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.

Ways to Connect

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. 

A recent study in the U.S. indicated that 3.6 million teens used e-cigarettes in 2018, a steep climb from 1.5 million teens in 2017.
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. 

Parson did not call for a ban on any products, but wants more research. 

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.
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. 

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.

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