Marshall Griffin | KCUR

Marshall Griffin

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

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Updated 6:02 p.m. with plaintiffs’ announced appeal - Missouri residents will have the chance in November to vote on a gas tax increase.

Associatate Circuit Judge Robert Schollmeyer in Osage County on Tuesday tossed out a lawsuit seeking to strip Proposition D from the ballot. If approved by voters, the measure would gradually raise the fuel tax from 17 cents to 27 cents a gallon by the year 2022.

Four Republicans are set to face off in the Aug. 7 primary for Missouri auditor, hoping to unseat Democrat Nicole Galloway in November. 

The four contenders are Paul Curtman of Pacific, Saundra McDowell of Jefferson City, Kevin Roach of Ballwin, and David Wasinger of St. Louis County.

Updated July 12 with brief response from plaintiffs' attorney - A Cole County judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging the appointment of Mike Kehoe as Missouri’s lieutenant governor.

In a ruling issued late Wednesday, Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem said that Gov. Mike Parson had the authority to appoint fellow Republican Kehoe to the state’s No. 2 office, under the Missouri Constitution.

A lawsuit has been filed in Jefferson City to stop Missouri voters from going to the polls in November to decide whether to raise the state’s fuel tax.

The proposal is part of a House bill passed on the final day of the 2018 regular session. It would gradually raise Missouri’s fuel tax from 17 cents a gallon to 27 cents by July of 2022.

Eric Greitens’ resignation as Missouri governor earlier this month has now officially brought to an end the mission of the House committee that’s been investigating him, but the chairman still plans on filing an ethics complaint.

In a letter sent Monday to members of the House Special Investigative Committee on Oversight, chairman Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City, said that the House does not have “inherent authority to investigate anything it wants.”

Missouri once again has a lieutenant governor, despite legal questions over how that vacancy was filled.

Gov. Mike Parson has named state senator and fellow Republican Mike Kehoe of Jefferson City to fill the No. 2 statewide post. Kehoe was sworn in Monday inside the governor’s office by Cole County Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce.

The move comes a little more than two weeks after Parson took over as chief executive following the resignation of Eric Greitens.

Gov. Mike Parson met Tuesday with several mayors from across Missouri, including Florissant and St. Peters, as part of the transition into his new job.

He called it the first in a series of meetings with mayors, in which he said he wants his office to provide whatever help or assistance cities and towns may need.

Update 11:20 p.m. with statement from Michelle Nasser -- Rep. Jay Barnes has thrown down the gauntlet, as has the rest of the Missouri House committee investigating Gov. Eric Greitens.

The Republican committee chairman announced Friday that they’ve issued a subpoena for the governor to appear and testify under oath on June 4.

(Updated at 10:22 p.m. May 18 with the latest on the special session.)

Missouri’s special legislative session to consider whether to impeach Gov. Eric Greitens has officially begun, but so far nothing much has happened.

House and Senate members briefly opened the session Friday to make a few motions, then adjourned until Tuesday to hold technical sessions, which last a couple of minutes and only require two or three lawmakers per chamber. But the committee that’s been investigating Greitens is meeting twice next week.

The committee investigating Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens released two emails this morning, one that suggests he might have tried to hide some campaign donations.

However, Greitens’ use of outside groups to not identify some donors has been known publicly for at least two years. He previously had defended the practice as necessary to protect donors.

Legislation that would legalize marijuana for medical use in Missouri passed the state House on Tuesday.

The bill originally would have only allowed medical marijuana use for terminally ill patients, but the House added amendments last week to expand access to those with chronic and debilitating, but not necessarily fatal, illnesses.

The Missouri House committee investigating Governor Eric Greitens has beefed up its staff.

A spokesman for committee chairman Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City, said former State Supreme Court Chief Justice Edward “Chip” Robertson, Jr., and Sedalia attorney Mark Kempton will serve as special counsel to the committee as it continues its investigation.

Any remaining support Gov. Eric Greitens may have had from the Missouri legislature’s top Republican leaders is now gone.

Both House Speaker Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, and Senate President Pro-tem Ron Richard, R-Joplin, say it’s time for Greitens to step down.

Updated March 29 with latest details – Missouri’s budget for fiscal year 2019 is now in the hands of the State Senate, with six weeks before it’s due to be sent to Gov. Eric Greitens.

The roughly $28 billion spending plan would fully fund the state’s K-12 schools, according to Rep. Kip Kendrick, D-Columbia.

Updated March 21, 5:55 p.m. – Russell Bucklew's scheduled execution has been called off.

In a 5-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay Tuesday evening, based on Bucklew's assertion that Missouri's lethal injection protocol would cause bleeding and suffocation due to a medical condition he suffers.

About 300 people poured into the hallways of the Missouri Capitol Tuesday, calling for lawmakers to avoid creating new laws that would loosen existing gun regulations.

Kim Westerman, who lives in St. Louis and volunteers with the group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, said they’re concerned that pro-gun lawmakers in Missouri remain unmoved by the recent mass shooting at a high school in Florida that claimed 17 lives.

Missouri lawmakers continue to work on several bills, including one that could result in the first filibuster of the 2018 legislative session.

A bill sponsored by State Sen. David Sater, R-Cassville, would ban participation in the federal program formerly known as food stamps, now called SNAP, for heads of households able to work but who choose not to. Food benefits would also be cut off to dependents living with that individual, including children.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens unveiled his proposed state budget in his first public appearance in nearly two weeks.

But much of the attention remained on his past extramarital affair. Nearly half the questions asked at Greitens’ budget rollout focused on allegations that he threatened to blackmail his former hairdresser.

One busy week leads to another as Missouri lawmakers wrestle with tax credits, a major ethics bill, and next year’s state budget.

The House this week sent a proposed lobbyist gift ban to the Senate, which is conducting a public hearing on it next week. The bill has died two years in a row over concerns that accepting a piece of gum or a slice of pizza could become illegal. But Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, said he’s committed to crafting a gift ban that the full Senate can support.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has released portions of his plan to cut taxes in Missouri.

Greitens said in a written statement Thursday afternoon that most of the details of his proposal will be laid out “in the coming weeks.” But the Republican governor has listed several goals, or “principles,” that make up the plan.

The search has begun for Missouri’s next education commissioner, even though there currently aren’t enough board members to vote on hiring Margie Vandeven’s successor.

Ten people applied for the job by Monday’s deadline. But Board of Education President Charlie Shields said they can’t even review their applications until there are at least five voting members on the State Board.

A state representative from rural Missouri won’t face any punishment for a controversial Facebook post he made last summer.

The House Ethics Committee considered sanctions against Rep. Warren Love, R-Osceola, for a Facebook post in which he said vandals who defaced a Confederate monument should be “hung from a tall tree with a long rope.”

A pre-filed bill in the Missouri House would eliminate a state law requiring the attorney general to live in Jefferson City.

Current law requires the attorney general to live “at the seat of government,” which is in Jefferson City. The measure sponsored by Rep. Lindell Shumake, R-Hannibal, would simply strike those words from state law.

Updated at 2:15 p.m. with governor's comments —

Missouri’s commissioner of education survived a rare move to oust her by appointees of Republican Gov. Eric Greitens.

The State Board of Education, though stacked with appointees by Greitens, did not vote in favor of firing Margie Vandeven in a closed-door meeting Tuesday. The board tied 4-4.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley has issued subpoenas to three companies that distribute opioids throughout the United States.

The subpoenas were issued to AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson Corporation. As opioid overdoses rise across the country, Hawley is accusing those companies of putting profits ahead of patient health.

Missouri is doing a poor job of tracking the economic impact of tax breaks, according to an audit released on Wednesday.

Missouri state Auditor Nicole Galloway said state government has no idea if incentives, exemptions, and newer tax laws changes are working as intended. She said the state isn’t accurately measuring how much revenue it’s losing.

Updated Sept. 28 with name of attorney — Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley said Monday he’ll hire outside help to investigate allegations of wrongdoing in connection with a civil lawsuit filed by the family of Anthony Lamar Smith.

 

Updated 7:25 p.m. with exclusive comments from Chappelle-Nadal — Maria Chappelle-Nadal won’t lose her seat in the Missouri Senate, the chamber decided Wednesday. But the Democrat is being censured — a move that apparently hasn’t happened before and is little more than a written reprimand.

Gov. Eric Greitens and Lt. Gov. Mike Parson said last month that the University City Democrat should be expelled for posting a Facebook comment in which she wished for President Donald Trump’s assassination. There wasn’t enough support among Senate members for that to happen Wednesday during the otherwise-quiet veto session. Instead, the GOP majority censured her by a 28-2 vote for her now-deleted post.

 

Updated 7:25 p.m. with exclusive comments from Chappelle-Nadal — Maria Chappelle-Nadal won’t lose her seat in the Missouri Senate, the chamber decided Wednesday. But the Democrat is being censured — a move that apparently hasn’t happened before and is little more than a written reprimand.

Gov. Eric Greitens and Lt. Gov. Mike Parson said last month that the University City Democrat should be expelled for posting a Facebook comment in which she wished for President Donald Trump’s assassination. There wasn’t enough support among Senate members for that to happen Wednesday during the otherwise-quiet veto session. Instead, the GOP majority censured her by a 28-2 vote for her now-deleted post.

Missouri House Republicans chose Rep. Elijah Haahr on Tuesday to succeed Todd Richardson as speaker, assuming the GOP keeps its majority in the lower chamber.

Richardson is barred from serving beyond 2018 because of term limits. Haahr, 35, will take over in January 2019.  

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