Decaying Water Infrastructure Creates Daily Struggle in Southern W.Va.

Feb 5, 2019

We bring you a special report and in-depth discussion on water infrastructure needs in West Virginia. Reporter Caity Coyne of the Charleston Gazette-Mail joins us to explore the issues and discuss two bills moving through the West Virginia Legislature that may address some of the need.

The House of Delegates received communication from the Senate of the passage of SB 451 - the education reform bill. But before the chamber could finish announcing the communication, Del. Isaac Sponaugle made a motion to have the bill "postponed indefinitely."  His motion was tabled by a vote of 52 to 44, and SB 451 was referred to the House Education Committee and then to the House Finance Committee. Comments about the delegate's motion and the bill itself, however, came up later on the floor.

SB 500 was introduced on Friday, and this bill would create the Sewer and Water Infrastructure Replacement Act. Another bill, SB 153 will be introduced Wednesday, and it focuses on helping communities that struggle with decaying water systems.

Reporter Molly Born brings us a report from Mingo County as part of a reporting project called Stirring the Waters exploring some of the issues these bills might affect. Her report is part of a journalism initiative called Report for America, a program under The GroundTruth Project.

Reporter Caity Coyne of the Charleston Gazatte-Mail joins us on set to discuss water infrastructure further. Coyne spent a year documenting the issue.

More than 38,000 West Virginians over the age of 65 suffer from Alzheimer's Disease and other forms of dementia, but providers believe those numbers are much higher. There was a call to action on fighting this crippling illness from both those affected and from the Senate chamber in the form of Senate Resolution 27. Reporter Randy Yohe has the story.

The House overwhelmingly voted last Friday to eliminate the state's personal income tax on Social Security benefits. The Senate will now take up the bill, which as Randy Yohe reports is a priority for the AARP. 

On Wednesday’s show, we will have a discussion on multiple judiciary bills concerning the Supreme Court, consumer protection, personal liability, broadband expansion and others.