Marshall Griffin

Statehouse Reporter

St. Louis Public Radio State House Reporter Marshall Griffin is a native of Mississippi and proud alumnus of Ole Miss (welcome to the SEC, Mizzou!).  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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State Sen. Will Kraus, R-Lee's Summit
Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

The Politically Speaking podcast team – Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies – this week welcomed state Sen. Will Kraus, R-Lee’s Summit and  a 2016 candidate for Missouri secretary of state.

But first, the duo joined Jefferson City correspondent Marshall Griffin in commemorating the late state Auditor Tom Schweich, who died last Thursday from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. A memorial service is to be held Tuesday at his church in Clayton.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Within minutes of the news of Auditor Tom Schweich's death, Gov. Jay Nixon ordered all flags on Missouri property lowered to half-staff.

But the governor will soon have a much bigger decision to make: who to appoint as Schweich's successor.

Missouri law seems to suggest that a decision must be made rapidly:

(via Flickr/david_shane)

Two controversial constitutional amendments faced challenges before the Missouri Supreme Court Wednesday. Approved by voters last August, Amendment 5 strengthened gun owners' rights while Amendment 1 limited the ability to regulate farming and ranching.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Two bills to address Missouri's student transfer law won approval late Tuesday — one in each chamber of the legislature. Both would require accreditation of individual schools rather than whole districts and would set new transfer guidelines to prevent overcrowding.

The battle by Republican lawmakers to restore photo identification requirements in Missouri has moved over to the Senate, where two rather different approaches are being considered.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The head of the Missouri Senate wants the authority to intervene in lawsuits whenever the attorney general chooses not to get involved.

The move follows recent court rulings that declared the state's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated 5:51 p.m., Thurs., Feb. 19 )

The Missouri House has passed two pieces of legislation to require voters to show government-approved photo identification at the polls.

Jason Rojas | Flickr

(Updated 5:50 p.m., Thurs., Feb. 12)

The Missouri Senate has passed legislation to reduce the amount of revenue from traffic fines cities and towns can use in their budgets from the current 30 percent.

Senate Bill 5 would allow municipalities in urban and suburban areas to keep only 10 percent of the revenue from speeding tickets and other fines, while rural towns would be allowed up to 20 percent.  It was sponsored by state Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale.

House Speaker John Diehl, R-Town & Country
Tim Bommel, House Communications

On this special edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, House Speaker John Diehl, R-Town and Country, joins St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies to talk about the passage of “right to work” legislation in the Missouri. 

The bill in question – sponsored by Rep. Eric Burlison, R-Springfield – would bar unions and employers from requiring all workers to join a union and pay union fees, if a majority votes to organize. It passed the Missouri House on Thursday with 92 "yes" votes, which falls short of the majority needed to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto.

Bill Greenblatt | UPI

(Updated 12:40 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12)

For the first time ever, the Missouri House has approved a right-to-work bill that curbs union rights.

But the House’s 92-66 vote Wednesday afternoon was far short of the number – 109 -- needed to withstand a likely veto by Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat with close union ties.

Final House approval came Thursday morning. The  measure now moves to the Senate, where it faces an uncertain future and a possible Democratic filibuster.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated 1 p.m., Wed., Feb. 11)

By a voice vote, the Missouri House gave first round-approval Wednesday to a bill to bar construction unions and employers from requiring all employees to join a union and pay dues if a majority votes to organize. The bill, HB 582, is sponsored by Rep. Courtney Curtis, D-Berkeley.

----- Our earlier story

Mo. Dept. of Corrections

Updated at 12:17 a.m., Wed., Feb. 11 -- Walter Storey's execution was carried out at 12:01 a.m. by lethal injection, according to a brief statement from the Missouri Department of Corrections.  His time of death is listed as 12:10 a.m.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

After a few years of going nowhere, ethics reform may finally be gaining traction within the Republican-dominated Missouri legislature.

Senate endorses ethics bill

On Wednesday, the Missouri Senate gave first-round approval to Senate Bill 11, sponsored by Majority Floor Leader Ron Richard, R-Joplin.  It touches on several issues, which include:

(via Missouri Department of Transportation)

Missouri transportation commissioners have voted unanimously to adopt a drastically scaled-back road and bridge maintenance system, due to an ongoing drop in revenue.

The Missouri 325 system will provide full maintenance for only 8,000 miles of the state's roads and bridges, which would be considered "primary."  MoDOT Director Dave Nichols says the new program begins immediately.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

One day after a Missouri House committee considered a slate of Republican-backed ethics reform bills, a Republican lawmaker wants Missouri voters to have the chance to restore campaign contribution limits.

Ray Howze/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon made it official Thursday when he announced that he'll be leading an agricultural trade mission to Cuba in March.

Last month, Nixon, a Democrat, ordered his Agriculture Department to explore trade opportunities with the island nation, following President Barack Obama's decision to normalize relations with the communist regime.  Nixon says Missouri's farmers and livestock owners have a lot to gain by doing business with Cuba.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri House Speaker John Diehl, R-Town and Country, has banned all committee hearings and legislative meetings held at country clubs and restaurants, effective immediately.

Mo. Secretary of State's office

The fight against sex trafficking is being waged in Jefferson City -- and Washington, D.C. Closer to home, the Missouri legislature is considering bills to allow victims of human trafficking to shield their home addresses from the public. And, in the nation's capital, the U.S. House passed several bills targeting human trafficking.

Missouri legislation to help human trafficking survivors

via Wikimedia Commons

Legislation that could make it harder to finance a new football stadium in St. Louis has been filed in the Missouri Senate.

Senate Bill 319, sponsored by state Sen. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph, would bar the governor from extending existing bonds without approval from state lawmakers.

(via Flickr/davidsonscott15)

Legislation to cap the amount of revenue from traffic fines cities and towns in Missouri can include in their budgets is getting early attention in this year's regular session.

Under the current law, known as the Macks Creek law, local municipalities can receive up to 30 percent of their income from speeding tickets and other traffic citations.  That would drop to 10 percent if the proposed measure becomes law. 

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