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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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. 

(Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio)

(Updated at 4:29 p.m., Thurs., Jan. 22.)

The Missouri Senate voted today to confirm former St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom as the head of the Missouri Department of Public Safety.

The vote was 31-2.

State senators had held up the vote because of questions related to a discrimination suit when he was St. Louis' chief of police.

Read our earlier story below:

State Sen. Ryan Silvey, R-Kansas City, proposes to expand Medicaid to military vets currently ineligible for coverage.
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

A Republican member of the Missouri Senate is proposing expanding Medicaid to military veterans who are currently ineligible.

(via Flickr/lowjumpingfrog)

(Updated 9:08 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 20)

Rita Days, St. Louis County’s Democratic director of elections, says she’s been removed from office at the behest of new County Executive Steve Stenger.

The county’s Board of Election Commissioners voted Tuesday to remove Days as of Friday. She says she is to be replaced by Eric Fey, now the executive assistant to County Councilman Pat Dolan, D-Richmond Heights.

Although she remains on the payroll a few more days, Days says her computer access already has been cut off.

HOK/360 Architecture

Missouri legislative leaders are showing little, if any, support for authorizing any state aid for a proposed new football stadium in St. Louis.

A task force appointed by Gov. Jay Nixon has unveiled plans for a 64,000-seat stadium between the Gateway Arch and the new Interstate 70 bridge with an estimated price tag ranging from $860 million to $985 million. 

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.


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.