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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Reginald Clemons may get a new trial.

In a 4-to-3 decision Tuesday, the Missouri Supreme Court tossed out both his conviction and death sentence in the 1991 rape and murders of sisters Julie and Robin Kerry on the Chain of Rocks Bridge in St. Louis. The sisters, who were 20 and 19, had brought a visiting cousin to the bridge to show him a poem they had written. The cousin was the only one who survived being pushed from the bridge into the Mississippi River.

A Missouri death row inmate who came within hours of being executed earlier this month will have his appeal heard by a three-judge panel.

The U.S. Supreme Court granted a stay on Nov. 3 to Ernest Lee Johnson, based on whether a lower court properly handled his complaint about the state's execution drug. The order from the high court arrived around 40 minutes into the 24-hour execution window.

File Photo / KBIA

Missouri is receiving 1.2 million dollars from Washington that’s designed to help communities respond to disasters.  

Updated 8:05 p.m. Nov. 3 with court action - The U.S. Supreme Court has hit pause on Tuesday night's scheduled execution of Ernest Lee Johnson.

The high court issued a stay, pending the outcome of one of his appeals. It centers on claims that the state's execution drug pentobarbital could cause Johnson to experience violent seizures, due to part of his brain being removed in 2008 during surgery to remove a tumor.

A Kansas City-area man cannot sue his former employer for discrimination because Missouri's legal definition of discrimination does not include sexual orientation; so says the state's western district appeals court.

James Pittman's lawsuit claimed that, because he is gay, he was fired from Cook Paper Recycling and was subjected to a hostile work environment.  His case was dismissed by a lower court nearly two years ago, in part because sexual orientation is not included in Missouri's definition of discrimination.

The Missouri Supreme Court is considering whether a gun rights constitutional amendment passed last year cancels out an older state law that bars convicted felons from owning firearms.

The high court heard three cases Tuesday in which lower courts dismissed felony gun possession charges based on the new amendment, which makes gun ownership an "unalienable right" that the state is obligated to defend.

No fraternization, investigations conducted by "outside counsel," and sexual harassment training every year: These are just a few of the recommendations being made to improve the culture and work environment of the Missouri Capitol. 

House Speaker Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, announced the proposed changes Friday in a lengthy press release, but also spoke to St. Louis Public Radio by phone.

A case before the Missouri Supreme Court could decide whether wrongful death should fall under the state's new law capping non-economic damages on medical malpractice lawsuits.

Pat Hagerty represents the family of Shannon Dodson, who died in 2011 during what was described as a routine medical procedure at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis.

A recent court ruling that excuses tobacco companies from making a $50 million payment to Missouri has resulted in the first cuts to the current year's state budget.

Gov. Jay Nixon is withholding approximately $46.1 million from the budget that took effect July 1.

Drought conditions across portions of Missouri are having both a positive and negative effect on crops grown in the Show-Me State.

The lack of rain over much of Missouri has not harmed the state's corn crop and is enabling farmers to get heavy equipment into the fields for harvest.

A Missouri House committee is putting together recommendations that could place further restrictions on abortion providers, namely Planned Parenthood.

Several Republican lawmakers began brainstorming various proposals toward the end of a public hearing Wednesday at the State Capitol.

They included random inspections of any facility that performs abortions, including hospitals.

Missouri's Department of Economic Development has unveiled 17 recommendations for how Missouri should use and conserve energy.

The recommendations are the end result of an executive order Gov. Jay Nixon issued last year that was intended to "chart a road map toward a more prosperous, secure and sustainable energy future."

A smaller Missouri House could be coming your way in seven years, if a proposed constitutional amendment makes it onto next year's ballot.

Two identical ballot initiatives would each shrink the size of the Missouri House from 163 seats down to 123.

Five public schools in Missouri will have their cyber security measures reviewed as part of an initiative announced Wednesday by State Auditor Nicole Galloway.

She told reporters that more than 250 K-12 schools nationwide have suffered data breaches over the past 10 years. One of those was the Park Hill district in Platte County, near Kansas City, which is among the five being audited.

Talking Politics - Planned Parenthood

Sep 29, 2015
Attorney General's Office

Last Thursday, the University of Missouri Health Care System announced it would be eliminating "refer and follow" privileges.

On the heels of this decision, Attorney General Chris Koster announced Monday the results of his office's investigation into the St. Louis Planned Parenthood clinic and its handling of fetal tissue.  

Marshall Griffin has the story.

Verbal fireworks punctuated the latest round of hearings by a Missouri Senate committee investigating Planned Parenthood's operations in the state, which included accusations and denials that Republicans on the committee are conducting a "witch hunt."

Chairman Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, began by stating that Tuesday's hearing was reserved for comments from the public, which turned out to be top-heavy with official representatives from several anti-abortion groups and one citizen speaking on behalf of the National Organization for Women.

File photo / KBIA

Lawmakers return to the Missouri Capitol tomorrow for their annual veto session. Aside from attempting to override several of Governor Jay Nixon's vetoes, Republicans in the Missouri Senate willl also be choosing a new leader.

Updated 4:32 p.m., Sept. 16 with vote The Republican push to bring "right to work" to Missouri failed in a 96-63 vote in the Missouri House. Up until the veto session started it was unknown whether Republicans legislative leaders would attempt the override. As it was, the GOP picked up four votes and fell short of the 109 needed to counter Gov. Jay Nixon's clear stand against the measure.

House Speaker Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, says that a final decision on whether to bring up House Bill 116 could be decided right before the noon start.

Updated 9/1/2015, 10:13 p.m. -- Roderick Nunley has become the sixth death row inmate executed in Missouri this year.

He was put to death by lethal injection Tuesday at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Bonne Terre for the 1989 murder of 15-year-old Ann Harrison.

As of today, there are 92 new laws on the books in Missouri.

All of them were passed by the Missouri House and Senate during the 2015 regular session, and all but two were signed by Governor Jay Nixon.  Lawmakers passed Senate Bill 24 by overriding Nixon's veto.  The new law shortens the lifetime eligibility for welfare recipients in Missouri from five years to three years and nine months.  Although most of the provisions in SB24 officially takes effect today, the shorter eligibility period won't kick in until January 1st, 2016.

A joint House-Senate legislative committee on education got an earful on failing K-12 schools in Missouri's urban areas.

The committee initially met Wednesday to hear a progress report on replacing Common Core State Standards with standards drafted by Missouri-based education work groups. Those work groups were created by the passage last year of a bill scrapping Common Core in Missouri.

The last time the Senate Interim Committee on the Sanctity of Life met, members threatened to hold a Nixon administration official in contempt unless she produced documents identifying which hospital had a working relationship with Columbia's Planned Parenthood clinic.

That became a moot point when Department of Health and Senior Services Director Gail Vasterling sent the committee a letter stating that Colleen McNicholas, M.D., had received admitting privileges from University of Missouri Health Care.

One of the Missouri House's budget writers is warning Gov. Jay Nixon to change his stance on pursuing funding for a new NFL stadium without a vote of the people.

Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick, R-Shell Knob, is vice chair of the House select committee on the state budget. In a letter to Nixon, a Democrat, he said he won't support any budget bill next year that includes funding for debt service on bonds issued for a new NFL stadium in St. Louis.

Missouri House Speaker Todd Richardson is maintaining that a proposed new dress code for interns is not, and will not, be among the recommendations for improving their working conditions.

House members have been working on several suggestions, which Richardson says will be released at a later date.

Gov. Jay Nixon made a return appearance Thursday to the State Fair's annual ham breakfast, after pulling out of last year's event due to the unrest in Ferguson.

He told reporters at the fair that progress has been made in advancing social justice in Ferguson one year after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by former police officer Darren Wilson.

Missouri's only state-run mental hospital has updated its non-discrimination practices to include gender identity.

That's despite the fact that Missouri's legal definition of discrimination does not include or protect sexual orientation or sexual identity.

A Missouri Senate committee is threatening legal sanctions against a member of Gov. Jay Nixon's cabinet after the first day of hearings into the operations of Planned Parenthood in Missouri.

Committee chairman Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, on Thursday asked Department of Health and Senior Services Director Gail Vasterling to disclose the name of the hospital that has a working agreement with Planned Parenthood's Columbia clinic.  Vasterling refused.

Court fees – which came under Justice Department criticism after the unrest in Ferguson – are getting attention again.

In a press release issued Wednesday, Gov. Jay Nixon thanked the Missouri Bar for backing his veto of two bills that would have raised some court fees.

Senate Bill 67 and House Bill 799 would have added new fees to court cases to help pay for building and maintaining new and existing county jails around the state.

Apparently it's never too early to prepare for winter.

The Missouri Department of Transportation announced Tuesday that it's looking for new drivers in the St. Louis area to help plow snow from roads this winter.  The state agency is currently looking for 26 full-time and 55 seasonal drivers.

selbstfotografiert / Wikimedia Common

  The latest figures show Missouri revenues are down in some key categories.