only about 12% reported incidents. The other 87% reported that no hate crimes occurred in their jurisdictions. Agencies participate on a voluntary basis and provide one to 12 months of data. 

The proposed stadium would seat up to 22,500 for soccer. It could also be a site for concerts and other events.
HOK

St. Louis asked the state Tuesday for $15 million in tax credits to prepare the site of a $461 million soccer stadium complex northwest of Union Station. 

At a meeting in Jefferson City, the Missouri Development Finance Board got a closer look at plans for the entire area, which will include a public plaza, bike paths, restaurants and commercial space with the intention of year-round use, not just when games are being played. 

Parson and mayors of St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, and Columbia meet to talk about violent crime on Monday, Nov. 25, 2019.
Office of Missouri Governor

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson agreed to back stricter gun control after a meeting Monday with the mayors of St. Louis, Kansas City, Columbia and Springfield to continue their discussion on addressing crime and gun violence throughout the state. 

At its fourth meeting, the group agreed on three top priorities to make communities in Missouri safer: additional funding for witness protection programs, greater access to mental health care and stricter gun control.

On the latest news roundup show for the Politically Speaking podcast, the St. Louis Public Radio team discusses vaping, St. Louis' police residency requirement and General Motors state tax incentives.
File | Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest episode of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum, Julie O’Donoghue and Jaclyn Driscoll review some of the week’s biggest stories in state and local politics.

We break down how Gov. Mike Parson is responding to the recent spate of illnesses and deaths related to vaping.

A part of the Clear the Air Campaign promotional materials that launched Monday, Nov. 18, 2019
Jaclyn Driscoll | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Monday announced the launch of the state’s new youth vaping education campaign to bring attention to the dangers of e-cigarettes and vaping products. 

Parson signed an executive order in October giving the departments of Health and Senior Services, Elementary and Secondary Education, and Public Safety one month to get the program running without any additional funding. 

Colorful photos hang on the walls at HCI Alternatives in Collinsville. The marijuana dispensary is set up like a typical doctor's office.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest episode of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Julie O’Donoghue, Jason Rosenbaum and Jaclyn Driscoll review some of the week’s biggest stories in state and local politics.

One of the big topics on the show is the first meeting of the Board of Freeholders, which can propose consolidating services in St. Louis and St. Louis County — or even combining city and county governments.

Recreational marijuana facility in San Francisco, California in Nov. 2018
File photo | Jaclyn Driscoll | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri has already approved more than 17,000 patients for its yet-to-be-launched medical marijuana program — a stark contrast to neighboring Illinois, which had fewer than 3,000 patients in the first 10 months. 

Licenses for Missouri’s dispensaries are expected to be awarded by January, and cannabis should be available for medical card holders by spring. 

At their core, Missouri and Illinois programs do the same thing: They allow doctors to certify patients to use cannabis if they have a qualifying condition. But there are significant differences in the details of each law, including who has access, how they’re getting access and how the programs can be changed in the future.

State Rep. LaDonna Appelbaum, D, St. Louis County
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Public Radio’s Julie O’Donoghue and Jaclyn Driscoll welcome state Rep. LaDonna Appelbaum to Politically Speaking for the first time. The discussion includes the Democrat's efforts to improve health care.

Appelbaum represents Missouri’s 71st House District, which takes in portions of Chesterfield, Creve Coeur, Maryland Heights, Olivette, Overland and unincorporated St. Louis County. She was first elected in 2018.

State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis, address Rolla Police Chief Sean Fagan during the first meeting for the Interim Committee on Public Safety on Nov. 4, 2019.
Jaclyn Driscoll | St. Louis Public Radio

A Missouri Senate committee heard several hours of testimony on Monday regarding gun violence throughout the state, with possible solutions including more money for gang intervention and better retention of police officers. 

Witnesses at the hearing were invited by one of the seven senators on the newly formed Interim Committee on Public Safety. They included police, prosecutors and research analysts. 

Close to 740,000 Missourians used the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program on a monthly basis in 2018, according to the Food Research and Action Center.
Flickr | The Consumerist .

There are hundreds of thousands of Missouri families that don’t know where their next meal is coming from. 

Despite progress, the state is still higher than the national average for food insecurity. 

A recent report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows Missouri has improved hunger levels throughout the state. Compared to one year ago, levels are down almost one full percentage point. However, 11.7% is the national average of food insecurity, and Missouri sits at 12%

The Loop Trolley during a test drive on June 13, 2018.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest episode of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Julie O’Donoghue, Jason Rosenbaum and Jaclyn Driscoll break down some of the week’s biggest stories in federal, state and local politics.

Of particular interest for many St. Louis area residents is the financial peril surrounding the Loop Trolley.

Kathy Howard, who has worked as a sexual assault nurse examiner for decades, shows an unused rape kit. Sept.  27, 2019
Jaclyn Driscoll | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri has more than 10,000 untested rape kits sitting on shelves in police departments and hospital — some have been there for decades — but the state is finally set to have a full inventory of those kits by the end of the month. 

Once the inventory is complete, Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s office can move forward with creating an electronic database to not only keep track of the untested kits, but to help prosecute rapists and provide justice for victims. 

On the latest news roundup show for the Politically Speaking podcast, the St. Louis Public Radio team discusses vaping, St. Louis' police residency requirement and General Motors state tax incentives.
File | Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

Calling vaping-related illnesses among Missouri’s youth an epidemic, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Tuesday signed an executive order mandating education to discourage usage. 

Thousands have been sickened across the country due to vaping-related illnesses. In Missouri, there have been 22 reported illnesses and one death as of Oct. 4. The majority of those cases involve people between the ages of 15 and 24. 

Rachel Dalske, of Florissant, votes at the St. Louis County Board Of Elections on Oct. 25, 2018.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Supreme Court heard arguments Thursday on whether a portion of the state’s voter identification law is unconstitutional. 

The law allows three methods to cast a vote. People can show a photo ID; another form of identification, like a utility bill, but are then required to sign an affidavit; or they can cast a provisional ballot, which will only count once they return to show ID or election workers match their signatures with a past ballot. 

Sen. Bill Eigel, R-Weldon Spring, is a member of the six-person Conservative Caucus.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Sen. Bill Eigel is the latest guest on Politically Speaking, where he talked with St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum, Julie O’Donoghue and Jaclyn Driscoll about the future of the Conservative Caucus in the Missouri legislature.

The St. Charles County Republican is a member of a six-person Senate faction that has questioned GOP proposals involving transportation spending and economic development.

Russell Bucklew's advocates drop off signatures collected to stop his execution to the Governor's Office on Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2019.
Jaclyn Driscoll | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri is scheduled to execute Russell Bucklew by injection on Tuesday, but his advocates want Gov. Mike Parson to stop it because they say a medical condition would make him endure needless pain. 

The Cape Girardeau man was convicted of murder, rape and kidnapping in 1997. His lawyers and advocates are not challenging his guilt, but instead say Bucklew’s rare medical condition would cause him to suffer cruel and unusual punishment. 

By September 2019, thousands of Missourians are still waiting to receive their tax refunds.
401(K) 2012 Flickr

Taxes were due roughly five months ago, but thousands of Missourians are still waiting to get their state refunds. 

According to the Missouri Department of Revenue, 9,671 tax returns have been processed and are pending. That amounts to $20 million that the department has yet to pay out. There are an additional 12,791 tax returns in manual review and just over 7,000 that may be “intercepted by another state agency” for debt payments or other reasons. 

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson and the Kehlenbrink talk to media after the General Assembly passed the multiple vehicle sales tax legislation on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2019.
Jaclyn Driscoll | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri lawmakers on Friday passed the multiple-vehicle sales tax legislation that Gov. Mike Parson called a special legislative session for. 

Parson received criticism from Democratic legislators for not adding gun violence to the agenda, but he has repeatedly said that contentious issues are better suited for the regular session. 

House Speaker Elijah Haahr, R-Springfield, speaks with reporters on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, about the special session on a vehicle sales tax measure.
Tim Bommel I House Communications

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jaclyn Driscoll and the Kansas City Star’s Crystal Thomas review this past week’s special session.

Gov. Mike Parson wanted lawmakers to deal with a vehicle sales tax technicality as they gathered for the veto session. Legislators ended up following through on that request without much trouble.

State Rep. Becky Ruth, R-Festus, introduces HB1 during the 2019 Special Session on Sept. 11, 2019.
Jaclyn Driscoll | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House approved a measure Wednesday to allow car buyers to trade in multiple vehicles to reduce sales tax responsibility when buying a newer model. 

Gov. Mike Parson decided to call a special legislative session on the sales tax issue after a Supreme Court decision in June. He’s received repeated criticism from Democrats for calling the session for what some consider a minor issue. 

Parson with Krewson addressing gun violence in St. Louis on Sept. 10, 2019.
Rachel Lippman | St. Louis Public Radio

Democratic lawmakers in Jefferson City again demanded Tuesday that Missouri Gov. Mike Parson expand a special session to include discussions of gun violence, with the governor saying it will take about 10 days to work out a plan to address the issue. 

Parson spent part of the day at St. Louis City Hall, meeting with Mayor Lyda Krewson and St. Louis County Executive Sam Page, as well as representatives from federal, state and local law enforcement.

Sen. Lincoln Hough, R-Springfield
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Sen. Lincoln Hough is the latest guest on the Politically Speaking podcast. The Springfield Republican talked with St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jaclyn Driscoll about the upcoming special session — and what to expect when lawmakers come back to Jefferson City in January.

Hough represents Missouri’s 30th Senatorial District, which takes in a big chunk of Springfield and Greene County. He was sworn into office in early January for a four-year term.

Attorney General Eric Schmitt says he is referring 12 cases regarding Catholic clergy sexual misconduct allegations to local prosecutors.
File | Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

This story was updated at 9 p.m. to include a statement from Google. 

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt is one of 50 state attorneys general investigating possible anticompetitive behavior by Google.

The initial focus of the antitrust investigation will look into whether Google is prioritizing search results for companies that pay to advertise with it. Schmitt said that this could be shutting out competitors, especially small businesses, and hurting the free market for consumers. 

Rep. Crystal Quade was a supporter of a plan to fund in-home care for low-income elderly Missourians.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Legislators are headed back to Jefferson City on Monday to fix a car sales tax technicality raised by a Missouri Supreme Court decision in June, but Democrats will be working to put more items on the agenda. 

The recent spike in gun violence, particularly in St. Louis and Kansas City, needs immediate attention, said state Rep. Crystal Quade, D-Springfield. As the minority party’s leader, she said Democrats plan to bring up the issue on the floor as well as try to file stricter gun control legislation. 

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson speaks to news reporters on the last day of the legislative session in Jefferson City.
File | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Leaders of the Missouri Black Caucus met with Gov. Mike Parson to talk about gun violence but left without much hope for stricter gun control.

The topic was discussed Tuesday, but state Rep. Ashley Bland Manlove, D-Kansas City, said the governor did not see legislative interest in making changes. 

Teresa Parson and Sherry Kempf walk through Missouri Governor's Mansion as renovations continue on Aug. 28, 2019.
Jaclyn Driscoll | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Governor’s Mansion has been under renovation since mid-June, and despite unexpected structural issues, it is set to reopen on schedule at the end of October. 

The $3.8 million project includes upgrades to the electrical, mechanical and plumbing systems throughout the mansion. Most notably, the heating and air conditioning systems are being replaced. 

Regina Hartfield speaks with her daughters Khia, 14, and Destinee, 12 , as they eat dinner. Hartfield's children were dropped from Missouri's Medicaid program.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On Aug. 9, Holly Uchtman and her 7-year-old son Zyler headed to their weekly appointment at Mercy Hospital in Springfield. Zyler has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a rare, terminal disease that causes muscles to weaken and eventually stop working. For two years, Zyler had been receiving eteplirsen, gene therapy that helped his muscles keep their shape.

But that day, there was a surprise on the other side of their journey. The state had removed Zyler from Medicaid, which pays for his nearly $40,000-a-week treatment. They were turned away, and he missed his appointment.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson at a press conference on government restructuring on Aug. 28, 2019.
Jaclyn Driscoll | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson reiterated Wednesday there will be no special legislative session on gun violence. 

Parson called a special session to resolve a car sales tax issue to run concurrently with the state’s annual veto session. It’s set to begin on Sept. 9 and will cost taxpayers an estimated $16,000. 

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. 

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