Marshall Griffin

Statehouse Reporter

St. Louis 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.

Pages

Politics
7:57 am
Fri June 15, 2012

New House committee to examine state contracts

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 5:13 pm

A new temporary committee has been created in the Missouri House to examine how the Governor’s Office of Administration (OA) awards government contracts.

The Interim Committee on Government Bidding and Contracting may also be used to recommend new legislation for next year’s regular session.  State Representative Sue Allen (R, Town and Country) will chair the committee.  She says last year’s controversy surrounding former Medicaid contractor SynCare LLC played a part in the committee’s creation.

Read more
Politics
5:45 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

McCaskill asked to reveal position on micro-unions

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 3:42 pm

A group billing itself as non-partisan is calling on U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D, Missouri) to reveal where she stands on micro-unions.

Micro-unions are smaller groups of workers within an officially-sanctioned labor union.  The National Labor Relations Board (NRLB) issued a ruling last year that allowed the creation of micro-unions.  Jason Klindt with the Coalition to Protect Missouri Jobs says micro-unions are a threat to small businesses.

Read more
business
2:44 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

Mo. AG Koster warns of 'smishing' scam targeting smart phones

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 5:43 pm

The Missouri Attorney General’s office is warning the public of a new scam that’s targeting smartphone and cellphone users.

The scam is known as "smishing," and it involves text messages telling recipients that they’ve won prizes or gift cards from big-name retailers such as Wal-Mart or Costco and instructs them to claim them by clicking on a link.  Attorney General Chris Koster (D) says clicking the link will infect phones with malware that gives identity thieves access to personal information.

Read more
Agriculture
9:10 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Farmers and environmentalists at odds over Missouri River chute plans

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 6:23 pm

Farmers and environmentalists faced off at a hearing today in Jefferson City over a water project on the Missouri River west of Boonville.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wants to build a new chute at Jameson Island designed to protect the pallid sturgeon and other native fish species.  Building it would involve dredging along the Missouri River, and the Corps wants to dump the sediment back into the river.  The move is strongly opposed by farm interests.  Dale Ludwig with the Missouri Soybean Association says up to a million cubic yards of sediment could be dumped into the Missouri River.

Read more
Politics
5:35 pm
Fri June 8, 2012

Rally against president's contraceptive mandate held at Mo. Capitol

Originally published on Fri June 8, 2012 5:28 pm

Around 200 people rallied at the Missouri Capitol today against President Obama’s mandate that employers provide coverage for contraceptive services.

Churches are exempt from the mandate, but religious non-profit organizations, such as schools and hospitals, are not.  John Gaydos is bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City.

“Religious freedom is not merely about our ability to attend church on Sunday," Gaydos said.  "It is impossible to exercise that religious freedom and at the same time compromise the faith that inspires us to action.”

Read more
Science, Health and Technology
8:52 am
Fri June 8, 2012

WiFi coming to state parks

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 6:24 pm

People who go camping at state parks in Missouri can now add laptops and iPads to their lists of camping gear and supplies.

Prior to this year, only Bennett Spring State Park had WiFi service, which was used mainly for live trout cameras during trout season.  Renee Bungart with the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says WiFi service has now been expanded to eleven state park campgrounds.

Read more
Business
5:25 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Ameren, Westinghouse, regulators talk nuclear energy expansion plan

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 9:09 am

Executives from Ameren Missouri and Westinghouse presented their plans today to the state Public Service Commission for pursuing grants to build small nuclear reactors.

The two companies have teamed up to pursue up to $452 million from Washington to build up to five Small Modular Reactors, or SMR’s, at Ameren’s Callaway County plant Joseph Zwetolitz is President of the Americas division of Westinghouse.  He says SMR’s would be safer than the traditional nuclear reactor.

“This reactor is almost entirely underground, which provides an additional level of safety, with regards to potential postulated accidents, deliberate attacks, tornadoes, those kind of things," Zwetolitz said.

Read more
Politics
7:56 am
Wed June 6, 2012

State revenues ahead of projections, up 3.4 percent

Originally published on Tue June 5, 2012 5:16 pm

Missouri’s revenues rose more than expected during the month of May.

The state collected about $6.6 billion in revenue last month, compared to just under $6.4 billion in May of 2011.  Governor Jay Nixon’s Budget Director, Linda Luebbering, credits most of the improvement to higher collections of state income and sales taxes.

“That's the good news, things are picking up,"  Luebbering said.  "I think we do have to be cautious, still, because of what’s going on at the national and particularly the international picture, with European Union issues and everything that's going on globally that could have some bearing on the overall economy.”

Read more
Politics
9:16 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Cell phone tracking bill currently before Gov. Nixon

The bill before Nixon would require cell phone companies to provide police with the location of any customer who's been reported missing.
File KBIA

Among the more than 110 bills passed by Missouri lawmakers this year is one designed to help law enforcement officers track a missing person through the potential victim’s cell phone signal.

Read more
Business
4:45 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

Missouri Gaming Commission chairman to step down

Jim Mathewson, the chairman of the Missouri Gaming Commission will step down Friday. Matthewson chose not to stay for a second three-year term in order to spend more time with his family.

During Mathewson’s tenure with the Gaming Commission, Missouri’s 13th casino license was awarded to developers in Cape Girardeau and disassociated gamblers were provided a pathway to reinstatement.  He says the main challenge now is raising enough revenue to help K-through-12 schools.

Read more
Politics
8:26 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Bill before Nixon criminalizes disturbing religious services

Nixon needs to sign the legislation before it becomes state law.
File KBIA

Among the 115 bills sent to Governor Jay Nixon this year is one that would make it a crime to deliberately disturb worship services in Missouri.

Read more
Politics
4:44 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

Mo. lawmakers hit homestretch in final minutes of 2012 session

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 12:55 am

Missouri lawmakers continue debating bills in the closing minutes of the 2012 regular session.

Among the bills passed so far today is one that would require legislative approval before a health care exchange can be created in Missouri.  State Rep. Ryan Silvey (R, Kansas City) accused Governor Jay Nixon (D) of trying last year to create an exchange via executive order.

Read more
Politics
7:36 am
Fri May 18, 2012

End of session will lack drama, but not fireworks

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 6:34 am

It's the final day of the regular legislative session for the Missouri General Assembly.

Lawmakers have spent the past week clearing a backlog of bills that accumulated during a showdown over the state budget.

Read more
Politics
8:59 am
Thu May 17, 2012

KU license plate ban on the way to Nixon

Missouri House and Senate have reached an agreement on a bill banning the creation of a KU license plate in Missouri.
david shane flickr

Language that would ban the creation of a Kansas Jayhawks specialty license plate in Missouri is on its way to Governor Jay Nixon.

Read more
Science, Health and Technology
9:00 am
Wed May 16, 2012

Mo. House passes legislation protecting abortion alternatives

The Missouri House has passed legilsation that would bar municipalities from interfering with the day-to-day operations of abortion agency alternatives.
j.stephenconn flickr

The Missouri House has passed legislation that would bar local governments from interfering with the day-to-day operations of alternatives to abortion agencies.

Read more
Politics
8:51 am
Wed May 16, 2012

Workers' compensation reform bill on the way to Nixon

The Missouri legislature has approved a scaled-back version of a workers' compensation reform bill. It now heads to Gov. Jay Nixon.
david shane flickr

The Missouri House and Senate have both passed a scaled-back version of a workers’ compensation reform bill. 

Read more
Politics
6:18 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

Legislative measure would bar Jayhawks specialty license plate

A depiction of the Jayhawk, the symbol of the University of Kansas.
ensign_beedrill Flickr

The Missouri House has approved language designed to bar the creation of a Kansas Jayhawks specialty license plate.  The measure was added onto a larger higher education bill passed by the House Tuesday.

Read more
Politics
4:32 pm
Mon May 14, 2012

Rush Limbaugh inducted into Hall of Famous Missourians

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 6:01 pm

Conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh was inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians today, in a ceremony that was kept under wraps until less than an hour before it happened.

Word of the ceremony leaked out after various media members spotted Limbaugh inside the Missouri Capitol.  The ceremony was by invitation only, and the audience consisted of Republican lawmakers and family and friends.  Limbaugh told the audience that other members of his family were more deserving of the honor, but he also thanked House Speaker Steven Tilley (R, Perryville) for not rescinding it.

Read more
Politics
10:54 am
Mon May 14, 2012

A few hot-button items left for last week of Mo. legislative session

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 6:04 am

Most of the big issues this legislative session were tied to the state budget, which has been passed and sent to Governor Jay Nixon.  That has many political pundits wondering if the last week of the 2012 session will be anticlimactic.  But as St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin tells us, there are still a few hot-button items left to fight over.

Workers' comp

Read more
Politics
7:56 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Budget stalemate continues in the Missouri General Assembly

The Missouri House and Senate cannot agree on legislation providing funds for veterans' homes.
david shane flickr

The Missouri House and Senate are still at an impasse over next year’s state budget.  The Senate has made no progress on persuading Republican Jason Crowell of Cape Girardeau to stop blocking legislation to fund veterans’ homes.

Read more
NPR Story
11:09 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Crowell shuts down Missouri Senate

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 6:42 am

The Missouri Senate has been shut down by one Senator over which version of legislation for veterans’ homes will be adopted.

Jason Crowell (R, Cape Girardeau) and several allies tied up the Senate for nearly 12 hours Monday night and are provoking a showdown with Senate leaders.  In addition to using a filibuster to block the veterans’ homes bill, Crowell is using several motions to block all bills from being debated.

“We have some issues that need to be resolved in the Senate before we move forward, and they’re gonna be resolved one way or the other," Crowell said.  "I will continue to make this series of motions on anything else that we do.”

Read more
Politics
8:27 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Mo. Republicans shut down debate in state Senate

Some Mo. Republicans have blocked debate on a number of pieces of legislation.
File KBIA

The Missouri Senate has been shut down by one Senator over which version of legislation for veterans’ homes will be adopted.  Republican Jason Crowell and several allies tied up the Senate for nearly 12 hours Monday and are provoking a showdown with Senate leaders.

Read more
Politics
5:19 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

Mo. budget negotiators back 2 percent pay raise for state employees

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 5:07 pm

House and Senate budget negotiators resumed talks today, but still have not resolved differences over how to fund veterans homes and health care for the blind.

They agreed on numerous budget items that have garnered little to no controversy.  The House won out on its proposed pay raise for state workers – those earning under $70,000 a year would get a 2 percent raise starting in July.  Kirk Schaefer (R, Columbia), the Senate’s chief negotiator, says he didn’t mind accepting the House’s position on pay raises.

Read more
Politics
5:11 pm
Fri May 4, 2012

House and Senate budget negotiators debating how to fund veterans' homes

House and Senate budget negotiators remain at an impasse on what’s become the main barrier to reaching an agreement: finding a way to fund veterans’ homes.

The House this week passed legislation that would fund veterans homes with gaming revenues currently designated for early childhood programs, and replace it with money from a tobacco settlement.  The Senate has so far refused to take up the measure.  House Budget Chair Ryan Silvey accuses Senate President Pro-tem Rob Mayer of playing games:

Read more
Politics
10:37 am
Fri May 4, 2012

Prescription drug database doomed in Senate

Republican Senator Rob Schaaf, of St. Joseph.
Jacob Fenston KBIA

 A Missouri senator has successfully killed a bill that would have authorized a government database to track people's prescription drug purchases.

Read more
Politics
4:46 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Missouri lawmakers unlikely to pass legislation making I-70 a toll road in 2012

It appears unlikely that Missouri lawmakers will pass any legislation this year that would turn Interstate Highway 70 into a toll road.

Read more
Politics
4:19 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Missouri U.S. Senator Roy Blunt addresses Missouri house

Missouri U.S. Senator Roy Blunt briefly addressed the Missouri House Thursday.

Read more
NPR Story
4:33 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

Rep. Zachary Wyatt: on coming out, and speaking against 'don't say gay'

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 6:26 pm

A Republican member of the Missouri House announced today that he is gay during a press conference on a bill that would limit public schools from discussing sexual orientation in the classroom.  Zachary Wyatt of Kirksville told reporters he has deep regrets for not taking stands earlier against school bullying, and called for lawmakers to shelve the so-called “don’t say gay” bill.

With his disclosure today, Wyatt becomes the only current openly gay Republican state legislator in the nation.

St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin talked with Wyatt about the bill and his decision to come out.

Read more
Politics
5:54 pm
Mon April 30, 2012

Nixon urges lawmakers pass several key budget items

With three weeks left in the legislative session, Governor Jay Nixon is urging lawmakers to fund

Read more
Politics
9:07 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Mo. House budget chair not pleased with blind pension cut reversal

The budget chairman for the Missouri House is not happy with the Senate’s decision early today (Wednesday) to restore 28 million dollars for blind pensions.  An amendment by GOP Senator Jim Lembke of St. Louis County reversed the cut that the House wanted to use for Higher Education.

Read more

Pages