The Legislature Today

M-F at 6 p.m. on TV, Radio & Digital. Re-airs at 7 p.m. on The WV Channel

The Legislature Today is West Virginia's source for daily legislative news and information.  The only live television program covering the West Virginia Legislature, the broadcast features reports from the Senate, House and committee meetings with in-depth interviews and analysis of the legislative process in West Virginia.

The Legislature Today airs weeknights at these times and locations:

The Legislature Today can also be heard at 6 p.m. weeknights on WVPB's statewide radio network.

 

Subscribe to The Legislature Today Podcast for daily downloads of the program.

Thanks to our 2019 sponsors for The Legislature Today:

AARP | Charleston Gazette-Mail | Lumos NetworksMarshall University | Orion Strategies | West Virginia University

It’s Friday, which means we're joined by veteran statehouse reporters to discuss the latest action from the West Virginia Legislature. Host Suzanne Higgins is joined by Jake Zuckerman and Ryan Quinn of the Charleston Gazette-Mail and Brad McElhinny of WV MetroNews.

John Deskins, Director of the West Virginia University Bureau of Business and Economic Research, joins host Suzanne Higgins for a discussion on the state’s economy, areas of growth, labor force participation, and the employment growth forecast in West Virginia. We also have stories from reporters Randy Yohe and Danite Belay.

Senate Finance Chair Craig Blair and House Finance Minority Chair Mick Bates join Senior Statehouse Reporter Dave Mistich to talk budget issues. We also bring you coverage from the West Virginia Department of Education’s budget hearing in House Finance and the latest on the community and technical college tuition assistance bill, SB 1.

The Senate President and House Speaker join us for a conversation about some of the top issues this session, and we take a closer look at medical marijuana with a special report from Senior Statehouse Reporter Dave Mistich.

Caleb Hanna
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

This is a developing story that will be updated.

 

A group of Republican lawmakers in the West Virginia House of Delegates have announced a plan to introduce a bill that would divert $10 million from the state’s current surplus to help President Donald Trump build a wall along the southern U.S. border.

Over the weekend, a horrific fire in Clay County claimed the lives of four foster children. It's put an intense and more immediate spotlight on a child welfare system in crisis. Lawmakers have been working throughout interim sessions on addressing the significant needs of the state's foster care system, and now they bring that work into the regular session.

Two statehouse reporters join host Suzanne Higgins for a look back at the first three days of the 2019 West Virginia Legislative session. We also meet some of the legislature’s newest members, and we chat with Politifact about Gov. Jim Justice’s State of the State address.

Gov. Jim Justice gave his third annual State of the State Address Wednesday night. We'll have coverage of his speech and reaction from both the Senate and House Minority Leaders. We also bring you the latest on Sen. Richard Ojeda, D-Logan, who announced his resignation from the state Senate to run for United States President.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Sen. Richard Ojeda, D-7th, spoke to his colleagues on the Senate floor to announce his looming departure to focus on a run for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020. In a typically passionate tone, Ojeda criticized Republican leaders for failing to run bills he believes would have been helpful to all West Virginians.

“I’m sure everybody has heard quite a few rumors out there. I just wanted everybody to know there is truth to the rumor,” Ojeda said Thursday.

Gov. Jim Justice, R-W.Va., delivers his annual State of the State speech, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019, in Charleston, W.Va.
Tyler Evert / Associated Press

In his third State of the State address, Gov. Jim Justice promised to capitalize on West Virginia’s recently reported economic turnaround -- focused on education, roads, the state’s drug problem and rollbacks on taxes.

Pipeline ready for construction.
Seth Perlman / Associated Press

A top lobbyist for a major natural gas pipeline outlined a series of priorities to West Virginia lawmakers Tuesday, which included calling on the Legislature sign a resolution condemning "rogue environmental groups."

"I think it's important for West Virginia to go on record that the end result of their tactics hurt the state economy of West Virginia," Dominion Energy’s West Virginia State Policy Director Bob Orndorff said in an address to the Joint Committee on Natural Gas Development. "That's important, for the pipeline industry to have that type of support from the West Virginia Legislature."

John Raby / AP Photo

Republican leaders in the West Virginia Legislature outlined their priorities for the 60-day session, which kicks off today at noon. Senate President Mitch Carmichael and House Speaker Roger Hanshaw gathered members of their respective caucuses Tuesday and came up with four main priorities.

Courtesy of the Governor's Office

One day ahead of the 2019 legislative session, Gov. Jim Justice announced another month of revenue surpluses. But with proposed increases to spending and hopes to rollback some sources of tax revenue, the overall budget picture remains unclear.

Daniel Walker / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia lawmakers and policy experts met in Charleston Friday to discuss potential issues ahead of this year’s legislative session, which kicks off next week. The event, hosted by the West Virginia Press Association, brought about discussions of marijuana reform, education and the state budget.

WVPB Continues Nightly Legislative News from the Capitol

Jan 2, 2019

West Virginia Public Broadcasting will return to the state Capitol to deliver nightly coverage of the 2019 legislative session, beginning with Gov. Jim Justice’s State of the State Address, Wednesday, Jan. 9 at 7pm.

The Legislature Today is West Virginia’s only nightly program devoted to covering the state’s 60-day regular legislative session.

Saturday, March 10, marked the 60th and final day of the 83rd West Virginia Legislature's Second Regular Session. 

Update: March 11, 2018 at 12:31 a.m.

House Bill 4345, which would expand West Virginia’s medical marijuana law by increasing the number of dispensaries and growers, and providing for banking facilities related to the industry, died in the final minutes of the 2018 state legislative session. House leadership cited procedural delays in not bringing the bill up for a vote on the floor. The Senate had passed HB 4345 at about 6:30 Saturday evening.

On The Legislature Today, we bring you a special hour-long broadcast from the Capitol building in Charleston. Host Andrea Lannom chats with House Finance Chairman Del. Eric Nelson, R-Kanawha, and House Finance Vice Chairman Del. Mick Bates, D-Raleigh, on the status of budget discussions with only one day left in the regular 2018 state Legislative session. We also look back at some of the major issues that unfolded over the last two months in our reporter roundtable.

On The Legislature Today, the West Virginia Senate unanimously passed its version of the budget bill. The Senate's bill did not include the governor's revised revenue estimate of $58 million in its $4.38 billion budget. Both the House and Senate Finance Chairs said they hope to have the budget passed as quickly as possible. Host Andrea Lannom chats with Senate Majority Leader Ryan Ferns, R-Ohio, about the 2019 budget and whether we might see a budget passed before the 60th day.

On The Legislature Today, the teachers strike is over and schools are back in operation, so now the story at the Capitol is the budget. Both the House and Senate are considering their versions during these last few days of the session. Host Andrea Lannom is joined by Senate Finance Vice Chairman Greg Boso, R-Nicholas, and House Finance Minority Vice Chairman Mick Bates, D-Raleigh, to discuss some differences and some areas where the two chambers can agree.

On The Legislature Today, an agreement among House and Senate conferees for a five percent pay raise for all of West Virginia’s public employees was announced Tuesday morning. Later that afternoon, both the House and Senate bodies approved HB 4145, giving teachers, school service personnel, and state troopers a five percent raise. Shortly after that, the bill was signed by Governor Jim Justice and will go into effect on July 1, 2018. Teachers erupted over the news that effectively began the end of a 9-day statewide teacher and school personnel work stoppage. Host Andrea Lannom speaks with Senate President Mitch Carmichael to hear the latest.

On The Legislature Today, conferees from the Senate and House met for the first time Monday afternoon, following their appointment Saturday night to work out their differences in a salary bill for teachers, school personnel, and other state employees. We bring you an update from the eighth day of the work stoppage, the latest action from the House and Senate floors, and host Andrea Lannom chats with Bob Brown, a representative from the American Federation of Teachers – West Virginia chapter.

On The Legislature Today, there’s only one full week left of the 2018 West Virginia Legislative session. In these final days, tensions continue to run high over the teacher work stoppage and the legislative process addressing the issues of PEIA and teacher salaries. Host Andrea Lannom is joined by fellow statehouse reporter Jake Zuckerman of the Charleston Gazette-Mail to breakdown all the action of the week and what’s to come as we near the final hours.

On The Legislature Today, protesting teachers returned to the Capitol, ignoring their union leadership and extending a work stoppage for a fifth day statewide. Acting on a revised revenue forecast from Gov. Jim Justice, the House of Delegates moved swiftly Wednesday night to pass a new 5 percent pay raise package for teachers, service personnel and state police, with raises for additional state employees to be addressed in the budget bill. But a fix for PEIA is still the issue.

On The Legislature Today, Gov. Jim Justice held a press conference Tuesday evening announcing a 5 percent pay increase for teachers and state service personnel as well as an end to the work stoppage – however, the stoppage looked far from over Wednesday. We bring you the latest from the Capitol. Also, in this episode, host Andrea Lannom is joined by Senate Finance Chairman Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, to talk about the budgetary issues facing lawmakers.

On The Legislature Today, leadership of the West Virginia Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers – West Virginia Chapter, and the West Virginia School Service Personnel Association met with Gov. Jim Justice on the fourth day of a statewide teacher and school personnel work stoppage over salaries and health care benefits.

Shortly after the live taping of our broadcast, Gov. Justice held a press conference announcing the work stoppage would end Thursday and called for a 3 percent pay increase for all state employees this year with an additional 2 percent hike for those who work in education, including teachers and service personnel. Follow our story here for the latest.

On The Legislature Today, thousands of teachers and state workers again showed-up at the Capitol to protest low salaries and rising health care costs, as their work stoppage entered a third school day – tomorrow will be the fourth. We bring you the latest on the work stoppage. Also, in this episode, we look at a variety of health-related legislation and chat with Sen. Tom Takubo, R-Kanawha and Sen. Ron Stollings, D-Boone.

On The Legislature Today, teachers, school service personnel and other public employees returned for the second of a two-day work stoppage as frustrations linger over salaries and healthcare. Leaders of the American Federation of Teachers, West Virginia and the West Virginia Education Association announced Friday that the work stoppage will continue Monday. But will it be just that -- a work stoppage -- or a full-on strike? Here’s the latest from the statehouse in this week’s reporter roundtable.

On The Legislature Today, capitol security estimates 2,000 teachers poured into the Capitol Thursday – the first of a 2-day teachers' work stoppage. All 55 West Virginia county school systems were closed because of the work stoppage over teacher salaries and Public Employee Insurance Agency costs. Host Andrea Lannom brings you the latest from the event, and she chats with House Minority Leader Tim Miley, D-Harrison and Del. Ron Walters, R-Kanawha on current action at the statehouse.

On The Legislature Today, we take a closer look at energy legislation moving through this session. Host Andrea Lannom chats with Senate Energy, Industry and Mining Committee Chairman Sen. Randy Smith, R-Tucker, as well as Executive Director of the West Virginia Rivers Coalition Angie Rosser.

On The Legislature Today, the looming statewide teacher work stoppage is scheduled for later this week, and there are several related issues before the Finance and Education Committees. Host Andrea Lannom chats with Del. Paul Espinosa, R-Jefferson, Chairman of the House Education Committee and member of the House Finance committee. Also joining the conversation is Del. Larry Rowe, D-Kanawha, member of both the House Education and Finance Committees.

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