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 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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Republican lawmakers are working to shorten the amount of time out-of-work Missouri residents can receive unemployment benefits.

The Missouri House Thursday passed legislation to create a sliding scale, in which the unemployment rate would have to be nine percent or higher in order to receive benefits for 20 weeks. Benefits would only be available for 13 weeks when the jobless rate is below six percent.

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A Missouri Senate committee is considering legislation designed to further boost online privacy.

The bill would forbid employers, landlords and educational institutions from requiring current employees, renters, and students – as well as applicants – to provide user names and passwords of their email and social media accounts.

s_falkow | Flickr

Missouri would shorten the statute of limitations on filing personal injury claims to three years from five years in a bill moving through the state Senate.


The measure is sponsored by Sen. Dan Hegeman, R-Cosby. He suggests shortening the time frame will bring Missouri’s legal climate into the 21st century.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens
File photo | Bill Greenblatt | UPI

The Missouri Senate is weighing a bill that would revoke the governor’s ability to appoint and remove people at will from state boards and commissions.

The measure would require the governor to notify the Senate in writing of any appointments made while the legislature is not in session, bar appointees from being sworn in until the Senate has been notified, and bars the governor from withdrawing appointees if he doesn’t like their decisions as board members.

Legislation passed by the Missouri House last month banning most gifts from lobbyists has been altered by a Senate committee.

The original version would ban all gifts except plants, flowers, and catered events in which all state lawmakers and elected officials are invited. Now, the bill would allow officeholders to accept no more than $40 worth of gifts per day, and would require them to reimburse the lobbyist for anything above $40.

Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Senate is considering legislation that would target protesters who block interstate highways.

The bill would make it a Class A misdemeanor to block lanes of interstate or other limited access highways, punishable by fines between $1,000 and $5,000 and up to 30 days in jail. And protesters could be held liable in civil suits filed by patients whose ambulances are delayed by blocked interstate highways.

File photo | Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Lobbyist gifts, a tax credit for the elderly, and a bill frowned upon by labor unions are on next week’s tentative agenda for the Missouri General Assembly.

Some Senate members appear to be close to their own version of a proposal to ban most gifts from lobbyists. Details are being withheld at the moment, but Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, said it could be voted out of committee next week.

File photo I Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Legislation designed to combat human trafficking in Missouri is on its way to Gov. Eric Greitens.

The bill would require airports, bus and train stations, hospital emergency rooms, strip clubs, and any business with prior citations for prostitution to display posters that contain a national hotline number. Republican Bob Onder of Lake St. Louis sposoned the bill in the Senate. 

Ryan Silvey, R-Kansas City, resigned his seat in the Missouri Senate in January to fill a vacancy on the Public Service Commission.
Courtesy of Silvey's Facebook page

Ryan Silvey began 2018 as the state senator for most of Clay County in the Kansas City metro area. On the second day of this year’s legislative session he resigned his seat in the Senate in order to accept an appointment to the Missouri Public Service Commission, which regulates utilities.

And his new job comes courtesy of someone he’s often criticized, fellow Republican and governor, Eric Greitens.

St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin talked with Silvey about why he made the switch and how his new job is going:

File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri lawmakers continue to work on several bills, including one that could result in the first filibuster of the 2018 legislative session.

A bill sponsored by State Sen. David Sater, R-Cassville, would ban participation in the federal program formerly known as food stamps, now called SNAP, for heads of households able to work but who choose not to. Food benefits would also be cut off to dependents living with that individual, including children.

Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri House and Senate leaders are balking at Gov. Eric Greitens’ plan to establish a line of credit to ensure that all state income tax refunds are paid on time.

The $250 million credit line is part of the governor’s proposed state budget for Fiscal Year 2019, which begins July 1. But President Pro-tem Ron Richard, R-Joplin, gave a flat-out “no” to that idea while talking with the media Thursday.

Members of labor unions watch speakers at a rally last year in St. Charles.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo I St. Louis Public Radio

Legislation opposed by unions is being pushed again by Republican lawmakers in Missouri, and the latest efforts are targeting the state’s prevailing wage.

Four bills that would either scale it back or eliminate it are being considered by a state senate committee. The law requires non-union workers to be paid the same amount of money as union members on public works projects, which include roads, bridges, schools and other public buildings.

Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City
File photo | Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Senate is again considering capping the state’s two biggest tax credit programs, despite their popularity with local leaders in urban and suburban areas.

Two separate bills, SB 590 and SB 591, would place limits of $50 million a year on incentives for both historic preservation and low income housing, which are both currently capped at $140 million. State Senator Dan Hegeman, R-Cosby, sponsors both. He touted them Tuesday before the Senate committee on ethics.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens speaks to reporters after the 2017 adjourned. Greitens didn't have the smoothest relationship with legislators, including Republicans that control both chambers of the Missouri General Assembly.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens unveiled his proposed state budget in his first public appearance in nearly two weeks.

But much of the attention remained on his past extramarital affair. Nearly half the questions asked at Greitens’ budget rollout focused on allegations that he threatened to blackmail his former hairdresser.

Jean Maneke, counsel to the Missouri Press Association, and Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley on Monday discuss changes to the Sunshine Law. 1/22/18
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio


Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley wants the state legislature to adopt a few changes he’s proposing this year to Missouri’s Sunshine Law.

First, he wants to set up a transparency division within his office that would have the authority to enforce the Sunshine Law against state agencies.

File Photo | Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

One busy week leads to another as Missouri lawmakers wrestle with tax credits, a major ethics bill, and next year’s state budget.

The House this week sent a proposed lobbyist gift ban to the Senate, which is conducting a public hearing on it next week. The bill has died two years in a row over concerns that accepting a piece of gum or a slice of pizza could become illegal. But Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, said he’s committed to crafting a gift ban that the full Senate can support.


Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has released portions of his plan to cut taxes in Missouri.

Greitens said in a written statement Thursday afternoon that most of the details of his proposal will be laid out “in the coming weeks.” But the Republican governor has listed several goals, or “principles,” that make up the plan.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

It was a short but busy day for the Missouri House, as they sent three bills - on lobbyist gifts, human trafficking and hair braiding - to the Senate on Wednesday.

For the third year in a row, the House passed legislation banning most gifts from lobbyists to elected officials. The exceptions allowed in the lobbyist gift ban include flowers for weddings, funerals and similar events, and free food at catered events as long as every lawmaker and statewide elected official is invited.

State Auditor Nicole Galloway and Gov. Eric Greitens listen during a ceremony revealing Gov. Jay Nixon's gubernatorial portriat on Jan. 4, 2018.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

A state audit contends that a cash shortfall is primarily to blame for Missouri residents receiving their state income tax refunds late this past year.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

The search has begun for Missouri’s next education commissioner, even though there currently aren’t enough board members to vote on hiring Margie Vandeven’s successor.

Ten people applied for the job by Monday’s deadline. But Board of Education President Charlie Shields said they can’t even review their applications until there are at least five voting members on the State Board.