Marshall Griffin | KCUR

Marshall Griffin

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

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Jefferson City, MO – The state of Missouri has borrowed $150 million from its budget reserve fund, as state revenue collections continue to decline.

The latest dip into the fund brings the total borrowed this fiscal year to $350 million. State Budget Director Linda Luebbering says the $150 million borrowed this week will cover several current expenses.

Swine Flu Vaccine Arrives In Kansas

Oct 9, 2009

Kansas City, MO – The first batches of swine flu vaccine have begun arriving in Kansas.

Health departments in Saline and Franklin counties reported Thursday that they had received their first allocations of the vaccine.

Midge Ransom, director of the Franklin County Health Department, said her department received 100 doses of the aerosol mist vaccine. The mist is appropriate for healthy people ages 2 to 49.

The Salina/Saline County Health Department received 300 doses of the vaccine, also in the aerosol mist form.

Jefferson City, MO – The chair of the state Senate Appropriations committee is calling on Missouri Governor Jay Nixon to consider providing more money for the Career Ladder program this year when new revenue estimates come in.

Jefferson City, MO – Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder is sounding off on the controversy over the delaying of an E-coli report from the Lake of the Ozarks.

Kinder calls the uproar over the delayed report a crisis of confidence. And he says if the State Senate committee investigating the matter decides to issue subpoenas, he'll sign them.

Jefferson City, MO – A transcript released Tuesday (October 6, 2009) quotes Missouri's Natural Resources chief as saying there was no health risk over the delay in releasing an E-coli report from the Lake of the Ozarks earlier this year.

According to the transcript, DNR Director Mark Templeton said that delaying the release of the report for a month did not pose a public health risk because bacteria die in lake water after about four days. Templeton added that he didn't learn about the results until eight days after the E-coli samples were taken.

Kansas City, MO – About 50 residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities gathered in Jefferson City Monday to kick off a statewide tour designed to recognize their rights and needs.

The tour will highlight rights possessed by long-term care residents, which include having a say in their treatment and filing complaints without fear of retaliation. State Health and Senior Services Director Margaret Donnelly says these rights are already embedded into state law.

Jefferson City, MO – A State House committee studying the impact of autism in Missouri took testimony yesterday in preparation for crafting legislation next year.

Lorri Unumb of Lexington, South Carolina, is the mother of an autistic child, and helped get an autism insurance bill passed in her home state.

She told Missouri lawmakers that passing similar legislation here would be cheaper than letting taxpayers foot the bill.

Jefferson City, MO – U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill continued her series of health care town hall meetings Tuesday in Jefferson City.

The Missouri Democrat once again faced a crowd that was for the most part less than friendly.

Nearly 400 people crowded into Lewis and Clark Middle School to hear and sometimes jeer McCaskill.

She told the audience that doing nothing to America's current health care system is not an option.

"Should it be constitutional for us to deny health care to people?" McCaskill asked.

Jefferson City, MO – Protesters are criticizing central Missouri Democratic Congressman Ike Skelton for not holding any town hall meetings on the current health care debate. KWMU's Marshall Griffin reports.

Nearly a hundred people held signs and demonstrated outside of Congressman Skelton's Jefferson City office.

They spoke out against House legislation that would create a government-operated health care plan, and accused the Missouri Democrat of deliberately ignoring their concerns.

Jefferson City, MO – The number of Missourians on Medicaid has increased by nearly 5 percent over the past year. KWMU's Marshall Griffin reports:

More than 871,000 Missouri residents were on the state's Medicaid rolls as of June 2009. That's 39,000 more than in June of last year.

Scott Rowson is with the Department of Social Services.

ROWSON: "Certainly it's an indicator of the poor state of the economy...I think there are just a lot of families out there hurting, and unfortunately, qualifying for Medicaid."

Jefferson City, MO – Governor Jay Nixon has vetoed a bill that would have repealed most of Missouri's motorcycle helmet law. Marshall Griffin reports.

Motorcycle riders in Missouri still have to wear helmets. A bill that would have allowed them to ride helmet-free if they're at least 21 years old has been vetoed by Governor Jay Nixon. The bill would have still required helmet use on interstate highways. Tom Holloway with the Missouri State Medical Association says he applauds the governor's veto.

Jefferson City, MO – Governor Jay Nixon and the Republican-led general assembly pledged late last year to work together during the 2009 legislative session, which ended on Friday. Both sides came away with wins, especially when their interests coincided, as with the economic development bill. But both entities lost on some key issues as well. KWMU's Marshall Griffin reports.

Jefferson City, MO – State lawmakers have until Friday to reach a compromise on healthcare expansion, after the Missouri House passed its plan last night.

The House bill covers about 20-thousand Missourians who simply cannot get insurance. The Senate's version, which closely mirrors the plan proposed by Governor Jay Nixon, expands Medicaid eligibility to cover an additional 35-thousand low-income, working parents.

Columbia Democrat Mary Still says the House's version will drain the state's high-risk insurance pool.

Jefferson City, MO – House Republicans are unhappy with the final version of Missouri's state budget. Senate negotiators and House Democrats agreed to include an expansion of Medicaid in one of the budget bills. It would expand health coverage to about 35-thousand working parents in Missouri. But House Majority Floor Leader Steven Tilley says they may reject the provision.

Jefferson City, MO – An unidentified resident of Platte County may be the first Missourian to contract swine flu. KWMU's Marshall Griffin reports.

State health officials have sent a virus sample taken from the anonymous patient to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta to verify whether he or she has swine flu.