Marshall Griffin

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

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KCUR News
10:02 pm
Sat January 15, 2011

Smoking Still Allowed In Missouri House Capitol Offices

Jefferson City, MO – Though the recent trend in Missouri has been to go smoke free, the Missouri House voted Thursday to continue to allow smoking in members' offices in the Capitol building.

Smoking is already banned on the House floor and in the public viewing chambers above. But an attempt was made Thursday to extend that ban to the entire House side of the State Capitol, including the individual offices of every House member. The measure was sponsored by Democrat Jeanette Mott Oxford of St. Louis.

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KCUR News
10:49 am
Wed January 12, 2011

Missouri House OKs Measure Challenging Health Law

Jefferson City, MO – The Republican-dominated Missouri House has passed a non-binding resolution urging state officials to join a multistate lawsuit challenging the federal health care overhaul and calling on Congress to repeal the law.

The House approved the resolution Tuesday on a vote of 115-46.

The measure calls on Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster to join with other states in suing over the federal health care law passed last year, or to file a separate suit.

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KCUR News
10:24 am
Tue December 14, 2010

Missouri Governor Reacts To Health Care Ruling

Jefferson City, MO – Republicans in Missouri are praising Monday's ruling by a federal judge in Virginia that declared portions of the new federal health care law unconstitutional.

The Missouri Republican Party released a statement criticizing Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill for supporting the bill and "thumbing her nose at the clear will of Missourians."

The State GOP also accused Governor Jay Nixon of ducking the issue altogether.

Nixon did respond to a question about the ruling during a press conference in Columbia on Monday.

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KCUR News
10:06 am
Tue December 7, 2010

Bill Would Bar Missouri Pharmacies From Being Required to Sell Morning After Pill

Kansas City, MO – Pharmacies in Missouri would not be required to stock the "morning after" pill and could not be sued for it, under legislation proposed in the Missouri House.

The bill is sponsored by State Representative David Sater (R, Cassville), who owned and operated a pharmacy in Barry County for 30 years. He says it would not bar pharmacies from selling the pill, but would guarantee their right not to if the owners so choose.

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KCUR News
5:30 pm
Mon November 15, 2010

MO Lawmakers Scrutinize State Medicaid Structure

Jefferson City, MO – Some Missouri lawmakers are questioning the way Medicaid benefits are doled out.

Currently, three state agencies -- The departments of Social Services, Health and Senior Services, and Mental Health -- disperse the bulk of Medicaid payments to clients.

Ryan Silvey of Gladstone, the incoming House Budget Committee chair, says that may have to change.

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KCUR News
4:42 pm
Wed November 3, 2010

GOP Expands Majority in Missouri General Assembly

Jefferson City, MO – The Republican majority in the Missouri General Assembly has grown larger, particularly in the (Missouri) House. St. Louis Public Radio's Marshall Griffin reports.

Republicans picked up 17 seats in the State House, beating ten incumbents and winning seven open seats held by departing Democrats. That means they'll now hold 106 seats to the Democrats' 57. The new GOP caucus has also elected new leaders, choosing Steven Tilley of Perryville as the next Speaker of the House.

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KCUR News
4:08 pm
Tue October 26, 2010

Missouri Election Officials Expect 51 Percent Turnout

Jefferson City, MO – Missouri election officials are predicting 51 percent of Missouri voters will cast ballots in the general election next Tuesday. Laura Egerdal with the Secretary of State's office says that number is about average for a non-presidential election year. But she also warns that long lines are possible late in the day.

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KCUR News
2:52 pm
Tue October 26, 2010

Nixon Stumps for Senate Hopeful Robin Carnahan

Jefferson City, MO – Missouri Governor Jay Nixon made a rare campaign appearance Monday for fellow Democrat Robin Carnahan (Secretary of State, running for US Senate) at an event near Kansas City (Excelsior Springs). The governor has been mostly avoiding the campaign trail this year, which he suggests can also be a winning strategy. St. Louis Public Radio's Marshall Griffin explains.

Nixon says he can best help Democrats running for office by doing his job as governor.

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KCUR News
9:59 am
Thu October 14, 2010

Koster Joins Other Attorneys General in Foreclosure Investigation

Jeffrson City, MO – Attorneys general in all 50 states are jointly investigating whether mortgage companies mishandled documents that resulted in hundreds of thousands of home foreclosures across the country.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster says it appears that some foreclosure affidavits were signed without confirming whether the information contained in them was accurate, a process known as "robo-signing."

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KCUR News
5:20 pm
Wed October 6, 2010

Voting Registration Deadline Passes; Officials Turn to Absentee Voting

Jefferson City, MO – The deadline to register to vote in Missouri this year has passed. State officials now turn their attention to absentee voting and making sure people's addresses are correct. St. Louis Public Radio's Marshall Griffin reports.

Laura Egerdal with the Secretary of State's office says Missourians who want an absentee ballot mailed to them have until October 27th to request one.

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KCUR News
1:41 pm
Thu September 30, 2010

More Support Available for Missourians with Developmental Disabilities

Jefferson City, MO – Some Missourians with developmental disabilities will now be able to receive services while living at home, thanks to a new county, state and federal partnership.

The program will provide up to $12,000 per year per person for 470 disabled Missourians in 37 counties, including several in the Kansas City region.

Roger Garlich, with the State Department of Mental Health, says the program includes about 18 services.

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KCUR News
4:53 pm
Wed September 29, 2010

National Database Reveals How Candidates are Likely to Vote

Jefferson City, MO – Missouri's congressional candidates have been added to a national database whose creators say will show voters where they're likely to stand on national issues. It's called Vote Easy, and it was set up by Montana-based Project Vote Smart.

Adelaide Kimball is a board member and senior advisor for the group. She says most candidates don't like telling voters how they would vote on such issues as abortion, immigration and gun control.

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KCUR News
4:05 pm
Tue September 28, 2010

Rain Doesn't Delay Crop Harvests in Missouri

Jefferson City, MO – The heavy rainfall and flooding in parts of the Midwest have so far not delayed crop harvests in Missouri. Last year's drenching rains led to late corn and soybean harvests and prevented farmers in Missouri from planting winter wheat. Gene Danekas with the U.S.D.A. says this year's situation is not as severe.

"42 percent, almost half of the corn, has been harvested, that's well over 3 weeks faster than we were last year," says Danekas. "I know there's some wet fields, especially after this last week, so that'll probably slow them down somewhat."

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KCUR News
7:33 am
Fri August 27, 2010

Judge to Rule on Missouri's Sexually Oriented Business Law

Jefferson City, MO – A Cole County judge may decide Friday (August 27) whether a new law that places restrictions on sexually-oriented businesses in Missouri can take effect Saturday as planned.

The new restrictions include a ban on full nudity and alcohol sales at strip clubs, limit where new clubs and adult video stores can locate, and require them to close at midnight.

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KCUR News
7:30 am
Fri August 27, 2010

New Health Plan for Missouri Workers Upsets Union Leaders

Jefferson City, MO – Union leaders in Missouri are not happy with a new health insurance plan for state employees. It replaces the current co-pay system with one that requires state workers to pay deductibles. Richard von Glahn is with the Missouri State Workers Union.

"We are frustrated because state employees are gonna be faced with higher out-of-pocket health care costs the Missouri legislature continues to choose policies that balance our revenue crisis on the backs of state workers," says von Glahn.

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KCUR News
4:54 pm
Thu August 19, 2010

Video Pulled from Blunt's Site

St. Louis, MO – A short video featuring an interview with Missouri Democratic Senate nominee Robin Carnahan combined with a photo of World Trade Center rubble has been removed from Republican Roy Blunt's YouTube site. The clip contains a radio interview, in which Carnahan says she would not try to tell New Yorkers whether or not a mosque should be built near the site of the 9-11 attack. When St. Louis Public Radio's Marshall Griffin asked Blunt about the video, Blunt objected to the question:

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Missouri Statehouse
10:35 am
Fri July 16, 2010

Nixon Allows Abortion Language Bill to Become Law

Jefferson City, MO – Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signed and vetoed several bills Wednesday, the final day for action on legislation passed during the 2010 regular session.

First, Governor Nixon signed legislation creating new ethics rules. It restricts money transfers between political committees and allows the Missouri Ethics Commission to launch its own investigations, instead of waiting for complaints to be filed by others. But it does not restore campaign contribution limits, which Democrats had been calling for.

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Missouri Statehouse
10:11 am
Wed July 14, 2010

Nixon Still Pondering Bills Before Deadline

Jefferson City, MO – Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has been signing dozens of bills into law since the regular legislative session ended in May. But two controversial bills remain unsigned as the deadline approaches.

One of those bills deals with ethics. Provisions include restricting political committee-to-committee money transfers and allowing the Ethics Commission to launch investigations. The other bill would expand the information women must be told 24 hours before getting an abortion.

Governor Nixon says he's been pretty busy lately.

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Missouri Statehouse
1:20 pm
Fri July 2, 2010

Missouri Senate Update

Kansas City, MO – Missouri Senate leaders are bypassing a committee that's blocking legislation to provide auto incentives during the ongoing special session.

Republican Chuck Purgason, chair of the senate's Fiscal Oversight committee, is blocking a vote on the House bill that contains both incentives for Ford Motor Company and tax breaks for underground data centers. So Senate leaders have crafted a separate bill that excludes the data centers. It's sponsored by Republican Luann Ridgeway of Platte County:

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KCUR News
4:34 pm
Wed June 23, 2010

Lawsuit Challenges Health Care Referendum

Jefferson City, MO – A lawsuit has been filed in Jefferson City that's designed to stop the August 3rd referendum on Missouri's participation in the new national health care law. The referendum was approved by the Missouri House and Senate this year, and it states that citizens cannot be forced to buy health insurance against their will.

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Scams
11:16 am
Tue June 15, 2010

Scammers Target Medicare Rebate Checks

Jefferson City, MO – Elderly Missourians who qualify for $250 rebate checks from Medicare are being warned to watch out for scam artists.

The checks that are being mailed out are legitimate, but seniors who receive them may be targeted by con artists. State Attorney General Chris Koster says recipients should not give out their personal information to anyone calling to ask for it.

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KCUR News
5:23 pm
Fri June 11, 2010

State Mental Health Programs Brace For More Cuts

Jefferson City, MO – Mental Health officials in Missouri are awaiting word if Governor Jay Nixon will cut their budget even more than lawmakers did this year.

Of the $484 million lawmakers cut from the state budget in April, nearly $26 million came from the Department of Mental Health, which oversees programs dealing with psychiatric health, drug and alcohol abuse, and Medicaid patients.

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Missouri Statehouse
10:35 am
Wed May 12, 2010

Missouri To Vote On Challenge To Federal Health Law

Jefferson City, Mo. – A final vote by the Missouri House yesterday has authorized a referendum for August over the state's participation in the new federal health care law.

The referendum states that citizens and employers cannot be compelled to take part in any public or private health care system. It's designed to challenge the new health care law signed by President Obama that requires most Americans to have health insurance or face fines.

GOP House Speaker Pro-tem Bryan Pratt (R, Blue Springs) strongly supported the bill.

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KCUR News
7:05 pm
Thu May 6, 2010

Revised Autism Bill Passes Missouri Senate

Jefferson City, Mo. – A revised bill that would require insurance companies to cover some of the cost of therapy for children with autism has passed the Missouri Senate.

The bill mandates that health insurance companies provide up to $45,000 a year in coverage for kids with autism age 18 and younger. That's $10,000 a year less than the original Senate bill, and it drops those ages 19 and 20 from being eligible.

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KCUR News
5:08 pm
Wed May 5, 2010

Missouri Home Care Workers To Unionize

Jefferson City, Mo. – A majority of home care workers in Missouri have voted in favor of union representation. The results were announced today in Jefferson City, with about 60% of the state's home care workers voting to unionize. The workers provide various services for people who are homebound, such as transportation, shopping, cooking and bathing.

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KCUR News
3:33 pm
Wed May 5, 2010

K2, Synthetic Marijuana Ban Passes Missouri Senate

Jefferson City, Mo. – The Missouri Senate has passed a bill that would outlaw K-2, a group of synthetic compounds that attempt to mimic the effects of marijuana. But the chamber also lessened the proposed penalties for possessing the compounds.

The version passed by the House would make possession of any amount of K-2 a felony. The Senate amended the bill to make possession of less than 35 grams a misdemeanor, the same as with marijuana.

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Missouri Statehouse
6:28 am
Mon May 3, 2010

Missouri Lawmakers Wrap Up Bills In Final Weeks

Jefferson City, Mo. – With the state budget out of the way, Missouri lawmakers now have two weeks left to concentrate on other priorities. Bills addressing tax credits, ethics, consolidation of state agencies, and autism insurance all remain unfinished going into the homestretch.

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KCUR News
8:17 am
Wed April 14, 2010

Michael Reagan Rallies Missouri Tea Party

Jefferson City, Mo. – About 400 people gathered outside the Missouri State Capitol Tuesday for a tea party rally, featuring the son of former president Ronald Reagan.

Talk show host Michael Reagan told the crowd on the State Capitol's South Lawn that liberals and progressives are "like termites."

"If we don't temp them on a regular basis, they're going to keep eating away."

But Reagan also said that conservatives need to emulate liberals in their long-term outlook.

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Missouri Statehouse
8:13 am
Wed April 14, 2010

Missouri Senate Moves to Consolidate Departments

Jefferson City, Mo. – The Missouri Senate has given first-round approval to a bill designed to shrink the size and cost of state government.

Among the recommended actions in the bill is the combining of the Missouri Highway Patrol and the Water Patrol into one law enforcement entity. Its sponsored by Senate President Pro-tem Charlie Shields.

"Also, (it) will move the alcohol and tobacco folks into the Department of Revenue, and frankly will eliminate positions there," says shields.

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