Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Marshall Griffin

Statehouse Reporter

Marshall Griffin is a native of Mississippi and proud alumnus of Ole Miss. He's been in radio for over 20 years, and his big break in news came from the invasion of Panama in 1989. Marshall was working the graveyard shift at a rock station, and began ripping news bulletins off an AP teletype and reading updates between songs. From there 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 four hurricanes, the Terri Schiavo saga, and the 2000 presidential recount. Before coming to Missouri, he enjoyed a brief stint reporting and anchoring for WWNC-AM in Asheville, NC. Marshall lives in Jefferson City with his wife, Julie, their dogs, Max and Liberty Belle, and their cat, Honey.

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Logan Chrislaw heards cattle on Monday, September 3, 2018 at his farm in Howard County, Mo. Chrislaw began farming with his father about eight years ago.
Jennifer Mosbrucker | special to St. Louis Public Radio

Despite recent rainfall, more than half of Missouri is still in a drought, hitting hard at one of the state’s key economic engines: agriculture.

Missouri hay — the primary feed for livestock — has hit its lowest production levels in 30 years, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Ideally, each acre of pasture produces two tons of hay a year, which would be two of those large circular rolls often seen in farm fields. In 1988, the average acre in Missouri only yielded 1.2 tons, and this year it’s been 1.5 tons.

File | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

It’s mission accomplished for Gov. Mike Parson, as the Missouri Legislature’s special session is all but over.

The Senate Friday debated and passed both revised bills the governor wanted – legislation to allow expansion of treatment courts in Missouri, and to create an online science, technology, engineering and math curriculum for middle-school and high-school students.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

While the special legislative session moves forward, Missouri lawmakers have wrapped up their annual veto session with no overrides.

The House did vote in favor of overriding four of Gov. Mike Parson’s line-item vetoes, which would’ve restored $785,546 to the current state budget. But the Senate needed to override them, too, and it didn’t.

File photo I Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri’s latest special legislative session is underway as House and Senate members work to revise two bills vetoed earlier this year by Gov. Mike Parson.

The legislation would promote science, technology, engineering and math curriculum, known commonly as “STEM,” and expand treatment courts.

Missouri Capitol
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

State lawmakers return to the Missouri Capitol on Monday for a special session designed to pass two pieces of legislation vetoed by Gov. Mike Parson.

And Wednesday they’re scheduled to hold their annual veto session, which may be relatively short and quiet.

Gov. Mike Parson greets students at Ranken Technical College during a day-long tour of St. Louis on Sept. 7, 2018.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin joins Jason Rosenbaum to talk about Gov. Mike Parson’s decision to call a special session.

The GOP chief executive wants the legislature to pass two bills he vetoed dealing with expanding STEM education and drug courts. Unlike previous special sessions, lawmakers of both parties agree with the ideas — and could approve the new legislation in fairly short order.

Missouri has a website designed to make government more transparent, according to state Treasurer Eric Schmitt.

Schmitt’s office recently launched ShowMeCheckbook.mo.gov, which he calls “a one-stop shop” for information on state finances, revenue, payroll, expenses and cash flow.

Office of Gov. Mike Parson

Gov. Mike Parson has removed the interim tag from Sandra Karsten’s job title as director of the Department of Public Safety.

Last week, the superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol was named interim director of the safety department when the governor announced he was parting ways with Drew Juden, who was appointed last year by former Gov. Eric Greitens.

Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

A panel of five retired judges heard arguments Wednesday over whether new DNA evidence in the Marcellus Williams death penalty case is enough to exonerate him or at least warrant a new trial.

Williams, 49, was sentenced in 2001 for the 1998 murder of Lisha Gayle, a former reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Livestock in Missouri.
File | Véronique LaCapra | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri is experiencing one of its worst droughts in decades, and state officials are implementing some emergency measures to help ease the pain.

Gov. Mike Parson, three of his Cabinet members, and a group of agriculture leaders announced Monday that farmers and ranchers can now get hay and water from several state-owned properties.

Charles "Drew" Juden was one of former Gov. Eric Greitens' earliest picks for his Cabinet. Juden will step down as DPS director on Aug. 31.
File photo | Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

Gov. Mike Parson is replacing one of the Missouri Cabinet members he inherited from former Gov. Eric Greitens.

Charles “Drew” Juden has served as public safety director since January 2017. He was among three Cabinet picks Greitens announced before his inauguration.

Col. Sandra Karsten, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, will serve as interim director while a search for a successor is conducted. She will continue to head the Highway Patrol as well.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Although Mike Parson has been a regular fixture at the Missouri State Fair for several years, the 2018 fair is his first as governor of the state.

And he spent much of Thursday preaching the need to improve infrastructure to help the state’s agriculture industry.

Flickr Creative Commons | Mike Mozart

Updated 6:02 p.m. with plaintiffs’ announced appeal - Missouri residents will have the chance in November to vote on a gas tax increase.

Associatate Circuit Judge Robert Schollmeyer in Osage County on Tuesday tossed out a lawsuit seeking to strip Proposition D from the ballot. If approved by voters, the measure would gradually raise the fuel tax from 17 cents to 27 cents a gallon by the year 2022.

The dome of the Missouri Capitol, which includes a small, circular observation deck, is expected to reopen in early 2020.
Missouri Office of Administration

Today is the last day visitors to the Missouri Capitol can walk up to the top of the building’s iconic dome until the year 2020.

The top of the dome has a small, circular observation deck with panoramic views of the Jefferson City and the Missouri River. It’s also dirty and needs a lot of repair, so it’s being closed for renovation.

Flickr Creative Commons | Mike Mozart

A lawsuit heard Tuesday in Jefferson City would remove a referendum from the November ballot to gradually raise Missouri’s fuel tax by 10 cents a gallon.

The proposal was added onto a bill passed this year that created a tax deduction on Olympic medals for athletes living in the state. The bill was also amended to include the creation of a fund that would be used to eliminate “bottlenecks” along major trucking routes. It’s due to be listed on the ballot as Proposition D.

Floyd Blackwell, Lee Smith and Raychel Proudie face each other in an Aug. 7 Democratic primary for Missouri House District 73.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Right to work is dividing the three Republicans hoping to succeed District 110 Rep. Paul Curtman, who’s running for state auditor.

Floyd Blackwell, Lee Smith and Raychel Proudie face each other in an Aug. 7 Democratic primary for Missouri House District 73.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Term-limited out of her Senate seat, Maria Chappelle-Nadal is facing three newcomers as she tries to move to the House for one final term.

Whoever wins the Democratic primary in House District 86 won’t face any opposition in November. The district includes University City, Wellston, Vinita Park, Pagedale and Hanley Hills.

Floyd Blackwell, Lee Smith and Raychel Proudie face each other in an Aug. 7 Democratic primary for Missouri House District 73.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Taxes on income, fuel and property are driving the Republican contest for the Missouri House seat that covers portions of St. Louis and Franklin counties.

Dottie Bailey and Matt Doell, both of Eureka, are hoping to succeed Kirk Mathews, R-Pacific, who chose not to run for re-election in District 110.

David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Two St. Louis County attorneys hoping to succeed Democrat Stacey Newman in the Missouri House want to improve K-12 education and curb gun violence.

Ian Mackey and Sam Gladney are seeking the Democratic nomination for the district that includes Clayton and parts of Brentwood, Ladue, Richmond Heights and University City.

courtesy Erik Cliburn | Moberly Monitor

Despite being rural and largely conservative, state Senate District 18 was held by Democrats until 2010, when Republican Brian Munzlinger unseated then-incumbent Wes Shoemyer.

Four contenders are hoping to keep the seat in Republican hands now that Munzlinger is vacating the office due to term limits. They all support gun owners’ rights, cutting taxes and opposing abortion rights.

They primarily differ on who would do a better job of representing most of northeastern Missouri in the state Senate.

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