Marie French
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Marie French

Marie French is a junior at MU studying watchdog journalism and political science. Coming from Springfield, Va., she brings a strong interest in politics and an appreciation for Thai food. She has reported for KBIA and worked at Newsy. Most recently, she was on the public life beat at the Columbia Missourian and covered a contentious economic development issue.

During her first semester in Jefferson City in Spring '13, she will be covering the business beat.

Stories by Marie French in 2013 include:
Marie French's Tweets @MDNnews in 2013

  • 01/23/2013: House committee to look at $950 million bond issue
  • 01/23/2013: Columbia Democrat to chair special House committee on $950 million bond issue.
  • 01/28/2013: Department of Economic Development's economic forecasting model questioned
  • 01/29/2013: Missouri's governor makes education, mental health and Medicaid top budget priorities.
  • 01/29/2013: The model used by Department of Economic Development to calculate economic impacts criticized
  • 01/30/2013: Unions oppose bill requiring yearly reauthorization for political contributions
  • 02/04/2013: Second Injury Fund insolvency remains unresolved by the Senate
  • 02/06/2013: The Missouri Senate took no action on a Second Injury Fund bill but negotiations continue behind the scenes
  • 02/11/2013: Business leader again support changes to discrimination law
  • 02/11/2013: A bill vetoed last session limiting awards for discrimination lawsuits supported by Missouri businesses
  • 02/13/2013: Senate approves bill expanding definition of workplace misconduct
  • 02/13/2013: Senate gives first round approval to a bill limiting eligibility for unemployment benefits
  • 02/18/2013: Bill would impose local tax on out-of-state vehicle sales
  • 02/18/2013: Bill would allow voter-approved local taxes to fund UM System extension programs
  • 02/20/2013: House committee debates tax credit for hiring felons, people with disabilities
  • 02/27/2013: Right to farm would be guaranteed in Missouri by constitutional amendment
  • 02/27/2013: Stricter standards for workplace discrimination lawsuits endorsed by Missouri House
  • 02/27/2013: Guarantee of right to farm, raise livestock given first round approval by Mo. House
  • 03/06/2013: Business groups disagree on occupational disease, Second Injury Fund
  • 03/06/2013: The inclusion of a new fund for toxic exposure diseases creates opposition to proposed Second Injury Fund fix.
  • 03/11/2013: Committee debates budget bill with provision to eliminate a mental health wait list
  • 03/13/2013: House passed prevailing wage bill, 91-65. Now moves to Senate. #moleg @mre545
  • 03/13/2013: House approves bill requiring yearly sign off for union payroll deductions for political purposes; 90-65. Moves to Senate. @mre545
  • 03/13/2013: Lawmakers send first bill of session to governor
  • 03/13/2013: House bill would lower wages for public construction projects
  • 04/10/2013: Measure to require yearly consent for public employee union dues approved by House committee
  • 04/10/2013: House committee considers new definition of employee misconduct
  • 04/17/2013: Senate committee approves bill exempting some schools from paying prevailing wage
  • 04/24/2013: Lawmakers have yet to make major cuts to state tax credit programs
  • 04/24/2013: House and Senate set to hash out details of major tax credit changes in conference.
  • 04/29/2013: Senate committee OKs bill requiring multiple visits for abortion-inducing pills
  • 05/01/2013: 'Right to work' unlikely to move forward this session
  • 05/15/2013: Senate passes compromise to fix troubled Second Injury Fund
  • 05/15/2013: Bill that would ban Department of Revenue scanning documents sent to Nixon
  • 05/15/2013: Senate sends bill to Gov. Nixon prohibiting Dept. of Revenue from sharing information with the federal government.
  • 05/16/2013: Fix to Second Injury Fund including occupational disease coverage sent to Nixon
  • 05/16/2013: Lawmakers approved a fix to the state's Second Injury Fund
  • 05/16/2013: Lawmakers vote to move occupational diseases to workers' compensation fund
  • 08/22/2013: Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander criticizes Texas Gov. Rick Perry's plan to lure Missouri businesses
  • 09/05/2013: Missouri lawmakers prepare for busy veto session
  • 09/12/2013: Mo. Attorney General Koster says tobacco settlement will hurt state budget
  • 09/12/2013: Missouri legislators faced off on tax cuts last night
  • 10/15/2013: @MatthewKalish is following up on the Daisy Coleman #Maryville case with Mo. AG's office. More soon. @mre545

Marie French's Blog in 2013
Proposed change to Missouri criminal law would remove 'forcible rape'

Posted 03/18/2013:  Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin sparked a national media kerfuffle in August 2012 when he said women rarely get pregnant in cases of “legitimate rape.”

He later clarified that he’d meant “forcible rape.”

Akin may have meant to calm the media storm, but this drew attention to his co-sponsoring of a 2011 House measure with language allowing federal funding for abortion only in cases of “forcible rape.” Former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan also co-sponsored the bill.

Currently, Missouri statute defines “forcible rape” as “sexual intercourse with another person by the use of forcible compulsion” and also includes instances where a drug is administered by the perpetrator without the victim’s knowledge or consent.

But two proposed revisions in the House and Senate to the Missouri criminal code would call it “rape in the first degree” instead.

The hearing on the 1,000 page Senate bill updating the criminal code (SB253) began on March 12, 2013. The measure, sponsored by Minority Floor Leader Sen. Jolie Justus, D-Jackson County, does not change the core definition of “forcible rape” — only the name to “rape in the first degree."

But a similar House bill, sponsored by Rep. Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City, would expand the definition to include situations where the victim is incapacitated, regardless of the cause of the incapacity. A hearing for the bill was held on Feb. 20, 2013.

“This closes a loophole in our current rape law which requires the incapacity to be caused only by the perpetrator,” Barnes wrote in a blog post when he filed the bill.

A change in both the proposed House and Senate bills to the laws dealing with sexual crimes include adding “or she,” thus allowing for the possibility of a female perpetrator (women can still be charged under the current law). The Senate bill also expands the crimes for which police departments are prohibited from requiring lie detector tests from victims before investigating.

It’ll be interesting to see how these two bills turn out – whether the expanded definition wins out or not, in particular.