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Mo. House committee discusses social services department

Missouri Capitol
File Photo
A bill requiring voter ID at the polls caused heated debate at the Missouri House of Representatives Monday.

A Missouri House interim committee tasked with looking at how efficiently state government operates spent Monday scrutinizing the Department of Social Services.  One area they focused on is how much time Social Services employees spend on their caseloads versus other tasks.  Republican committee member Marsha Haefner of St. Louis County said she is concerned that department workers are spending more time registering clients to vote than they are on case files.

“I had no idea that that was the function of Missouri (Dept. of) Social Services, that we are paying state employees, who are having a problem getting their paperwork so we can get reimbursed from the federal government, we’re paying them on our nickel to register voters,” Haefner said.
Haefner said processing case files should be a higher priority for Social Services workers than registering voters.  In response, Social Services Acting Director Brian Kincade said they are required by federal law to provide voter registration services to all of their clients. 

Missouri Public Radio State House Reporter Marshall Griffin is a proud alumnus of the University of Mississippi (a.k.a., Ole Miss), and has been in radio for over 20 years, starting out as a deejay. His big break in news came when the first President Bush ordered the invasion of Panama in 1989. Marshall was working the graveyard shift at a rock station, and began ripping news bulletins off the old AP teletype and reading updates between songs. From there on, his radio career turned toward news reporting and anchoring. In 1999, he became the capital bureau chief for Florida's Radio Networks, and in 2003 he became News Director at WFSU-FM/Florida Public Radio. During his time in Tallahassee he covered seven legislative sessions, Governor Jeb Bush's administration, four hurricanes, the Terri Schiavo saga, and the 2000 presidential recount. Before coming to Missouri, he enjoyed a brief stint in the Blue Ridge Mountains, reporting and anchoring for WWNC-AM in Asheville, North Carolina. Marshall lives in Jefferson City with his wife, Julie, their dogs, Max and Mason, and their cat, Honey.