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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The St. Louis Art Museum is one of several St. Louis sites that attract tourists. Hotel occupancy rates in St. Louis decreased slightly from 67.1 percent in 2017 to 66.3 percent this year.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Promoters of Missouri tourism, stung when then-Gov. Eric Greitens cut the state tourism budget in half, are encouraged that his successor wants to restore the funding.

Gov. Mike Parson made it known early in his administration that he wants to promote tourism.

Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Friday with a response from the attorney general’s office – A non-profit group set up to promote the agenda of then-Gov. Eric Greitens is asking a Cole County judge to dismiss a lawsuit that seeks records of its activities.

St. Louis-based attorney Elad Gross filed suit in June against A New Missouri. He said he took action after the Missouri House committee that had been investigating the former governor halted its probe after Greitens’ resignation from office. The committee was also seeking records from A New Missouri, including its financing.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Proponents of Missouri’s voter photo ID law contend it has not restricted voting, while opponents argue it keeps people from the polls.

The two sides made their final arguments Monday in a lawsuit seeking to toss out the ID law.

File photo | Rachel Heidenry | St. Louis Beacon

Proponents of Missouri’s photo-ID voter law argued Monday it’s not burdensome, while those suing to overturn it say it’s exclusionary.

House Bill 1631, which was passed in 2016 and took effect in June of last year, limits the types of photo ID that can be used for voting to non-expired Missouri driver’s licenses, a non-driving state-issued photo ID, a military ID, or a U.S. passport. It also took effect because 63 percent of Missouri voters passed Amendment 6 in November 2016, which allowed for a photo-ID requirement to be passed by the Legislature.

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.

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