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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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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.

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

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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.

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.”

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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.

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.

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:

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

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The Missouri House has given first-round approval to legislation that would expand tax breaks for auto parts manufacturers.  Ford and General Motors already have access to the incentives. 

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The Missouri Senate passed a $24 billion state budget early Wednesday morning, following several hours of debate and closed-door negotiations.  The Senate reversed the House’s gutting of a pension program for the blind.

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The Missouri House has given first-round approval to legislation that would require most teenagers to get their parents’ permission to use tanning beds.  

Those younger than 17 would have to have a parent or guardian show up in person at the tanning salon and sign a document giving their consent. The bill’s sponsor, GOP House Member Gary Cross of Lee’s Summit, says his daughter suffered cell damage from regular tanning bed use.

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The state budget for next year is being blocked in the Missouri Senate by a group of fiscally conservative Republicans.

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The state of Missouri paid tribute Monday to those who died while on the job last year. 

 

Westinghouse and St. Louis-based Ameren Missouri will collaborate on developing small modular nuclear reactors, or SMR’s, and will seek to build them at Ameren’s Callaway County plant. 

The Missouri House has passed legislation that seeks to both bar and criminalize enforcement of the 2010 federal health care law. 

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The Missouri Department of Transportation wants public input on a $1.3 billion plan for improving and expanding rail service across the state.

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Legislation that would tweak Missouri’s funding formula for public schools has stalled in the State Senate.  

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Republican leaders in the Missouri House say they’ve been negotiating with Democratic Governor Jay Nixon over the two bills he vetoed in March.

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 A report released today by the Army Corps of Engineers says that having more free space in reservoirs along the Missouri River would not have eliminated last year’s record floods.

The Missouri House has passed its version of a workers’ compensation bill that also proposes to fix the state’s ailing Second Injury Fund.  The vote again fell mostly along party lines.

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