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.

Pages

Proposition B / Dog Breeding Legislation
3:26 pm
Wed April 27, 2011

Dog-breeding legislation moves through Mo. legislature

The chambers of the Missouri House of Representatives.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Updated 6:38 p.m.:

Missouri lawmakers have sent Gov. Jay Nixon a new version of a bill rewriting a voter-approved law on dog-breeding.

Wednesday's quick action by the state House and Senate came after Nixon began the day by signing a previously passed bill repealing key sections of the "Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act" approved by voters last November.

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texting while driving
7:14 pm
Tue April 26, 2011

Mo. House passes texting-while-driving language

(via Flickr/MrJasonWeaver)

The Missouri House has passed a bill that includes language banning texting while driving for motorists of all ages.

Current law only bans texting while driving for those age 21 and younger.

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Proposition B / Dog Breeding Legislation
4:45 pm
Tue April 26, 2011

Mo. Gov. Nixon may be close to signing Prop. B reversal

The Thomas Jefferson statue stands on the steps of the Missouri State Capitol Building in Jefferson City, Mo. on Dec. 3, 2010.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri House leaders believe Governor Jay Nixon may be on the verge of signing a controversial bill that reverses Proposition B. 

The voter-approved initiative limits dog breeders to 50 per operation and requires larger cages, more outdoor access and annual veterinary exams. 

Nixon is also proposing a compromise that would remove the 50-dog-per-breeder cap while leaving some of the other restrictions in place.  House Speaker Steven Tilley says they’ll take up the governor’s compromise after he signs the rollback bill into law.

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Developing: Spring Flooding
3:07 pm
Tue April 26, 2011

Communities continue to battle flood conditions in Mo., Ill.

Water has surrounded the Mt. Calvary Powerhouse Church in Poplar Bluff, Mo. on April 26, 2011. A levee protecting the town from major flooding breached today and authorities are planning to evacuate about seven thousand residents.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Updated 1:51 p.m. April 28:

Via the Associated Press:

The Black River is receding at Poplar Bluff, Mo., and some 1,000 evacuees are now allowed to go home.

Officials in the southeast Missouri community of 17,000 residents on Thursday lifted a mandatory evacuation order for a large section of town, where river water has been pouring over the top of the levee.

Residents in the impacted area can return home whenever they choose.

Many will find a mess left behind by the murky water. Officials don't yet know how many homes were damaged in Poplar Bluff and in a rural area of Butler County also protected by the levee.

The National Weather Service said Thursday that after a crest of 21.4 feet on Tuesday, the Black River at Poplar Bluff was down to 19.1 feet.

Updated 11:14 a.m. April 27:

Via the Associated Press:

The Army Corps of Engineers says it will wait until this weekend to decide whether to intentionally break a southeastern Missouri levee along the Mississippi River.

The Corps has said it may have to blow holes in the Birds Point levee to ease rising waters near the Illinois town of Cairo which sits near the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers.

Missouri has sued (see 12:58 update) to block the effort because it would swamp farmland. A hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

But Corps spokesman Bob Anderson tells The Associated Press that even if a judge gives the go-ahead, the agency will wait until it gets a better forecast of the river crests to see if the breach is necessary. That decision isn't likely to come until at least this weekend.

Updated 5:06 p.m. April 26:

Via the Associated Press:

Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon is defending the idea of intentionally breaching a Missouri levee to reduce flooding in Cairo.

Missouri officials object to the plan, saying it would endanger 130,000 acres of prime farmland.

But Simon told The Associated Press on Tuesday that farmers will be compensated for their losses and will be able to use the land next year. On the other hand, flooding could devastate the poor town of Cairo.

She noted an Illinois levee was intentionally breached during 1993 flooding.

Simon also says the Army Corps of Engineers would not break the Birds Point levee until water had already topped the levee.

The Corps of Engineers says it will put off a decision until at least Wednesday.

Updated 4:20 p.m. April 26:

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill says she has concerns about the intentional breaching of the levee at Birds Point (via a press release):

“While emergency responders and volunteers work to save lives and protect property as best they can, the Army Corps of Engineers are working to find a solution to alleviate the stress from our levees.  I have grave concerns about the plan to intentionally breach Bird’s Point Levee that is being considered. In the effort to prevent more damage, we may do additional significant harm to the agricultural economy of the region that will last well after the flood waters recede.”

The release says McCaskill has already communicated her concerns with the Army Corps of Engineers' leadership.

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Missouri congressional redistricting
6:22 am
Fri April 22, 2011

Mo. House, Senate negotiators fail to agree on redistricting maps

(l-r) State Senator Scott Rupp (R, Wentzville) and State Rep. John Diehl (R, Town and Country), at the start of a long night of failed negotiations.
Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

House and Senate negotiators have failed to reach an agreement on a congressional redistricting map before today’s self-imposed deadline.

Republican House leaders had wanted a compromise map ready to pass before Easter Weekend, in order to have time to override a potential veto from Democratic Governor Jay Nixon during the regular session.

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MO Statehouse
12:35 pm
Thu April 21, 2011

Mo. House takes the day off, again

Mo. House of Representatives
Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

For the second time this week, the Missouri House has taken a day off from floor action.

And once again, it’s tied to the struggle between the House and Senate over congressional redistricting.

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MO Statehouse
12:19 pm
Thu April 21, 2011

Mo. Senate passes FY2012 budget

The Missouri Senate has passed the state budget for next year.

The Senate’s $23.2 billion spending plan cuts the state’s higher education budget by 4.8 percent, and provides an additional $20 million for school bus funding.  Kurt Schaefer (R, Columbia) sponsored the budget bills in the Senate.

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Shrinking the Missouri House
11:27 am
Thu April 21, 2011

Mo. Senate passes plan to shrink House

The Missouri House of Representatives chambers during Gov. Jay Nixon's State of the State Address on Jan. 19, 2011.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

A proposed constitutional amendment that would shrink the size of the Missouri House from 163 members to 103 has passed the Missouri Senate.

If it passes both chambers, the measure would go before voters next year.

State Senator Jim Lembke (R, Lemay) says the downsizing would not happen right away.

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Dog breeding law
1:01 am
Thu April 21, 2011

Dueling Prop B rallies held in Mo. capital as Nixon weighs options

Several hundred people attended a rally at the State Capitol calling on Gov. Nixon to sign SB 113, which would roll back many of the provisions in Proposition B.
Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

As Governor Jay Nixon (D) weighs his options on a bill to roll back voter-approved dog breeding regulations, supporters and opponents of Proposition B staged dueling rallies a few blocks from each other in Jefferson City.

Several hundred people gathered outside the State Capitol to urge the governor to sign a bill passed by the Missouri House and Senate that would remove the 50-dog per breeder limit and relax provisions for living space and veterinary exams.

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Aerotropolis bill
9:55 pm
Wed April 20, 2011

Aerotropolis bill before Mo. Senate committee

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport
(via Flickr/dbking)

After easily passing the House last week, a Missouri Senate committee is now considering a bill designed to make Lambert Airport an international air cargo hub.

The so-called Aerotropolis bill would provide around $480 million in tax credits to companies that develop air cargo facilities at or near Lambert.  Airport Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge told the committee that the bill is about more than just doing business with China.

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