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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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:

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.

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.

File / KBIA

Budget writers in the Missouri Senate have crafted a proposal designed to preserve funding for blind pensions.

A State House committee began a hearing Tuesday into a stripped-down version of the workplace discrimination bill. 

Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Legislation that would require teachers to work more years in a school district before earning tenure has received first-round approval in the Missouri Senate.

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A State Senate panel spent several hours Wednesday putting together their version of Missouri’s state budget for next year.  But the fate of a program for blind residents is still up in the air.

Jacob Fenston / KBIA

The Missouri Senate yesterday overrode a veto by Governor Jay Nixon to a measure that would make changes to the state’s workers’ compensation system. But that move will likely have no effect, as there is little chance the House will also override the Governor’s veto.

Jacob Fenston / KBIA

The Missouri House has reignited intense debate over women’s reproductive rights, passing legislation that would exempt doctors and other health care workers from performing medical procedures that violate their religious beliefs.

The Missouri Senate today overrode a veto by Governor Jay Nixon (D) that would make changes to the state’s workers’ compensation system.

But the likelihood that the House will also override the Governor’s veto is virtually nonexistent, according to Majority Floor Leader Tim Jones (R, Eureka).  He says they just don’t have the votes, even within their own party.

“We would have to first convince our caucus," Jones said.  "And even if we did, we’re still simply three votes short on a bill that no Democrat, I believe, has supported to this point…that’s a tough vote.”

 

Around a hundred demonstrators rallied outside the State Capitol Wednesday to protest plans to induct conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh into the Hall of Famous Missourians. 

Two rallies in Jefferson City today each called for the repeal of the 2010 Affordable Care Act and for employers to have the right to not provide coverage for birth control.

Several hundred people attended the rally held at the State Capitol, led by several religious leaders.  Maggie Karner with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod told the crowd that President Obama’s birth control mandate is an attack on religious freedom.

“This debate is simply about us being forced to pay for products and services that are contrary to our religious beliefs, and we cannot be expected to check our faith at the door," Karner said.

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A St. Louis County State Senator will not seek re-election in the district she currently represents.   Jane Cunningham had initially filed to run for the 7th District seat, even though the new Senate map places that district in the Kansas City area.

Jacob Fenston / KBIA

There are less than two months left in this year’s session of the Missouri General Assembly, and House Republicans still haven’t scheduled debate on a wide-ranging public school bill.

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