West Virginia Legislature

West Virginia’s first black legislator, Christopher Payne, was born in Monroe County on September 7, 1848. He was raised near Hinton, where he worked as a farmhand. Although he was born a free person of color, he was forced as a teenager to serve as a servant in the Confederate Army during the Civil War.

  

After the war, Payne attended night school in Charleston and taught school in Monroe, Mercer, and Summers counties. He became a Baptist minister and earned a doctor of divinity degree from the State University in Louisville.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography


The House of Delegates has selected Del. Roger Hanshaw as the chamber’s new presiding officer. Hanshaw took the podium over the Democrats’ choice, House Minority Leader Tim Miley.

Roads, Road, Highway, Turnpike
Seicer / Wikimedia Commons

Gov. Jim Justice says motorists can use a website to view ongoing West Virginia road and bridge construction projects.

Justice said Monday the website Drive Forward WV lists details on 600 construction projects across the state.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear about how summer food providers are trying to overcome the challenge of feeding West Virginia kids during the summer months, and we’ll hear the latest on possible impeachment proceedings from the statehouse. These stories coming up on West Virginia Morning.

Thoroughbred horses participating in a race at the Hollywood Casino in Charles Town, W.Va.
Courtesy Photo / Coady Photography

The dog and horse racing industries have played a major role in West Virginia’s economy since the mid-1930s. But in recent years, lawmakers at the statehouse have debated whether these industries fit into the state’s economic future. Those who support the racing industry are fighting to see it survive, while others say it doesn’t bring in revenue like it once did.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, detoxing from drugs is a subject more people than ever throughout the Ohio Valley have experience with… Some people are turning to dietary supplements to help ease that pain. This story and more on this West Virginia Morning.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

West Virginia lawmakers have begun the rare process of deciding whether impeachment proceedings are necessary just days after a state Supreme Court justice was charged in a 22-count criminal indictment.

The House Judiciary Committee met without taking action Tuesday. Earlier the House of Delegates voted to have the committee investigate any justice but decided against setting a deadline.

Money, Cash
2bgr8 / Deviantart

Legislative auditors have expressed concern on how the West Virginia Supreme Court accumulated around $29 million in its excess revenue funds in fiscal year 2012.

Justin Robinson with the legislative auditor's office says the court had $1.4 million in its rainy-day fund in fiscal year 2007. He says the court accumulated $29 million in its rainy-day fund by fiscal year 2012.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we’ll hear from students, like Alex Bridges, who helped record 25 oral histories with people across West Virginia, as part of a summer folklore class. We’ll also hear the latest from the statehouse after Gov. Jim Justice issued a special session of the W.Va. Legislature on possible Supreme Court impeachments.

Samantha Richards (right), Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer for Patient Care Services, Berkeley and Jefferson Medical Centers speaking with a nurse at Berkeley Medical Center in Martinsburg.
John Hale / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Seventeen health science graduate students from across West Virginia are getting money to help pay for their education.

Why? Because the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission has awarded some health sciences grad students a chunk of cash to help pay for their college education – so long as they commit to practicing medicine in a rural or underserved community in West Virginia following graduation.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography


West Virginia lawmakers wrapped up work on a special legislative session Monday afternoon. The House and Senate completed eight bills, including technical clean-ups to legislation passed during the regular session, as well as supplemental appropriations.

 

Although lawmakers fast-tracked the measures on Gov. Jim Justice’s special session call, Delegates debated House Bill 101 for nearly an hour. The bill creates the Department of Arts, Culture and History.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice talks about his budget proposal during a stop on his Save Our State Tour on Thursday, March 3, 2017, at Fairmont State University.
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Updated: May 21, 2018 at 2:30 p.m.

 

Gov. Jim Justice has issued a call for a special session that will coincide with May interims. Lawmakers are being asked to address clean-ups to various bills passed during the 2018 session.

People wait in line to bet on the NCAA college basketball tournament at the Westgate Superbook sports book Thursday, March 15, 2018, in Las Vegas. Sports Betting.
AP Photo / John Locher

Following a U.S. Supreme Court decision today, West Virginia is set to have legal sports betting. State lawmakers passed a bill earlier this year in anticipation of the court’s ruling on a case from New Jersey.

Senate Finance Chairman Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, speaking during a Senate floor session.
Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography


State lawmakers from the Eastern Panhandle met Tuesday for the Berkeley County Chamber of Commerce's annual Legislative Wrap-Up Breakfast in Martinsburg, where education and the teacher pay raise took center stage.

April 20, 1963: W.Va. Legislature Meets at the Custom House in Wheeling

Apr 20, 2018
e-WV Encyclopedia / WV Division of Tourism via Steve Shaluta

On April 20, 1963, the West Virginia Legislature met in a special ceremonial session at the old U.S. Custom House in Wheeling.

It marked the 100th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation certifying that West Virginia would become a state.

The legislative event was a turning point for the building, which was more than a century old. During the Civil War, it’d been the capitol of the pro-Union Reorganized Government of Virginia and the location of West Virginia’s statehood debates.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Hundreds of West Virginians travel from the Eastern Panhandle to Maryland or Washington D.C. every weekday for work. These commuters catch the Maryland-based MARC train, or Maryland Area Regional Commuter.

But during this year’s West Virginia Legislative session, lawmakers debated the future of the MARC train in the state.

Maryland threatened to discontinue MARC service to West Virginia unless certain provisions were met.

Daniel Walker / West Virginia Public Broadcasting


For more than 85 years, the West Virginia Capitol building has housed the iconic crystal chandelier, illuminating the rotunda for generations of lawmakers and visitors who pass below -- its presence a fixture in the statehouse.

 

But now, it’s been taken down.

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.

Teachers and other state workers rally at the Capitol, Mar. 6, 2018.
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Steven Paine told reporters Thursday afternoon that all nine days of the recent teacher and school employee work stoppage would need to be made up by each county school district. However, counties will have control and flexibility on how they do it.

West Virginia State Flag
Lulla / Dollar Photo Club

On March 8, 1963, the West Virginia Legislature adopted blue and “old gold” as the official state colors.

Many West Virginians think that blue and “old gold” have always been the state colors, but it didn’t occur officially until West Virginia’s Centennial celebration in 1963.

Prior to that, the state often used blue and gold in ceremonies because those were the official colors of West Virginia University. So, when the legislature adopted blue and “old gold,” it came as a surprise to many West Virginians that we didn’t already have official colors.

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.

Kara Lofton/ West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Updated on Mar. 6, 2018 at 8:30 p.m.

After nine long days of a teacher and service personnel work stoppage, it looks like it’s come to an end. Lawmakers have agreed to a five percent pay raise for teachers as well as a five percent pay increase for all public workers.

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, 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.

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