Marshall Griffin

Statehouse Reporter

St. Louis Public Radio State House Reporter Marshall Griffin is a native of Mississippi and proud alumnus of Ole Miss (welcome to the SEC, Mizzou!).  He 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 an 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 Liberty Belle, and their cat, Honey.

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Constitutional Amendment 1
12:36 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Recount Upholds Vote Approving 'Right To Farm' Amendment

Credit File photo | Rachel Heidenry

The results of a recount of the votes for the so-called 'right-to-farm' constitutional amendment show that it did pass, though by a slightly slimmer margin than originally announced.

The recount results, announced Monday by the secretary of state's office shows that Constitutional Amendment 1 passed by 2,375 votes out of almost a million votes cast.  The difference between "yes" and "no" votes before the recount was 2,490.

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Missouri Budget
8:19 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Schweich Releases Audit Critical Of Nixon's Withholding Of Money From Budget

Credit State Auditor's office

Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich says an audit released Monday shows that Gov. Jay Nixon violated Missouri's constitution when he withheld money from two recent state budgets.

Schweich says the governor had no legal right to withhold $172 million from several state programs to help cover costs from the Joplin tornado and other recent natural disasters during fiscal year 2012.

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Mamtek
5:36 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Former Mamtek CEO Bruce Cole Pleads Guilty Of Security Fraud And Theft

Mugshot of former Mamtek CEO Bruce Cole
Credit Orange Co., Calif.

The former CEO of a company that announced it would open an artificial sweetener plant in a small north Missouri town, but never did, has pleaded guilty to three felony counts connected to the scandal.

In 2010, Mamtek CEO Bruce Cole persuaded city leaders in Moberly to issue $39 million in bonds to build the plant, which was to employ 600 people. Shortly afterward, the state's Economic Development Department kicked in $17 million in tax credits for the project -- however, those credits were never used.

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Constitutional Amendment 2
7:10 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Law Enforcement Officials Back Ballot Measure To Allow More Evidence In Some Sex Crime Cases

Credit sxc.hu

A group of Missouri law enforcement officials have officially endorsed a proposed constitutional amendment designed to make it easier to prosecute sex crimes against children.

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Speech And Safety
10:55 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Nixon Talks About Decision To Withdraw National Guard And More About Ferguson

Gov. Jay Nixon shake hands with Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Johnson was chosen to oversee security in Ferguson during the riots and looting that followed the death of Michael Brown.
Credit Bill Greenblatt

While Ferguson remains under a state of emergency, Gov. Jay Nixon has ordered a gradual withdrawal of approximately 200 Missouri National Guard troops that have been assisting the state Highway Patrol this week.

He said Thursday that he based his decision on an improved situation following more than a week of looting and riots triggered by the fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Nixon spoke by phone with St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin on his order to begin withdrawing the National Guard and on the overall situation in Ferguson:

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Ferguson
8:36 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Nixon Says National Guard Needed, But Are Troops Wanted?

Gov. Jay Nixon
Credit Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Gov. Jay Nixon is defending his decision to deploy Missouri National Guard troops to Ferguson.

Nixon issued a statement earlier this morning, announcing his decision to send in the Guard after what may have been the worst night of rioting since the protests began a week ago. Nixon explained his decision by citing "violent criminal acts of an organized and growing number of individuals, many from outside the community and state, whose actions are putting the residents and businesses of Ferguson at risk."

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Student Achievement
6:17 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Statewide MAP Test Scores Down In English, Math & Science, Up In Social Studies

The Missouri State Board of Education announced a drop in this year's state MAP scores over last year.
Credit Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Figures released today Tuesday by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) show an overall drop in standardized test scores for the state's public school students.

Fewer students during the past school year achieved "proficient" scores for English, math and science sections of the Missouri Assessment Program, or MAP, tests.  Social studies was the only subject that saw overall scores rise.  

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Primary Election 2014
4:49 pm
Sat August 9, 2014

Transportation Tax May Have Been Doomed By Being Placed On August Ballot

Credit UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Gov. Jay Nixon may be the primary reason a proposed transportation sales tax failed this week at the polls, according to one political expert.

George Connor, political science professor at Missouri State University in Springfield, says the governor's decision to place the 0.75 percent sales tax on the August primary ballot likely doomed it to failure because most of the state's primary races drew in GOP voters.

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Primary Election 2014
5:15 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

Back To The Drawing Board For Missouri's Transportation Leaders

MoDOT Director Dave Nichols (left) and MHTC Chair Steve Miller meet with reporters following Tuesday's defeat of a proposed 0.75 percent transportation sales tax.
Credit Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri transportation leaders are looking to regroup following voters' overwhelming rejection of a proposed  sales tax to fund road and bridge improvements on Tuesday.

Despite supporters spending millions, the measure lost by roughly 58 percent to 41 percent. And it lost across the state -- in St. Louis, St. Louis County, the Kansas City area and even in rural parts of the state. In St. Louis and St. Louis County, the measure went down by a 2-to-1 margin.

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Primary Election
12:08 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Amendments: Right To Farm, Guns And Privacy Win

A commercial chicken house in Florida.
Credit USDA | Wikipedia

It was an early night for most of the amendments, but the farm interests had to stay up late. Shortly after midnight, unofficial state returns showed Amendment 1, the "right to farm" proposal, winning by 2,528 votes. That was a a margin of only about one-quarter of 1 percent, which is close enough to entitle the opposition to a recount.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting in statewide, Amendment 1 passed with 498,751 votes, or 50.127 percent.  The "no" votes came in at 496,223, or 49.873 percent.

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