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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Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House has passed legislation to ban so-called “late term” abortions in the Show-Me State.

The bill would ban abortions after 20 weeks unless two doctors verify that a fetus is either not viable or is a medical threat to the mother.

Mo. Senate

A group of fiscally conservative Missouri senators is continuing to block legislation to draw down $81 million in federal unemployment benefits, even though Senate Republican leaders support the bill.

State Senator Jim Lembke (R, Lemay) has been leading the filibuster for weeks.  He says rejecting the money would send a message to Washington that it needs to reign in spending.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

The House Budget Committee has quickly wrapped up work on Missouri’s state budget for Fiscal Year 2012.

The process of voting 13 budget bills out of committee is often raucous and can take several days to do.  This year, it only took an hour, with each budget bill passing overwhelmingly.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Senate has passed controversial legislation that would reverse portions of Proposition B

Voters narrowly approved the ballot measure last November, which limits dog breeders to 50 dogs per operation and requires adequate food, water and outdoor access.

(Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio)

Good morning! Here are some of today's starting headlines:

  • A State Senate committee spent several hours last night (Wednesday) discussing legislation that would allow utility companies in Missouri to charge customers for a site permit for a proposed nuclear power plant.  The reactor would be built by St. Louis-based Ameren Missouri and would be located next to the company’s reactor near Fulton.  The price tag for the site permit is around $40 million.  Opponents included Jean Blackwood of the Sierra Club:

(via Flickr/Robert S. Donovan)

The Missouri House has given first-round approval to legislation that would require driver’s license tests to be given in English only.

Supporters say doing so would help immigrants assimilate easier into American culture and promote safety, since road signs in Missouri are in English.

Harrison Sweazea, Mo. Senate Communications Office

Legislation that would restore local control over the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department has stalled in the Missouri Senate

Two St. Louis-area Senators, Jim Lembke (R, Lemay) and Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D, University City), began a filibuster of the bill today.

The Missouri Senate has given first-round approval to a bill that would reverse portions of Proposition B, a ballot measure narrowly approved by voters last year to regulate dog breeders.

The bill would do away with Proposition B’s limit of 50 dogs per breeder, and changes the name of the law from “Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act” to “Canine Cruelty Prevention Act.”

Testimony was heard in Jefferson City today on legislation that would outlaw the use of red light cameras in Missouri.

The bill is sponsored by State Representative Paul Weiland (R, Imperial).  He called red light cameras a gimmick for boosting revenue, saying that cities that use them fine violators without adding points to their driving records.

via Flikr/wheany

Republican leaders in the Missouri House are calling on Governor Jay Nixon (D) to release more funding for school buses.

The challenge follows Thursday’s news that state revenue collections are up by more than six percent since July of last year. 

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House has passed legislation to limit where and when funeral protesters can demonstrate.

The action comes despite this week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that threw out a lawsuit against a fundamentalist church that holds protests at military funerals.

Legislation that would bar the state minimum wage from exceeding the federal rate has passed the Missouri House

A ballot initiative passed in 2006 raised Missouri’s minimum wage to $6.50 an hour and tied future increases to the rate of inflation.

Mo. Senate

A group of Republicans in the Missouri Senate is still blocking a bill that would allow the state to receive $81 million in federal unemployment benefits.

But the bill's supporters say Missouri hasn't lost out yet, despite today's deadline for getting it passed.

Mo. Senate

Some Republicans in the Missouri Senate are blocking legislation to draw down $81 million in federal unemployment benefits.

The funding would go to Missouri residents who've been out of work for more than 79 weeks, and a State House bill authorizing the draw down must be passed by Thursday or else the money will go to other states.

texting while driving
MrJasonWeaver | Flickr

A Missouri House committee heard three bills today that would extend the state's texting-while-driving ban to all motorists.

But the bills differ in how the law would be enforced.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House has given first-round approval to legislation that would prohibit the state's minimum wage from exceeding the federal rate.

In 2006, Missouri voters approved a ballot initiative that set the state's minimum wage at $6.50 an hour, and allowed future minimums to rise based on the rate of inflation.  It now matches the federal level of $7.25 an hour.

Mo. State Auditor's Office

Missouri State Auditor Tom Schweich (R) says he supports legislation that would require details about the governor's flights around the state to be posted to a state website.

The bill in question has been approved by the Missouri House and is now before the Senate.

AP photo/Andy Manis

Missouri legislative leaders don't expect walkouts by Democrats in Wisconsin and other Midwestern states over labor union issues to happen here.

Democrats and union leaders in the Show-Me State are opposing legislation in the State Senate that would make Missouri a right-to-work state.

Updated 5:40 p.m. Feb. 25, 2011.

A State Senator from rural western Missouri has announced he'll seek the Republican nomination for Secretary of State next year.

Bill Stouffer (R, Napton) was first elected to the Missouri Senate in 2004 and re-elected in 2008.

He made an unsuccessful bid for Congress last year, losing the GOP nod to Vicky Hartzler in Missouri's 4th District.  Hartzler later unseated incumbent Democrat Ike Skelton.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Senate has passed a resolution that would require voters to show photo identification at the polls.

The proposed constitutional amendment was passed without debate along party lines, with all seven Democrats voting "no" and all Republicans present voting "yes."

A Missouri Senate committee has approved legislation that would restore local control to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, but not before adding a provision that could also kill it.

The amendment would reduce the number of city aldermen in St. Louis to 14, and the number of wards from 28 to seven.

The move comes one day after a related bill easily passed the Missouri House.

Mo. State Auditor's office

Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich has announced a proposal to review how several state agencies spend money.

The one-time review would compare spending habits of five to 10 of Missouri's largest state agencies.  Schweich says it could save the state millions of dollars.

For the first time ever, the Missouri House has passed legislation to give the city of St. Louis control over its police department, which has been under state control since the Civil War.

The vote was 109 to 46 in favor, and the bill now goes to the Missouri Senate.

Mo. Dept. of Conservation

The Missouri Department of Conservation would have to reimburse landowners for any damage caused by the reintroduction of elk, under a bill filed this week in the State Senate.

If passed, the state would be liable for damage to crops, pastures, livestock, buildings and other property, as well as injuries in traffic crashes caused by elk.

Jamilah Nasheed
Tim Bommel | Mo. House of Representatives

The Missouri House has given first-round approval to legislation that would return control of the Metropolitan Police Department to the city of St. Louis.

The department has been under state control since the Civil War.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri House committee has passed a bill that would bar abortions of fetuses deemed capable of living outside the womb.

The bill would ban abortions after 20 weeks unless two doctors verify that a fetus is either not viable or is a medical threat to the mother.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Legislation that would require Missouri voters to show photo identification at the polls is advancing in both chambers of the General Assembly.

First, a Missouri House committee this morning passed a resolution that would put the photo ID question before voters as a constitutional amendment, along with a bill that would implement the amendment into state law if passed.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Two bills making their way through the Missouri House would target bullying in public schools across the state.

State Representative Sue Allen (R, Town and Country) is sponsoring one of them.  It would require all K-12 schools to issue a statement prohibiting bullying and to install procedures for reporting and investigating incidents of bullying.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House has passed a bill that would place diseases contracted on the job under the state's workers' compensation system.

Currently, workers who've contracted illnesses such as Black Lung disease and Mesothelioma are ineligible to receive workers' comp benefits, but they can can sue their employers in circuit court.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

A Missouri House committee heard testimony today on a bill that would make it illegal to abort a fetus deemed capable of living outside the womb.

The bill would ban abortions after 20 weeks unless two doctors verify that a fetus is either not viable or constitutes a medical threat to the mother.

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