Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Marshall Griffin

Statehouse Reporter

St. Louis Public Radio State House Reporter Marshall Griffin is a native of Mississippi and proud alumnus of Ole Miss.  He has been in radio for over 30 years, starting out as a deejay. His big break in news came when President Bush 41 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 Liberty Belle and Sophie, and cats Honey and Missy-Rose.

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St. Louis attorney Al Watkins testifies Thursday before the Missouri House committee investigating Gov. Greitens. May 24, 2018
Tim Bommel | Missouri House Communications

Updated at 8:15 p.m. with comments from the House committee's attorney.

The attorney representing the ex-husband of the woman with whom Gov. Eric Greitens had an affair made an explosive appearance Thursday before the Missouri House committee investigating the governor’s conduct.

St. Louis attorney Al Watkins contradicted testimony given on Wednesday by Missouri Times publisher Scott Faughn.

Faughn said the $120,000 he gave to Watkins in January was his own money. But as Watkins has told St. Louis Public Radio and other media outlets, he said that Faughn told him the money came from a disgruntled political donor.

Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated at 10:22 p.m. May 18 with the latest on the special session.)

Missouri’s special legislative session to consider whether to impeach Gov. Eric Greitens has officially begun, but so far nothing much has happened.

House and Senate members briefly opened the session Friday to make a few motions, then adjourned until Tuesday to hold technical sessions, which last a couple of minutes and only require two or three lawmakers per chamber. But the committee that’s been investigating Greitens is meeting twice next week.

Missouri Capitol on April 24
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated Friday, May 18, to reflect change in corporate tax rate)

The Missouri General Assembly has approved significant cuts in income-tax rates for individuals and is expected to do the same for businesses before it adjourns Friday.

But the exact impact on the state’s finances is not quite clear.

State Rep. Elijah Haahr, a Republican from Springfield, is chief sponsor of the bill that drops the individual income-tax rate from 5.9 percent to 5.1 percent over several years. The first rate cut goes into effect next year.

Tim Bommel | Missouri House Communications

The first open hearing of the Missouri House committee investigating Gov. Eric Greitens featured some heated exchanges between members and the governor’s attorneys.

Committee members heard from Ed Greim and Ross Garber, two attorneys hired by Greitens “in his capacity as governor.” They appeared before the committee Wednesday to propose several rules and a tentative schedule for the 30-day, special legislative session, which begins Friday at 6:30 p.m.

Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House has overwhelmingly approved a wide-ranging criminal justice bill that would revamp the state’s system.

Among other things, the measure ends the statute of limitations for prosecuting sex crimes when the victim is under the age of 19.

The House also has passed a different bill, which includes a provision that would allow the lieutenant governor to step in and appoint members of boards and commissions if the governor fails to make those appointments within six months after the posts become vacant.

Tim Bommel | Missouri House Communications

The committee investigating Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens released two emails this morning, one that suggests he might have tried to hide some campaign donations.

However, Greitens’ use of outside groups to not identify some donors has been known publicly for at least two years. He previously had defended the practice as necessary to protect donors.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens walks out of the Civil Courts Building in downtown St. Louis after his felony invasion of privacy charge was dropped. May14, 2018
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

In a stunning move, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner has dropped the felony invasion of privacy charge against Gov. Eric Greitens — short-circuiting the unprecedented trial of a sitting Missouri chief executive.

While Gardner’s office is promising to refile the case with a special prosecutor, the governor’s attorneys are confident that another prosecutor won’t touch the case.

Rep. Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City, chairs the House committee that's investigating Gov. Greitens.
Tim Bommel | Missouri House Communications

The chairman of the Missouri House committee that’s investigating Gov. Eric Greitens said Monday they’re getting pushback from the governor’s camp.

Rep. Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City, told reporters that they’ve issued a subpoena to Greitens’ advisor Austin Chambers, and to the groups Greitens for Missouri and A New Missouri, via attorney Catherine Hanaway. He said the groups have provided some documents but are refusing to provide others.

Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

A new front has opened up in the battle over whether Missouri should become a right-to-work state.

Under right-to-work, unions and employers would be barred from requiring all workers within a bargaining unit to pay dues or fees. On Friday, the Missouri House passed a measure that would ingrain right-to-work in the state constitution.

St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Rex Burlison speaks with a reporter as St. Louis Sheriff Vernon Betts escorts him into the courthouse on May 10, 2018.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum, Rachel Lippmann, Marshall Griffin and Jo Mannies break down all of the developments this week in Gov. Eric Greitens’ political and legal saga.

This week’s episode gives a preview of the governor’s felony invasion of privacy trial, which is slated to get started next week. We also get an update on whether legislators will impeach the governor — and the status of Greitens’ second felony charge for computer data tampering.

Left to right: Missouri state representatives Scott Fitzpatrick, R-Shell Knob, and Justin Alferman, R-Hermann, along with  House Speaker Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, during Wednesday's final budget debates.
Tim Bommel | Missouri House Communications

Despite distractions and conflict over Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens legal troubles, Missouri lawmakers were able to send him next year’s state budget two days before the mandatory 6 p.m. Friday deadline.

The spending plan for fiscal year 2019, which begins July 1, increases K-12 education funding by more than $98 million. The increase means public schools will be fully funded under the scaled-back definition that became law two years ago.

St. Louis Public Schools

One of the bigger obstacles to passing this year’s state budget has been resolved.

Missouri’s public school system is set to get a $98 million boost in next year’s state budget, which was what House leaders wanted, under an agreement reached Monday.

Tim Bommel | Missouri House Communications

Gov. Eric Greitens is in danger of becoming the first Missouri governor ever to be impeached.

That’s because members of the House and Senate have gathered enough signatures to call a special session that would include considering impeaching the GOP governor, who is facing two felony charges and a full collapse of his political support.

Erin Achenbach | St. Louis Public Radio

Opponents of current ethics laws that allow unlimited gifts from lobbyists to lawmakers on Thursday delivered dozens of boxes of signatures to Jefferson City to change the state’s constitution.

The proposed amendment is sponsored by the group Clean Missouri. It includes limiting lobbyist gifts to $5 in value, expanding the waiting period for former elected officials to become lobbyists from six months to two years, and lowering caps on donations to state House and Senate candidates.

Democrats hope that Gov. Eric Greitens will be an albatross for GOP state legislative candidates.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

A report from a House committee investigating Gov. Eric Greitens’ conduct contends that the governor signed a false account to state ethics officials about how he obtained a fundraising list from a veterans charity.

The report, released Wednesday, also states Greitens received the fundraising list much earlier than what was in a Missouri Ethics Commission consent order that he signed in April 2017.

Medical cannabis related products are sold at a medical cannabis outreach clinic in Shelbyville, Ilinois, on April 29, 2017
Jeff Bossert | Illinois Public Media

Legislation that would legalize marijuana for medical use in Missouri passed the state House on Tuesday.

The bill originally would have only allowed medical marijuana use for terminally ill patients, but the House added amendments last week to expand access to those with chronic and debilitating, but not necessarily fatal, illnesses.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

There are only three weeks left in Missouri’s 2018 legislative session.

Lawmakers are continuing to work on major legislation, including the fiscal year 2019 state budget. But they still have to figure out how much to spend on public schools.

An email sent to St. Louis Public Radio about a now-scuttled soccer stadium prompted Attorney General Josh Hawley to once again look into Gov. Eric Greitens’ social media policies. Jan. 2017
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated 2 p.m. Friday, April 27) A Cole County judge has rejected Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens’ request for a restraining order to prevent Attorney General Josh Hawley from being involved in any case against the embattled governor.

The judge's decision, issued Friday, means that the attorney general can continue investigating the governor. Hawley's staff has sent over some information to St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, who is overseeing the criminal case filed in St. Louis and set to go to trial May 14.

Office of Missouri House of Representatives, and File photos | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House committee investigating Governor Eric Greitens has beefed up its staff.

A spokesman for committee chairman Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City, said former State Supreme Court Chief Justice Edward “Chip” Robertson, Jr., and Sedalia attorney Mark Kempton will serve as special counsel to the committee as it continues its investigation.

Missouri Capitol on April 24
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

A Missouri Senate committee that handles appointments by the governor has unanimously approved Bill Burkes of Joplin to fill one of the vacancies on the state Ethics Commission.

But he’ll have to wait awhile for the full Senate to confirm him. That’s because Senate President Pro-tem Ron Richard, R-Joplin, wants to keep a 50-50 balance of Democrats and Republicans on the commission.

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