Marshall Griffin

Marshall Griffin is the Statehouse reporter for St. Louis Public Radio.

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Government
9:45 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Missouri House Passes Benevolent Tax Credits Bill

jimmywayne Flickr

The Missouri House has passed legislation that would revive three benevolent tax credit programs that expired last year, but there were a couple of dissenters who had a problem with incentives going to crisis pregnancy centers.

Democrats Judy Morgan of Kansas City and Stacey Newman of St. Louis County cast the only “no” votes.  Newman said the pregnancy centers in question are operated by anti-abortion groups that are spreading false information about the issue.

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Government
10:05 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Right To Work Debated In Missouri

Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City.
jimmywayne Flickr

Supporters and opponents of legislation that would make Missouri a right-to-work state crowded into a hearing room Wednesday at the State Capitol. 

The bill would forbid workers from being forced to join unions or pay union dues as a condition of employment. 

Greg Hoberock, national chair of Associated Builders and Contractors, testified in favor of the measure.

“I don’t think this bill excludes union membership, I think it give the employee the right to make their own choice to further (their) income and to have a job and to do what they want to do,” said Hoberock.

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Government
10:33 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Missouri Senate Takes Up Proposed One-Cent Tranportation Sales Tax

bigstock.com

Legislation has been filed in the Missouri Senate that would create a temporary sales tax dedicated to funding transportation needs statewide. 

The proposed constitutional amendment would create a one-cent sales tax that would expire after 10 years.  It’s co-sponsored by GOP Senator Mike Kehoe of Jefferson City.  He says the one-penny tax would not be levied on groceries, prescription medicine or fuel.

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Government
9:30 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Missouri Senate Debates Second Injury Fund

jimmywayne Flickr

The Missouri Senate spent more than two hours debating legislation that would keep the state’s ailing Second Injury Fund alive. 

The proposal being considered would raise fees that businesses currently pay into the fund while placing restrictions on future claims.  Democrat Maria Chappelle-Nadal of St. Louis County said in floor debate that raising the cap on businesses was a good move, but expressed concern that people with pre-existing conditions would be left out.

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Government
4:04 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Proposed Higher Education Funding Formula Released Today

A joint House-Senate panel is recommending performance play a role in how much money Missouri’s colleges and universities get from the state each year. 

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Government
3:53 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Mo. Lawmaker Wants To Lighten 1st-Time Marijuana Possession Sentences, Expunge Some Records

A St. Louis-area State House member is proposing legislation that would lessen penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana in Missouri, and would allow for some misdemeanor criminal records to be expunged.

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Government
9:32 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Advocates Deliver Letters Supporting Medicaid Expansion

Sue Allen
http://www.house.mo.gov

A group of advocates for Medicaid expansion delivered 1,500 letters to the head of one of the House subcommittees working on Missouri’s budget for next year. 

John Bennett is a retired Disciples of Christ minister from Jefferson City.  He gave the letters to Republican Sue Allen, who chairs the House Appropriations Committee on Health, Mental Health, and Social Services. 

Allen says she appreciates their efforts.

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Government
9:27 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Missouri Senate More Open To Tax Credits

jimmywayne Flickr

The Missouri Senate passed two sets of tax credit legislation.  So far this year, the Senate may no longer be the place where tax credits go to die.

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Government
10:00 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Opponents Testify Against Missouri Photo ID Measures

bigstock.com

Republicans in the Missouri House are making another attempt to pass legislation that would require voters to show photo identification at the polls. 

Everyone who testified either opposed requiring photo ID’s for voting or were neutral.  It would allow anyone who does not have a photo ID to vote with a provisional ballot, which would not be counted until the voter’s identity is verified. 

John Scott with the Secretary of State’s office says that would still disenfranchise Missouri voters.

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Government
9:33 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Nixon Delivers State Of The State

Courtesy of governor.mo.gov

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon pitched a nearly $26 billion budget to the state of Missouri during Monday’s State of the State Address.  It includes spending increases for K-12 schools, higher education, and the proposed Medicaid expansion he’s been calling for since late November. 

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Government
4:27 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Nixon To Deliver Missouri 'State Of The State' Monday

The Missouri Statehouse.
jimmywayne Flickr

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon will lay out his priorities Monday night when he delivers his annual State of the State Address before the General Assembly.  Lawmakers are hoping that the governor will address areas specific to their constituents’ needs. 

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Headlines
8:22 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Top Of The Morning News: January 28, 2013

The CEO of General Motors will announce details of a major expansion at its Fairfax assembly plant in Kansas City, Kan. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon is slated address education, mental health, and Medicaid in his State of the State address this evening. City leaders in Kansas City will host several public meetings this week, aimed at strengthening arts and culture in the region.

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Government
9:31 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Airplane Questions Hold Up Nixon’s Pick

An example of a King Air 250 airplane -- the same type of aircraft purchased by the Missouri Highway Patrol in December.
Hawker Beechcraft

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon’s choice to head up his Office of Administration will have to wait a bit longer before permanently taking over. 

Acting Director Doug Nelson’s confirmation is being delayed in the Missouri Senate after news broke that the State Highway Patrol spent more than $5.5 million dollars on a new airplane, which has been designated for use by Governor Jay Nixon and other statewide officials. 

Republican Kurt Schaefer, who sponsored Nelson’s nomination, first wants to know who made

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Government
9:13 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Transportation Commission Proposes One-Cent Sales Tax

bigstock.com

The head of the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission has unveiled a plan for funding the state’s aging highways and bridges with a new one-cent sales tax.

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Government
4:00 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Proposed Legislation Would Require Gun Owning Parents To Notify Schools

Legislation filed in the Missouri Senate would require parents to notify their kids’ schools if they are gun owners.

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Government
8:43 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Bill Would Restore Tax Credits For Food Pantries

bigstock.com

A bill that would revive three benevolent tax credits in Missouri is being considered by a State House committee. 

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Government
8:38 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Missouri House Advances Bill To Fill Vacancies

jimmywayne Flickr

The Missouri House has given first-round approval to a bill that would require special elections to fill vacancies in statewide offices. 

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Government
3:26 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Smoking In Mo House: GOP, Yes; Dems, No

bigstock.com

Republican members of the Missouri House who smoke will still be able to, while Democrats won’t. That's the result of a new House rule adopted today.

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Government
9:53 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Bill Would Require Election To Fill Vacancies

A Missouri House committee has overwhelmingly passed legislation that would require special elections to fill vacancies in statewide offices.

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Government
3:31 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Governor Nixon Begins Second Term

jimmywayne Flickr

Jay Nixon has been sworn in for his second and final four-year term as Missouri Governor. 

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Missouri Statehouse
3:15 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Could Nixon Appoint A New Lt. Governor?

Mo. Governor Jay Nixon.
http://governor.mo.gov/

One of the most talked-about issues so far during Missouri’s regular legislative session is whether Governor Jay Nixon has the authority to appoint a new Lt. Governor if Peter Kinder becomes the new Congressman for the state’s 8th District. 

When asked by reporters Thursday, Nixon said he believes he has the authority to do so, based on precedent – in 2000, Governor Roger Wilson appointed Joe Maxwell to begin serving immediately as Lt. Governor less than two months before his elected term was set to begin. 

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Missouri Statehouse
3:51 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Legislative Session Begins In Missouri

jimmywayne Flickr

Missouri’s 2013 legislative session is underway. Legislative leaders kicked things off by laying out more details on what they want to pass this year.

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Government
9:29 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Missouri Needs $1 Billion To Maintain Highways

jimmywayne flickr

A so-called “Blue Ribbon” committee created by the Missouri House to examine the state’s transportation needs has released its report, one day before the start of this year’s legislative session.  But the House Speaker doesn’t agree with some of the options panel members endorsed.

Those options include raising either the state’s fuel tax or creating a sales tax dedicated to transportation needs.  House Speaker Tim Jones says he prefers exploring options that are “revenue neutral.”

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Government
9:39 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Missouri State Of The State Date Set

jimmywayne Flickr

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon will deliver his 2013 State of the State Address on January 28th.

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Government
9:31 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Task Force Recommends Steps To Combat Child Sexual Abuse

jimmywayne Flickr

A task force has released its recommendations on combatting sexual abuse of children in Missouri. 

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Government
4:24 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Report Suggests Missouri Missing Out On Internet Sales Tax Revenue

bigstock.com

It appears that Missouri has lost more than $2 billion in revenue over the past nine years because it does not collect sales taxes on purchases made over the Internet. 

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Environment
11:19 am
Fri December 28, 2012

A Good Year For Missouri Wildlife

A bobwhite quail.

2012 was a rough year for Missouri farmers battling severe drought and extreme heat, but some species of wildlife did well – specifically, turkeys, bobwhite quail and honeybees. 

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Government
9:14 am
Wed December 26, 2012

Conservative Group Calls For Rainy Day Fund

Missouri's statehouse.
jimmywayne Flickr

Forecasters call for Missouri’s revenues to grow by just over 3 percent during the next fiscal year, and a conservative group wants any left over money to be returned to taxpayers or added to the state’s Rainy Day fund. 

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Government
5:06 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

State Legislators In Missouri Discuss Firearms In The Classroom

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback unveiled his new public school funding proposal Wednesday.
bigstock.com

Legislation pre-filed in the Missouri House would allow teachers to carry firearms in their classrooms.

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Government
3:53 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Unemployment In Missouri At Four-Year Low

In November, unemployment in Missouri was a full percentage point below the national average.
courtesy of Missouri Economic Research and Information Center

Missouri’s unemployment rate is now at its lowest point in four years.

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