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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Missouri lawmakers worked through dozens of bills this week as the end of the 2018 session starts coming into view.

They include a proposal designed to evenly split most child custody arrangements. The so-called “equal parenting bill” became law in 2016, but supporters of this year’s bill say it’s not being properly enforced in some courts.

Missouri U.S. Senator Roy Blunt is expressing disappointment at President Donald Trump’s tweet this week, which said a federal program that allows undocumented children to remain in the U.S. is effectively “dead.”

The Republican Senator told reporters in Jefferson City Wednesday he hopes it’s not too late for a solution that allows them to stay.

House Republicans are giving priority to bills that would place further restrictions on abortions as the 2018 session begins winding down.

First, the House on Tuesday passed legislation designed to ban abortions on fetuses capable of feeling physical pain, which would in effect ban most of them at 20 weeks. GOP Rep. Keith Frederick of Rolla, who’s a medical doctor, spoke in favor of the bill.

Missouri is the latest state to go after Facebook following national news reports that the social media giant has been sharing users’ data with third parties.

Attorney General Josh Hawley has issued a subpoena in order to find out whether Facebook has violated Missouri’s merchandising practices law.

Missouri lawmakers hit the ground running following their annual mid-March getaway.

The House spent the week debating and amending the state budget and passed the nearly $28-billion spending plan on Thursday. It increases K-12 funding by nearly $99 million and restores cuts to higher education proposed earlier this year by Gov. Eric Greitens.

A proposal to overhaul Missouri’s tax code is awaiting another vote in the Missouri Senate.

The bill approved on Wednesday would cut state income taxes to 5.25 percent for both individuals and corporations, starting next year. The state income tax rate is currently 5.9 percent for individuals and 6.25 percent for corporations.

Updated March 29 with latest details – Missouri’s budget for fiscal year 2019 is now in the hands of the State Senate, with six weeks before it’s due to be sent to Gov. Eric Greitens.

The roughly $28 billion spending plan would fully fund the state’s K-12 schools, according to Rep. Kip Kendrick, D-Columbia.

Missouri lawmakers return to Jefferson City next week to begin the second half of the 2018 legislative session.

House Speaker Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, said his chamber will spend the bulk of their first week back debating the fiscal year 2019 state budget and voting it over to the Senate.

The Missouri Ethics Commission currently has three members, which is not enough to decide complaints filed against elected officeholders or candidates for public office.

The commission lost half its members last week when their terms expired, and Gov. Eric Greitens has yet to fill them. James Klahr, the commission’s executive director, said it can still carry out some duties.

Updated March 21, 5:55 p.m. – Russell Bucklew's scheduled execution has been called off.

In a 5-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay Tuesday evening, based on Bucklew's assertion that Missouri's lethal injection protocol would cause bleeding and suffocation due to a medical condition he suffers.

Missouri lawmakers have left Jefferson City for their annual spring break.

Republican leaders are touting their accomplishments and suggesting that the scandal surrounding Gov. Eric Greitens has had little effect on the day-to-day business of the legislature.

The head of the Missouri House committee investigating the indictment against Gov. Eric Greitens provided a brief update Wednesday on how it’s going.

Chairman Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City, told reporters at the Capitol that there would be no “details of substance.”

House and Senate leaders are working on getting some key priorities wrapped up before lawmakers leave in a week for legislative spring break.

This week, the House sent 20 bills to the Senate, while the upper chamber sent 21 to the House. But the lower chamber held off on sending one bill crucial to the Republican agenda. That measure would do away with Missouri’s prevailing wage, which mandates that non-union workers hired for public projects must be paid the same amount as union members.

missouri house floor
File Photo / KBIA News

The Missouri House has passed legislation designed to reduce the number of asbestos lawsuits filed in the state.

The bill would require plaintiffs to submit their medical histories as evidence, including things not related to their claim. It would also make it easier for defendants to seek delays, and, if they lose, it would allow them within a year’s time to ask a judge for a reversal under certain conditions. 


The Missouri House has passed legislation designed to reduce the number of asbestos lawsuits filed in the state.

The bill would require plaintiffs to submit their medical histories as evidence, including things not related to their claim. It would also make it easier for defendants to seek delays, and, if they lose, it would allow them within a year’s time to ask a judge for a reversal under certain conditions.

Some former Missouri House members who now serve in the Senate are voicing concerns over how a House special committee is investigating the indictment of Gov. Eric Greitens.

Rep. Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City, chair of the Special Investigative Committee on Oversight, closed Wednesday’s meeting to the public, during which the committee began taking testimony from witnesses – and he’s indicated that most if not all testimony will be taken in private.

The first meeting of the Missouri House committee investigating the indictment of Gov. Eric Greitens lasted just over two minutes, the bulk of which saw the head of the committee telling the media what he expects from them.

Rep. Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City, said to expect most, if not all, of the proceedings to take place behind closed doors.

The latest proposal to cut taxes in Missouri is in the hands of a state House committee.

The measure would reduce the top state income tax rate on individuals and corporations to 5 percent. It’s currently at 5.9 percent for individuals and 6.25 percent for corporations. The bill is sponsored by House Speaker Pro-tem Elijah Haahr, R-Springfield.

Missouri lawmakers debated and passed several bills this week, even with the ongoing distraction of the indictment of Gov. Eric Greitens.

The first-term Republican faces a May 14 trial date on an of invasion of privacy charge, in which he’s accused of taking a semi-nude photo in 2015 of his then-mistress without her permission. Greitens maintains he’s innocent.

A panel set up to investigate the indictment of Gov. Eric Greitens now has the official go-ahead from the Missouri House.

The chamber on Thursday voted unanimously, 154-0, on a resolution that gives authority to the committee to hold hearings, subpoena witnesses and issue a report that could include a recommendation to impeach the governor. It could also take the lesser action of censuring the governor — essentially a written reprimand — or choose no action.

Legislation being considered by a Missouri Senate committee would require public employee labor unions to get permission every year to withhold dues and fees from employees’ paychecks.

Current law already requires public unions to get permission, but only when a new employee begins work.

The Missouri House has passed legislation to renew several so-called “benevolent” tax credits — and it includes a tax break for centers that seek to discourage women from having an abortion.

The incentives for pregnancy resource centers is set to expire at the end of 2019. The bill would extend the program for another six years and expand the size of the tax credit from $2.5 million to $3.5 million a year.

About 300 people poured into the hallways of the Missouri Capitol Tuesday, calling for lawmakers to avoid creating new laws that would loosen existing gun regulations.

Kim Westerman, who lives in St. Louis and volunteers with the group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, said they’re concerned that pro-gun lawmakers in Missouri remain unmoved by the recent mass shooting at a high school in Florida that claimed 17 lives.

The Missouri House sent several bills to the Senate this week, while the upper chamber virtually shut down at times while sending a bill over to the House considered friendly to investor-owned utilities.

That particular bill would allow Kansas City Power and Light and St. Louis-based Ameren Missouri to recover more of the cost of upgrading their infrastructure from their customers. Backers say it will improve Missouri’s power grid and spur job growth, while opponents say it will lead to higher electric bills.

Republican lawmakers are working to shorten the amount of time out-of-work Missouri residents can receive unemployment benefits. 

The Missouri House Thursday passed legislation to create a sliding scale, in which the unemployment rate would have to be nine percent or higher in order to receive benefits for 20 weeks. Benefits would only be available for 13 weeks when the jobless rate is below six percent.


Republican lawmakers are working to shorten the amount of time out-of-work Missouri residents can receive unemployment benefits.

The Missouri House Thursday passed legislation to create a sliding scale, in which the unemployment rate would have to be nine percent or higher in order to receive benefits for 20 weeks. Benefits would only be available for 13 weeks when the jobless rate is below six percent.

A Missouri Senate committee is considering legislation designed to further boost online privacy.

The bill would forbid employers, landlords and educational institutions from requiring current employees, renters, and students – as well as applicants – to provide user names and passwords of their email and social media accounts.

Missouri would shorten the statute of limitations on filing personal injury claims to three years from five years in a bill moving through the state Senate.

 

The measure is sponsored by Sen. Dan Hegeman, R-Cosby. He suggests shortening the time frame will bring Missouri’s legal climate into the 21st century.

The Missouri Senate is weighing a bill that would revoke the governor’s ability to appoint and remove people at will from state boards and commissions.

The measure would require the governor to notify the Senate in writing of any appointments made while the legislature is not in session, bar appointees from being sworn in until the Senate has been notified, and bars the governor from withdrawing appointees if he doesn’t like their decisions as board members.

Legislation passed by the Missouri House last month banning most gifts from lobbyists has been altered by a Senate committee.

The original version would ban all gifts except plants, flowers, and catered events in which all state lawmakers and elected officials are invited. Now, the bill would allow officeholders to accept no more than $40 worth of gifts per day, and would require them to reimburse the lobbyist for anything above $40.

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