Marshall Griffin

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

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Government
9:44 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Missouri House Fast-Tracks Digital Document Bill

jimmywayne Flickr

Republican leaders in the Missouri House are promising to fast track legislation that would forbid the state from scanning and storing documents of residents who apply for conceal-carry endorsements. 

Some GOP lawmakers have accused the state agency of forwarding copies of conceal-carry applications and other documents to the federal Homeland Security department. 

House Speaker Tim Jones says he’s disturbed by the allegations.

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Health
4:26 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Mo. Senate Hears Drug Monitoring Program Proposals

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Two bills that would create a prescription drug monitoring program in Missouri received a hearing Thursday before a State Senate committee. But one version of the bill is structured in a way that’s designed to block the proposal.

Physician and GOP Senator Rob Schaaf of St. Joseph is an outspoken critic of prescription drug monitoring. He says it would violate citizens’ privacy rights.

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Government
9:23 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Missouri Senate Approves Tax Overhaul To Compete With Kansas

Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City.
jimmywayne Flickr

The Missouri Senate has given first-round approval to a phased-in tax overhaul designed to help the Show-Me State compete with neighboring Kansas, which recently slashed its tax rates. 

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Government
9:29 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Missouri High Court Hears School Case

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The Missouri Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday over a 20-year-old law that requires unaccredited school districts to pay tuition for students who transfer to nearby accredited schools. 

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Government
10:08 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Missouri Senate Leaders Deny Medicaid Flip Flop

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The head of the Missouri Senate is denying reports from some conservative bloggers that top Republicans are planning an about-face on Medicaid expansion. 

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Government
10:03 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Bootheel Resident Files Suit Over Digital Copies

A lawsuit has been filed in the Missouri Bootheel accusing the state of wrongfully requiring digital copies of vital records. 

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Government
9:59 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Missouri Senate Moves To Strengthen Right To Bear Arms

machine guns and sawed-off shotguns are attention getters at K.C. Police HQ. The 'streetsweeper\" is a shotgun that fires fully automatic.
Dan Verbeck KCUR

A Missouri Senate Committee has unanimously passed a proposed constitutional amendment that would expand the State Constitution’s right to bear arms. 

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Government
9:54 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Missouri Senate Looks At Law Limiting EBT Card Use

Legislation is moving through the Missouri Senate that would strictly limit where Electronic Benefits Transfer, or EBT cards, can be used in the state. 

GOP Senator Will Kraus of Lee’s Summit is sponsoring the bill.  He says a new federal law that just took effect will ban EBT card use in casinos, liquor stores and adult entertainment venues.

“We’re taking that federal law (and) putting into state statute, but we’re also adding a few places:  amusement parks, entertainment events, athletic events, to purchase alcohol, tobacco (and) lottery tickets,” says Kraus.

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Government
9:42 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Missouri Looks At Permanent Switch To Daylight Saving Time

timsamoff flickr

Legislation in the Missouri House would permanently adopt Daylight Saving Time as the new standard time, but only if 20 other states also agree to do so. 

The bill would create a pact with other states to, quote, “eliminate” Daylight Saving Time by renaming it the new “Standard Time.”  And once 20 or more states join the pact, they’ll spring forward one hour and permanently remain there. 

The bill is sponsored by GOP House Member Delus Johnson of St. Joseph.

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Government
4:37 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Mo. State Rep. Wants To 'Eliminate' Daylight Savings Time By Adopting It Permanently

Legislation in the Missouri House would permanently adopt Daylight Saving Time as the new Standard Time, but only if 20 other states also agree to do so.

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Government
9:44 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Missouri House Votes To Exempt Schools From Prevailing Wage

The Missouri House has passed legislation that would allow some school districts to exempt themselves from the prevailing wage requirement for construction and maintenance projects. 

The sponsor, Republican Casey Guernsey of Harrison County, says it will allow rural schools in particular to be able to afford much-needed expansions and upgrades.

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Government
9:39 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Missouri Senate Moves To Lower Tax Credits

The Missouri Senate has passed a wide-ranging tax credit bill that drastically lowers the caps on Historic Preservation and Low Income Housing programs.  It would cap Historic Preservation incentives at $50 million a year, instead of the current $140 million, and Low Income Housing incentives would be capped at $55 million a year, instead of the current $190 million. 

The bill is now in the hands of the Missouri House, where Speaker Tim Jones has indicated that he and other House leaders don’t like the drastic cuts.

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Government
10:09 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Angel Investment Tax Credit Measure Being Considered By Mo. Senate Committee

jimmywayne Flickr

Supporters of creating a so-called “Angel Investment” tax credit in Missouri testified in favor of legislation Wednesday before a State Senate committee.

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Government
10:08 am
Thu February 28, 2013

'Paycheck Protection' Bill Remains Stalled In Mo. Senate

The Missouri Senate spent a few hours Wednesday debating legislation that would bar labor unions for public workers from withholding money from public employees’ paychecks.

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Government
9:36 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Missouri Republican Proposes Market-Based Medicaid

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A long-promised Republican alternative to Medicaid expansion was filed in the Missouri House Tuesday.  It’s being touted as “market-based Medicaid."

Under the bill, private insurers would compete to provide coverage for Medicaid recipients, and those recipients could get cash incentives for taking care of their health and avoiding costly medical procedures. 

The bill is sponsored by GOP House Member Jay Barnes of Jefferson City.

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Government
9:18 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Missouri Senate Works Late On Tax Credit Bill

Missouri State Capitol building.
wikimedia commons

The Missouri Senate spent several hours Tuesday night working on a wide-ranging tax credit bill, which they gave first-round approval to around 3:20 Wednesday morning.  The Senate bill would drastically cut incentives for Historic Preservation and low income housing.

Historic Preservation tax credits would be capped at $45 million  a year, instead of the current $140 million, and low income Housing incentives would be capped at $50 million a year. 

The bill is sponsored by Republican Senator Eric Schmitt of St. Louis County.

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Government
4:56 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Two Separate Mo. House Committees Reject Medicaid Expansion Efforts

Nearly 100 people crowded into a room at the Mo. Capitol to attend a hearing on HB627, which would have expanded Medicaid to 300,000 Missourians. The bill was voted down 2-5.
Marshall Griffin St. Louis Public Radio

Medicaid expansion is dead for now in the Missouri House.  Two separate House committees voted down efforts on Monday to expand Medicaid to 259-thousand Missourians next year and 41,000 more in later years.

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Government
3:40 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Evolution Legislation Moves Through Missouri House

Tkgd2007 wikimedia commons

State and local-level school officials would be required to develop guidelines for teaching evolution under legislation making its way through the Missouri House.

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Government
6:13 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Bill Would Redefine Workplace Discrimination

Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City.

A Missouri statehouse committee heard testimony Monday on a bill that would redefine what constitutes workplace discrimination. If passed, workplace discrimination would have to be a motivating factor, not just a contributing one, in any wrongful action taken against a worker by an employer, which is the current federal standard. 

Attorney Rich AuBuchon spoke in favor of the bill on behalf of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce.  He says the state’s current definition of discrimination is hurting Missouri’s economy.

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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

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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

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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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