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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Tim Bommel | Missouri House Communications

The first meeting of the Missouri House committee investigating the indictment of Gov. Eric Greitens lasted just over two minutes, the bulk of which saw the head of the committee telling the media what he expects from them.

Rep. Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City, said to expect most, if not all, of the proceedings to take place behind closed doors.

Sen. Jill Schupp, D-Creve Coeur, stands to speak on the first day of the 2018 Missouri General Assembly session.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio's Jo Mannies and Marshall Griffin welcome back state Sen. Jill Schupp, a Democrat from Creve Coeur.

Schupp’s 24th District takes in part or all of at least 20 municipalities in St. Louis County. She’s finishing up her first four-year term and has filed for re-election this fall. Her first Senate race in 2014 was the most combative and expensive in the state that year.

Tim Bommel | Missouri House Communications

The latest proposal to cut taxes in Missouri is in the hands of a state House committee.

The measure would reduce the top state income tax rate on individuals and corporations to 5 percent. It’s currently at 5.9 percent for individuals and 6.25 percent for corporations. The bill is sponsored by House Speaker Pro-tem Elijah Haahr, R-Springfield.

File photo | Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri lawmakers debated and passed several bills this week, even with the ongoing distraction of the indictment of Gov. Eric Greitens.

The first-term Republican faces a May 14 trial date on an of invasion of privacy charge, in which he’s accused of taking a semi-nude photo in 2015 of his then-mistress without her permission. Greitens maintains he’s innocent.

Tim Bommel | Missouri House Communications

A panel set up to investigate the indictment of Gov. Eric Greitens now has the official go-ahead from the Missouri House.

The chamber on Thursday voted unanimously, 154-0, on a resolution that gives authority to the committee to hold hearings, subpoena witnesses and issue a report that could include a recommendation to impeach the governor. It could also take the lesser action of censuring the governor — essentially a written reprimand — or choose no action.

File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Legislation being considered by a Missouri Senate committee would require public employee labor unions to get permission every year to withhold dues and fees from employees’ paychecks.

Current law already requires public unions to get permission, but only when a new employee begins work.

Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House has passed legislation to renew several so-called “benevolent” tax credits — and it includes a tax break for centers that seek to discourage women from having an abortion.

The incentives for pregnancy resource centers is set to expire at the end of 2019. The bill would extend the program for another six years and expand the size of the tax credit from $2.5 million to $3.5 million a year.

State Rep. Jay Barnes, left, will chair a House committee set up by  House Speaker Todd Richardson, right, to investigate the allegations that led to the indictment of Gov. Eric Greitens.
House Communications

When it comes to Gov. Eric Greitens’ legal troubles, the split among Missouri Republicans was obvious Monday during back-to-back news conferences.

Missouri House Speaker Todd Richardson, a Republican from Poplar Bluff, announced that he has set up a bipartisan committee to investigate the issues surrounding the governor’s indictment Thursday for allegedly taking a photo of a partially nude woman without her consent.

Right after the speaker’s brief event, two St. Louis area lawmakers held a rival news conference that urged the governor to resign.

File | Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Republicans are split over what to do about Gov. Eric Greitens, a fellow Republican who’s been indicted for felony invasion of privacy after allegedly taking a semi-nude photo of a woman without her consent.

The state Republican Party contends that the indictment is “a political hit job’’ engineered by St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, a Democrat. But there are increasing calls from GOP lawmakers, especially in the state Senate, for Greitens to at least consider stepping down.

Erin Achenbach | St. Louis Public Radio

About 300 people poured into the hallways of the Missouri Capitol Tuesday, calling for lawmakers to avoid creating new laws that would loosen existing gun regulations.

Kim Westerman, who lives in St. Louis and volunteers with the group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, said they’re concerned that pro-gun lawmakers in Missouri remain unmoved by the recent mass shooting at a high school in Florida that claimed 17 lives.

File photo | Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House sent several bills to the Senate this week, while the upper chamber virtually shut down at times while sending a bill over to the House considered friendly to investor-owned utilities.

That particular bill would allow Kansas City Power and Light and St. Louis-based Ameren Missouri to recover more of the cost of upgrading their infrastructure from their customers. Backers say it will improve Missouri’s power grid and spur job growth, while opponents say it will lead to higher electric bills.

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neetalparekh | Flickr

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.

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:

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