Marshall Griffin

Statehouse Reporter

Missouri Public Radio State House Reporter Marshall Griffin is a proud alumnus of the University of Mississippi (a.k.a., Ole Miss), and has been in radio for over 20 years, starting out as a deejay. His big break in news came when the first President Bush ordered the invasion of Panama in 1989. Marshall was working the graveyard shift at a rock station, and began ripping news bulletins off the old AP teletype and reading updates between songs. From there on, his radio career turned toward news reporting and anchoring. In 1999, he became the capital bureau chief for Florida's Radio Networks, and in 2003 he became News Director at WFSU-FM/Florida Public Radio. During his time in Tallahassee he covered seven legislative sessions, Governor Jeb Bush's administration, four hurricanes, the Terri Schiavo saga, and the 2000 presidential recount. Before coming to Missouri, he enjoyed a brief stint in the Blue Ridge Mountains, reporting and anchoring for WWNC-AM in Asheville, North Carolina. Marshall lives in Jefferson City with his wife, Julie, their dogs, Max and Mason, and their cat, Honey.

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Gov. Mike Parson is now detailing the reasons why he made several line-item vetoes to Missouri’s fiscal year 2019 state budget, which took effect this month.

The state constitution requires that vetoes of bills or budget line items be accompanied by a letter alerting the Legislature of each veto, and why it was made. While Parson issued explanations for the two standard bills and one resolution he vetoed, he initially did not for the budget cuts.

Updated July 12 with brief response from plaintiffs' attorney - A Cole County judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging the appointment of Mike Kehoe as Missouri’s lieutenant governor.

In a ruling issued late Wednesday, Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem said that Gov. Mike Parson had the authority to appoint fellow Republican Kehoe to the state’s No. 2 office, under the Missouri Constitution.

A Cole County judge heard arguments Thursday on whether Mike Kehoe can legally hold the office of Missouri lieutenant governor.

The Missouri Democratic Party filed suit along with Darrell Cope, 93, a World War II veteran from southern Missouri who said in a written statement that he wants the opportunity to vote for the state’s lieutenant governor, instead of having him picked “in backroom deals.”

A lawsuit has been filed in Jefferson City to stop Missouri voters from going to the polls in November to decide whether to raise the state’s fuel tax.

The proposal is part of a House bill passed on the final day of the 2018 regular session. It would gradually raise Missouri’s fuel tax from 17 cents a gallon to 27 cents by July of 2022.

Eric Greitens’ resignation as Missouri governor earlier this month has now officially brought to an end the mission of the House committee that’s been investigating him, but the chairman still plans on filing an ethics complaint.

In a letter sent Monday to members of the House Special Investigative Committee on Oversight, chairman Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City, said that the House does not have “inherent authority to investigate anything it wants.”

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Thursday took his get-acquainted tour to the nation’s capital.

The new governor attended a group of meetings in Washington,  including a lunch meeting with President Donald Trump that was attended by seven other governors. Parson described the meeting with Trump as insightful.

Attorneys seeking to prove former Gov. Eric Greitens and his staff violated Missouri’s Sunshine Law by using the message-deleting Confide app have an extra hurdle to clear.

Circuit Judge Jon Beetem has issued a protective order, for now, shielding Greitens’ former staffers, including any who still work for the state, from being interviewed under oath by plaintiff’s attorney Mark Pedroli.

Missouri once again has a lieutenant governor, despite legal questions over how that vacancy was filled.

Gov. Mike Parson has named state senator and fellow Republican Mike Kehoe of Jefferson City to fill the No. 2 statewide post. Kehoe was sworn in Monday inside the governor’s office by Cole County Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce.

The move comes a little more than two weeks after Parson took over as chief executive following the resignation of Eric Greitens.

One of the lawyers who represented former Gov. Eric Greitens before a state House committee investigating his conduct says the state’s rejection of their bills sets a “terrible precedent.”

“If it works this time, then the next time there’s some sort of politically controversial engagement, you’ll have the same thing happen again,” said Kansas City attorney Ed Greim. “We’re going to have to have officeholders who have deep pockets, because they’re going to have to personally pay for state government work.”

The chairman of a Missouri House committee that investigated former Gov. Eric Greitens doesn’t want the state to pay for his lawyers.

Greitens hired attorneys Ed Greim and Ross Garber to represent him in his official capacity as governor. When questioned under oath by the House investigative committee last month, the two confirmed that they were billing the state for their services – Greim was billing the state $340 an hour, while Garber was billing $320 an hour.

The Missouri House committee that's been investigating former Gov. Eric Greitens has done an about-face.

A motion was filed by the House Special Investigative Committee on Oversight late Wednesday to drop its lawsuit seeking records from A New Missouri and Greitens for Missouri.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is nearly a week into his new job and is still hosting private meetings with city and state officials – while taking a few minutes to brief the media on those gatherings at least once a day.

Wednesday’s meetings included one with St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger. Before the meeting, Krewson told reporters she didn’t have any immediate requests for the new governor.

Gov. Mike Parson met Tuesday with several mayors from across Missouri, including Florissant and St. Peters, as part of the transition into his new job.

He called it the first in a series of meetings with mayors, in which he said he wants his office to provide whatever help or assistance cities and towns may need.

Updated at 9:54 p.m. with the hiring of Parson's chief of staff - Mike Parson kicked off his first full week as Missouri’s governor by meeting with the state’s cabinet members, all chosen by his predecessor, Eric Greitens.

The meeting was held Monday in private, inside the governor’s office, but Parson did briefly meet with reporters beforehand. He said he has no intention of replacing any of Greitens’ chosen agency heads.

Today was the actual last day of Missouri’s 2018 legislative session, as the heads of the House and Senate each placed their signatures on every bill that’s headed to the governor’s office.

But it’s unknown which governor will be signing them.

Update 11:20 p.m. with statement from Michelle Nasser -- Rep. Jay Barnes has thrown down the gauntlet, as has the rest of the Missouri House committee investigating Gov. Eric Greitens.

The Republican committee chairman announced Friday that they’ve issued a subpoena for the governor to appear and testify under oath on June 4.

Updated at 8:15 p.m. with comments from the House committee's attorney.

The attorney representing the ex-husband of the woman with whom Gov. Eric Greitens had an affair made an explosive appearance Thursday before the Missouri House committee investigating the governor’s conduct.

St. Louis attorney Al Watkins contradicted testimony given on Wednesday by Missouri Times publisher Scott Faughn.

Faughn said the $120,000 he gave to Watkins in January was his own money. But as Watkins has told St. Louis Public Radio and other media outlets, he said that Faughn told him the money came from a disgruntled political donor.

(Updated at 10:22 p.m. May 18 with the latest on the special session.)

Missouri’s special legislative session to consider whether to impeach Gov. Eric Greitens has officially begun, but so far nothing much has happened.

House and Senate members briefly opened the session Friday to make a few motions, then adjourned until Tuesday to hold technical sessions, which last a couple of minutes and only require two or three lawmakers per chamber. But the committee that’s been investigating Greitens is meeting twice next week.

The committee investigating Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens released two emails this morning, one that suggests he might have tried to hide some campaign donations.

However, Greitens’ use of outside groups to not identify some donors has been known publicly for at least two years. He previously had defended the practice as necessary to protect donors.

The chairman of the Missouri House committee that’s investigating Gov. Eric Greitens said Monday they’re getting pushback from the governor’s camp.

Rep. Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City, told reporters that they’ve issued a subpoena to Greitens’ advisor Austin Chambers, and to the groups Greitens for Missouri and A New Missouri, via attorney Catherine Hanaway. He said the groups have provided some documents but are refusing to provide others.

A new front has opened up in the battle over whether Missouri should become a right-to-work state.

Under right-to-work, unions and employers would be barred from requiring all workers within a bargaining unit to pay dues or fees. On Friday, the Missouri House passed a measure that would ingrain right-to-work in the state constitution.

Despite distractions and conflict over Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens legal troubles, Missouri lawmakers were able to send him next year’s state budget two days before the mandatory 6 p.m. Friday deadline.

The spending plan for fiscal year 2019, which begins July 1, increases K-12 education funding by more than $98 million. The increase means public schools will be fully funded under the scaled-back definition that became law two years ago.

One of the bigger obstacles to passing this year’s state budget has been resolved.

Missouri’s public school system is set to get a $98 million boost in next year’s state budget, which was what House leaders wanted, under an agreement reached Monday.

Opponents of current ethics laws that allow unlimited gifts from lobbyists to lawmakers on Thursday delivered dozens of boxes of signatures to Jefferson City to change the state’s constitution.

The proposed amendment is sponsored by the group Clean Missouri. It includes limiting lobbyist gifts to $5 in value, expanding the waiting period for former elected officials to become lobbyists from six months to two years, and lowering caps on donations to state House and Senate candidates.

Legislation that would legalize marijuana for medical use in Missouri passed the state House on Tuesday.

The bill originally would have only allowed medical marijuana use for terminally ill patients, but the House added amendments last week to expand access to those with chronic and debilitating, but not necessarily fatal, illnesses.

There are only three weeks left in Missouri’s 2018 legislative session.

Lawmakers are continuing to work on major legislation, including the fiscal year 2019 state budget. But they still have to figure out how much to spend on public schools.

(Updated 2 p.m. Friday, April 27) A Cole County judge has rejected Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens’ request for a restraining order to prevent Attorney General Josh Hawley from being involved in any case against the embattled governor.

The judge's decision, issued Friday, means that the attorney general can continue investigating the governor. Hawley's staff has sent over some information to St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, who is overseeing the criminal case filed in St. Louis and set to go to trial May 14.

The Missouri House committee investigating Governor Eric Greitens has beefed up its staff.

A spokesman for committee chairman Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City, said former State Supreme Court Chief Justice Edward “Chip” Robertson, Jr., and Sedalia attorney Mark Kempton will serve as special counsel to the committee as it continues its investigation.

A Missouri Senate committee that handles appointments by the governor has unanimously approved Bill Burkes of Joplin to fill one of the vacancies on the state Ethics Commission.

But he’ll have to wait awhile for the full Senate to confirm him. That’s because Senate President Pro-tem Ron Richard, R-Joplin, wants to keep a 50-50 balance of Democrats and Republicans on the commission.

A House committee has passed a measure that would change the date voters would decide on whether to make Missouri a right-to-work state.

House Committee Resolution 102 would move the right-to-work referendum from the November general election to the August primary, which traditionally draws fewer voters. It’s sponsored by Rep. Holly Rehder, R-Sikeston.

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