Hello, MBA readers,
Last week, Missouri led the nation in new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents, according to New York Times data, and three Missouri counties — Polk, Linn and Livingston — made the top 10 for most cases per 100,000 people. The state’s 52% case spike has largely been driven by the Delta variant. In health care, a hearing on Medicaid expansion rescheduled from Friday due to the federal holiday is set to start Monday. The hearing is the next step in the fight over whether an estimated 275,000 Missourians will gain access to Medicaid benefits under a voter-approved plan to expand the health care program. Also, as more Missourians are vaccinated and out in the world again, they may also find themselves paying an arm and a leg for Uber and Lyft rides. Both ride-hailing companies are experiencing a driver shortage amid high demand for services, and they are relying more heavily on surge pricing as a result.
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Medicaid expansion trial begins Monday
Hearings are set to start in Cole County Circuit Court in a lawsuit seeking to force Missouri to expand Medicaid, as approved by voters last year. (Missouri Independent)
Special session over Medicaid tax in question
Consensus over extension of a tax on health providers that’s vital to funding Missouri’s existing Medicaid program is being jeopardized by disagreements among state lawmakers over Planned Parenthood being a Medicaid provider. (Missouri Independent)
DED awards $15.8 million for community development projects statewide
The Department of Economic Development will allocate $15.8 million to 38 projects across the state, focusing on improvement of infrastructure such as damaged streets and drainage systems. (MBA)
Springfield City Council to vote on zoning bills
A pair of bills set to be put to a vote next week would create a new zoning district for 72 acres surrounding a new greenway trail system running through the city. (Springfield Business Journal)
St. Louis bank acquires Hannibal bank
Royal Banks of Missouri has completed its all-cash acquisition of Saints Avenue Bank of Hannibal, giving Royal Banks a larger rural presence and increasing its number of branches to 17. (St. Louis Business Journal)
Columbia seeks input on federal relief spending
The city expects to receive $25 million from the American Rescue Plan Act over the next two years, and it’s asking for ideas on how the money should be spent. (Columbia Missourian)
Say that again
“It’s all about supply and demand. If there are a bunch of people that need rides and there are fewer drivers, then there’s a surge price that happens that’s very beneficial to drivers, and there was a lot of that … A lot of surges that I hadn’t seen in a long, long time.”
That’s Brett Kramer, a Kansas City-area Uber driver. Like many drivers around the country, he has noticed a shortage of drivers and high demand for rides as more people are vaccinated and ready to be on the move again, The Kansas City Star reports. Lyft is seeing similar trends. Often, this dynamic means an increase in the price of a ride, called surge pricing, which is intended to entice more drivers to get online and give rides.
Missouri leads the nation in new COVID-19 cases per capita over the last week, according to New York Times data. Cases have increased by 52% in the last seven days, a spike largely attributable to the Delta variant, the St. Louis-Post Dispatch reports. Three of the top 10 case-bearing counties were in Missouri: Polk, Linn and Livingston. About 45% of the United States population is fully vaccinated, compared to about 38% in Missouri. “We had the benefit of living in the Midwest while we saw the first waves hit the coast, which gave us more time,” Steve Edwards, president and CEO of CoxHealth in southwest Missouri, told NPR. “I think we’re going to be a harbinger for the rest of the country. It’s happening here.”
Proud to be at Kansas City’s #JuneTeenth2021 recognition and glad to support our community’s entrepreneurs, health organizations, and young people doing good work in our community. It was hot, but a joy to see people again. pic.twitter.com/XMzVZ1clKI
— Mayor Q (@QuintonLucasKC) June 19, 2021
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas was among the Missourians to participate Saturday in the first celebration of Juneteenth as a federal holiday, following President Joe Biden’s signature Thursday. Businesses and organizations across the state have found different ways to recognize the day, ranging from diversity initiatives to special events to paid time off.
Hello, my name is
This St. Louis startup offers sales and management software designed for florists, caterers and event planners. After raising $1.25 million in a seed funding round, the company plans to double its staff, the St. Louis Business Journal reports. Curate said it aims to become the “premier sales and operations platform for all creative-driven small businesses.”
It’s been a pleasure doing business with you this morning.