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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Drought conditions are again plaguing the northern half of Missouri, according to the latest U.S. drought monitor report.

So far, there has not been a ground swell of support for the idea of a special legislative session in Missouri to pass an alternate version of the tax cut bill vetoed earlier this year by Governor Jay Nixon (D).

Noahudlis / Wikimedia Commons

The American Civil Liberties Union hopes to block two executions in Missouri this fall by seeking to disqualify the anesthesiologist used by the Department of Corrections.

Jeffrey Mittman is Executive Director of the ACLU of Eastern Missouri.  He says the American Board of Anesthesiology has recently adopted the same standards used by the American Medical Association, meaning that they cannot participate in ending someone's life.

missouri capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Roughly 200 people braved the heat and humidity outside Missouri’s Capitol building today (Wednesday) to mark the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.  Among those speaking at the event was former St. Louis lawmaker Jeanette Mott Oxford, who now heads the Missouri Association for Social Welfare.  She told the crowd she believes King’s vision for America went beyond racial equality:

Dozens of new state laws take effect in Missouri on Wednesday.  

Missouri Capitol
File Photo / KBIA

A Missouri House interim committee tasked with looking at how efficiently state government operates spent Monday scrutinizing the Department of Social Services.

While Governor Jay Nixon (D) continues touring Missouri to oppose efforts to override his veto of tax cut legislation, a group of business officials and political activists are trying to rally support for the override effort.

The Missouri State Board of Education voted Tuesday to increase oversight of the state's unaccredited school districts.

After a controversial inductee last year, Missouri residents are being given the chance this year to nominate two of the next three inductees for the Hall of Famous Missourians.

House Speaker Tim Jones (R, Eureka) says he made the decision to seek citizens' input, in part, to see if someone who's worthy of induction has been forgotten over time or overlooked.

It's been twenty years since the Great Flood of '93 swelled the Missouri River to record-high crests.  Since then, levees have been upgraded, flood preparations improved, and in a few places, communities bought out and relocated.  St. Louis Public Radio's Marshall Griffin visited some sites along the river in central Missouri and talked to people who battled the flood waters in 1993, and who still keep an eye on the river today:

Flood of '93 in central Mo.

A special Missouri House committee appointed to look into why the Department of Revenue began scanning documents of driver's license and conceal-carry applicants has wrapped up its series of hearings this summer.

Missouri Division of Tourism / Flickr

Attendance figures appear to be on the rise as the 2013 Missouri State Fair heads into its final weekend. 

Marshall Griffin / St. Louis Public Radio

Two Republican members of Missouri's Congressional delegation were at the State Fair Thursday, calling on Congress to pass a new federal farm bill, instead of extending the farm bill passed in 2008 by another year.  U.S. Senator Roy Blunt and Congressmember Vicky Hartzler told Missouri Farm Bureau members and the media that the hold-up centers on how much money to spend on food stamps.  The GOP-led U.S. House voted to cut the food stamp program, now known as SNAP, by $20 billion.  The Democratic-controlled U.S.

Marshall Griffin / St. Louis Public Radio

Sedalia was swarming with politicians Thursday, as office holders from both parties descended on the Missouri State Fair.

Nearly a thousand people, politicians and citizens alike, dined on country ham, eggs and peaches at the Governor's Ham Breakfast.  Governor Jay Nixon began his annual speech by condemning the incident in which a rodeo clown wore a President Obama mask this weekend.

"What has always united us is (that) no matter what part of the state you're from, or who you voted for, we treat people with respect," Nixon told the applauding crowd.

Sedalia was swarming with politicians Thursday, as office holders from both parties descended on the Missouri State Fair.

Nearly a thousand people, politicians and citizens alike, dined on country ham, eggs and peaches at the Governor's Ham Breakfast.  Governor Jay Nixon began his annual speech by condemning the incident in which a rodeo clown wore a President Obama mask this weekend.

Marshall Griffin / St. Louis Public Radio

A Missouri Senate interim committee looking into the state's Medicaid system heard from several doctors and other health care providers Wednesday at a hearing in Jefferson City.  

Among those testifying was Thomas Hale, M.D., a St. Louis-based physician working with Sisters of Mercy.  He told the panel that Medicaid needs to be expanded to make up for the pending loss of federal reimbursements to hospitals, known as DSH payments ("dish").

A Missouri Senate interim committee looking into the state's Medicaid system heard from several doctors and other health care providers Wednesday at a hearing in Jefferson City.  

Among those testifying was Thomas Hale, M.D., a St. Louis-based physician working with Sisters of Mercy.  He told the panel that Medicaid needs to be expanded to make up for the pending loss of federal reimbursements to hospitals, known as DSH payments ("dish").

Missouri's lone nuclear reactor remains shut down while workers and officials continue to investigate what caused a small fire at the Callaway County plant Friday night.

Ameren Missouri spokesman Cleve Reasoner said it'll be several days before the plant is back online.

drought farm field soybeans
Camille Phillips / Harvest Public Media

Drought remains a threat to Missouri, despite the wet spring and improved rainfall this summer.  

Right now, a large portion of northwest Missouri is experiencing moderate drought conditions, while the rest of the state is classified as either “abnormally dry” or normal.

“We are looking at abnormally wet conditions along the Mississippi River and points to the east, where things get progressively wetter across parts of south-central Illinois," said Mark Fuchs, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service office in St. Louis.

The chair of a Missouri House committee looking at ways to downsize state government says they've handed off their findings to the Speaker's office.

A state-run nonprofit corporation needs to improve its transparency, according to an audit released Thursday.

Marshall Griffin- / St. Louis Public Radio

Two days of hearings are underway by an interim House committee looking into how well state agencies in Missouri are delivering services to their clients.

The hearings began with a critique of the Missouri Department of Social Services.  Dan Amsden with the group Spending Oversight Council testified that DSS officials are doing a poor job of preventing non-eligible people from receiving welfare benefits, and of tracking those who no longer need them.

Two days of hearings are underway by an interim House committee looking into how well state agencies in Missouri are delivering services to their clients.

The Missouri Public Service Commission has given the go-ahead for St. Louis-based Laclede Gas to purchase Missouri Gas Energy.

Commission members placed a major condition on the purchase – Laclede Gas is barred from seeking a rate increase in its current service area until October of 2015.  Laclede spokeswoman Jessica Willingham says, though, they would be allowed to seek an increase in the areas currently served by Missouri Gas once the purchase becomes official.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon's record number of vetoes this year is expected to set up a very busy and hard-fought veto session this September.

According to the Associated Press, the Democratic Governor struck down 29 of the 145 non-budgetary bills sent to him by the Republican-dominated House and Senate.  Dave Robertson is a political science professor at the University of Missouri – St. Louis.

jay nixon
File Photo / KBIA

  Missouri’s state budget for the fiscal year that begins Monday has been signed into law, but Gov. Jay Nixon also announced that he will withhold more than 400 million dollars in funding for several state needs.  He told reporters Friday that the tentative cuts would become permanent if Republican lawmakers override his veto of their tax cut bill.  Budget Director Linda Luebbering says Nixon's cuts includes cancelling pay raises for state workers as well as eliminating state jobs.

Judge Mary Russell is set to become Chief Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court next week.

The Hannibal native has sat on the state's highest court since 2004, and previously served on the Appeals court for Missouri's Eastern District.  Russell lists the expansion of specialty courts as one of her top priorities for her two-year term.

One day after a Missouri House committee issued subpoenas to several members of Governor Jay Nixon's (D) administration, a Cole County judge has issued a preliminary order blocking the subpoenas.

Updated 4:38 p.m.

A Missouri House committee formed to investigate the Department of Revenue’s scanning of driver’s license applicants’ documents has begun two days of hearings into the controversy.

Photo courtesy of the Missouri Auditor's Office

 

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is getting mixed reviews in an audit released Tuesday.  The law enforcement agency is being criticized for spending 5-point-6 million dollars on a new airplane.

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