West Virginia Legislature 2019

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.

Beth Walker
Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

After a year of scandal involving lavish spending that led to the entire bench of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals being impeached, the court gave a budget presentation to the Senate Finance Committee. While Supreme Court Chief Justice Beth Walker outlined the entire court system’s budget and the implementation of new spending policies Tuesday, attention was heavily focused on a recent transaction to a women’s clothing and lingerie retailer.

Senate Education Chair Patricia Rucker, R-Jefferson. Jan. 15, 2019.
Will Price / WV Legislative Photography

Senators in the Senate Education Committee Tuesday unanimously approved Senate Bill 1 -- “Increasing access to career education and workforce training.”

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.

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

A resolution introduced in the West Virginia Senate seeks to require that the Legislature’s upper chamber confirm Supreme Court appointments made by the governor. The proposal comes following a year of scandal surrounding the state’s high court, which lead to three appointments by the goveror.

Senate Joint Resolution 8 was introduced Monday and referred to the chamber’s Judiciary Committee. Republican Patricia Rucker is the lead sponsor of the resolution.

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.

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.