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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The Missouri House has given first-round approval to legislation that would require drug testing for some welfare recipients.

The bill would require work-eligible recipients and applicants of the state's Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program to pass drug tests in order to receive assistance.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

A series of public hearings began today for legislation that would repeal, amend, and place exemptions on Proposition B.

Missouri voters narrowly approved the measure in November.

Mo. House of Representatives

The Missouri House is expected to debate legislation this week that would require drug testing for some welfare recipients in Missouri.

The bill would target applicants and recipients of the state's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program (TANF) who are classified as work-eligible.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Republican and Democratic House members gathered today to unveil several proposals they say will improve K-12 education in Missouri.

The idea getting the most attention is school choice - allowing students from failing school districts to transfer to better-performing schools statewide.

Governor Jay Nixon spent a few minutes with reporters in Jefferson  City today, answering questions about education and other topics.

At least one labor union that represents state workers in Missouri is lashing out at Governor Jay Nixon's plan to eliminate more than 860 state jobs.

Nixon made that announcement during Wednesday's State of the State Address.

Governor Jay Nixon is calling for cuts to higher education, fewer state jobs, and holding public school funding at its current level in his proposed state budget for next year. But he kept his State of the State Address upbeat while acknowledging that Missouri is still in a financial hole.  St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin reports.

A Missouri House committee has voted in favor of legislation to give St. Louis control over its police department, which has been under state control since the Civil War.

Those arguing in favor of local control say it's past time for St. Louis to regain authority over its police force.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri House leaders from both political parties are targeting Governor Jay Nixon's practice of having various state agencies pay for his travel expenses.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

A Missouri Senate committee is receiving budget requests this week from agencies and non-profit groups as lawmakers prepare to craft the state's spending plan for next year.

Several groups appeared today before the Senate Appropriations Committee, asking that funding for the Department of Social Services be raised, or at least not cut any further.

The state of Missouri paid tribute today to Martin Luther King, Jr., at a ceremony in Jefferson City.

About 150 people attended the event.  The diverse audience was encouraged to pay tribute to the slain Civil Rights leader by treating others with kindness and looking for ways to serve others.

school buses
Flickr

Governor Jay Nixon has released $7.5 million for public school busing that he had earlier withheld due to Missouri's budget troubles.

The amount is just a fraction of the $70 million budgeted for public school transportation, the rest of which remains frozen.

The dome of the Missouri Capitol.
Flickr | jimbowen0306

Though the recent trend in Missouri has been to go smoke free, the Missouri House voted today to continue to allow smoking in members' offices in the Capitol building.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

A Missouri House committee has passed legislation that would require some welfare recipients to undergo drug testing in order to receive benefits.

Members of the House Committee on General Laws took testimony from supporters and opponents before casting their votes.

A uniform policy for the use of traffic enforcement cameras was approved unanimously today by the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission.

The new standards require that all tickets for red-light violations be issued by an actual police officer.

For the second year in a row, the Missouri Senate is seeking direct public input for ways to, in its words, "reboot government."

Senate members are holding seminars this week to discuss the ideas sent in via email.

Missouri has a new State Auditor.

Tom Schweich was sworn in today during a ceremony inside the State Capitol Rotunda. 

UPDATED 6:08 p.m. Jan. 10, 2011 with comment from Clay's attorney:

Last week we told you that supporters of Richard Clay asked Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon to halt Clay's execution. Well, now it seems that Nixon has granted their request.

The governor issued the following statement this afternoon:

Via an internal memo this morning, University of Missouri System President Gary Forsee announced that he is resigning.

In the announcement Forsee calls three years serving as system president "an honor," and pledges to help in any way possible.

Legislation that would block pay raises for judges in Missouri has been introduced in the State Senate.

The raises were recommended by a special commission to bring salaries for state judges closer to their federal counterparts.

Lawmakers weren't the only ones filing into the Missouri Capitol today.

Around 200 people attended a Tea Party rally inside the Capitol Rotunda.  Most of the speakers sounded off on national issues, primarily taxes and the Democratic agenda.

The Missouri General Assembly has begun its annual legislative session in Jefferson City.

New Republican leaders in both chambers emphasized job growth as their top priorities.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Business interests in Missouri have outlined what they want from lawmakers during the 2011 legislative session, which begins tomorrow.

Their requests include increased protection from lawsuits, changing worker compensation laws, and freezing corporate franchise taxes.

 

The family of Missouri death row inmate Richard Clay and an anti-death penalty group are asking Governor Jay Nixon to halt Clay's scheduled execution next week.

Clay was sentenced to die for the 1994 shooting death of Randy Martindale in New Madrid.  But his supporters say authorities arrested, tried and convicted the wrong person.

Missouri lawmakers return to Jefferson City this week for the 2011 legislative session.  There’ll be many new faces, thanks to term limits, along with new leaders for both the State House and Senate.  And Republicans now hold a veto-proof majority in the Senate and fall only three votes short of one in the House.  St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin takes a closer look at the major issues they’ll be facing this year.

Missouri homeowners who bought their properties after June 13th of this year and think the assessed values were too high can file appeals, due to a change in the tax code.  But there's a catch.

Governor Jay Nixon and the chairmen of the state House and Senate appropriations committee have come to an agreement on the amount of money available for the budget year that starts in June 2011 (FY 2012).

The projected revenue estimate is made every December, and is the figure the governor and lawmakers use to craft budget proposals.

UPDATED: 4:09 p.m. Dec. 21, 2010, with information about reapportionment of Missouri congressional districts.

There’s already speculation that the Republican-dominated Missouri House and Senate will target the St. Louis-area districts held by Democrats Lacy Clay and Russ Carnahan.  But GOP House Member John Diehl, who chairs that chamber’s reapportionment committee, downplayed that possibility before reporters at the State Capitol.

A special Missouri Senate committee is recommending that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education be merged with the Department of Higher Education.

The proposal was one of several announced today that Senate leaders say will improve education in Missouri. Republican David Pearce of Warrensburg says combining the two will have benefits beyond cost savings.

(Bill Greenblatt, UPI)

UPDATED 5:51 p.m. Dec. 16, 2010:

Looks like Governor Nixon is comfortable in the top spot in Jefferson City - he's confirmed that he'll seek re-election in 2012.

Though Nixon confirmed his intentions with a "Yea" to the Associated Press today, his campaign says he's already raised about $1 million since the Nov. 2 elections, and Nixon said he's "committed" to running, he could still follow the precedent of former Republican Gov. Matt Blunt.

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