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.

Ways To Connect

Missouri State Highway Patrol

The 2011 merger of the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the water patrol is getting mixed reviews from state lawmakers in a report released Thursday.

In the final report, members of the House Review Committee on the 2011 water patrol division merger cited several problems, including less water-related training. Before the merger, water patrol officers had to undergo 1,123 hours of training, with 281 of those hours specifically related to boating and swimming.

MoDOT

Due to the ongoing drop in highway funding, the Missouri Department of Transportation wants to scale back maintenance of most of the state's roads and bridges.

Tim Bommel | Missouri House Communications

 Tom Schweich has begun his second term as Missouri auditor.

Flanked by members of his family, Schweich was sworn in Monday by Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Russell during a small ceremony inside the state auditor's office. He told a small group of family, friends, and supporters that his office would continue to root out corruption and fraud over the next four years.

"We've got some very important state audits" coming up, Schweich said.  "We're going to continue to do what we started four years ago, (and) we're going t0 take it up a notch every day."

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

The 2015 Missouri legislative session is underway, and here are some of the highlights of the day.

Nixon gets first say on start of session

The day began with the annual Governor's Prayer Breakfast, after which he answered questions from reporters on a few topics, including whether Medicaid expansion was already a lost cause for 2015.  Nixon, of course, said it wasn't at all.

/ Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

Gov. Jay Nixon has ordered the Missouri Department of Agriculture to explore business opportunities in Cuba.

The move follows President Barack Obama's decision to normalize relations with the communist island nation. 

In a written statement released Tuesday, Nixon said that Missouri's agricultural exports are already up by 14 percent this year.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Home health-care workers in Missouri may be getting a Christmas present from Gov. Jay Nixon, in the form of an administrative rule to implement a pay hike.

But the proposed rule change appears to be a present they want to return or exchange.

Groups that support the workers, including their union representatives, oppose the use of an administrative rule to implement the wage hike because the Republican-led legislature can pass a resolution rejecting the rule. They favor an executive order instead.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

An audit of the Missouri Department of Agriculture takes issue with some pay raises, failure to carry out some inspections, and incomplete reports from a board that promotes the state's wine industry.

But state Auditor Tom Schweich says the Agriculture Department received an overall "good" rating in spite of those issues.

One of the key questions is why 10 employees were given unusually large pay raises over a two-year period by former director Jon Hagler.

Missouri Charter Public School Commission holds its organizational meeting on Dec. 16, 2014.  Alicia Herald (back row, right) was elected commission chair.
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri's recently formed Charter Public School Commission is preparing to begin operations next year.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Gov. Jay Nixon and a bipartisan group of lawmakers are touting plans to pass a bond issue to fund repairs to the state Capitol in Jefferson City.

Along with legislators and reporters, Nixon toured areas of the under-section of the nearly century-old building Monday, observing mud, mold, and stalactites from dripping water that have formed underneath the old carriage passage-turned-driveway.

The Missouri General Assembly's Joint Committee on Government Accountability shortly before their meeting Dec. 11, 2014.
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

A joint Missouri House and Senate committee is preparing to investigate Gov. Jay Nixon's actions in Ferguson in the aftermath of a grand jury's decision not to indict a white police officer for fatally shooting 18-year-old Michael Brown.

The committee on governmental accountability met briefly Thursday to appoint chairs and discuss their approach. State Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale, said he specifically wants to know why no Missouri National Guard troops were in Ferguson following the grand jury's decision on Nov. 24.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Roughly 100 people marched the final miles into Jefferson City on Friday to protest the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson and the decision by a grand jury not to indict former police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting.

The Supreme Court of Missouri
via Flickr | david_shane

The Missouri Supreme Court is considering whether the state's ban on same-sex marriage also prevents gay couples in Missouri from getting divorced in Missouri courts.

A man identified only as M.S. married his male partner, identified as D.S., in Iowa in December 2012. The couple separated in August 2013, and in January of this year M.S. filed for divorce in St. Louis County. But Associate Circuit Judge John Borbonus ruled that Missouri's refusal to recognize same-sex marriages barred him from granting the couple a divorce.

(via Flickr/functoruser)

The Missouri Supreme Court is mulling over three cases that could decide whether cities and towns can continue to use traffic cameras to catch speeders and red-light runners.

Two of the cases involve the use of red-light cameras, one in St. Louis and the other in St. Peters. The third case involves the use of speeding cameras in Moline Acres in St. Charles County.

Attorney Bevis Schock represents plaintiffs in the St. Louis and St. Peters cases. He told the high court Tuesday that their use creates a situation where the motorist is guilty until proven innocent.

State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City
Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Two St. Louis County lawmakers are proposing numerous reforms for law enforcement officers in Missouri in the wake of the unrest in Ferguson.

Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City, says changes are needed to "protect Missouri citizens from being abused by overzealous law enforcement." She's planning to file a bill that would:

roast turkey
M.Rehemtulla | Flickr

Missourians will spend more money on their Thanksgiving Day meals than the average American, according to data gathered by the Missouri Farm Bureau.

Based on this year's survey, it costs $50.52 in Missouri to prepare a Thanksgiving meal for 10 people, or $5.05 a person, that contains the following:

Maria Altman/St. Louis Public Radio

Supporters of a "green energy" law passed by Missouri voters in 2008 are in court seeking to reinstate one of the statute's key provisions – rebates to individuals and companies that use solar panels to power their homes and businesses.

Proposition C requires for-profit utility companies to generate 15 percent of their power from renewable sources by the year 2021, but it also bars utilities from raising their rates by more than 1 percent to comply with the voter-approved law. Rebates on solar panel use is one of the methods for increasing renewable energy in Missouri.

(via Flickr/Robert S. Donovan)

The amount of money education in Missouri receives from casino gaming and the lottery is down significantly, according to Gov. Jay Nixon's budget office.

Veronique Lacapra/St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Supreme Court is considering the case surrounding Ameren Missouri's efforts to build a coal ash landfill next door to its coal-fired power plant in Franklin County.

The suit deals with whether citizens were allowed to fully voice their concerns at various public hearings in which zoning amendments were to be discussed, but not allowing comments on Ameren or the coal ash landfill. Attorney Maxine Lipeles argued that their concerns were not fully heard.

(Steve Patterson).

  Governor Jay Nixon is lending his support for efforts by St. Louis and St. Louis County to land a federal Promise Zone designation.

Nixon has directed his Community Engagement office to coordinate any assistance state agencies may provide towards the effort.  Communities that receive a Promise Zone designation get preferential access and assistance in their revitalization efforts.  St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay says he hopes the governor's involvement will give their efforts some momentum.

Bill Greenblatt | UPI

As senate Republicans did Thursday, so have House Democrats and African-American lawmakers – sticking with the same top leaders.

First, the Legislative Black Caucus has formally elected state Rep. Brandon Ellington, D-Kansas City, as caucus chair. He succeeds Rep. Tommie Pierson, D-North County, who was elected as chair in January after state Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis, resigned from the chairmanship.

Pages