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Bill to Allow Guns on W.Va. College Campuses Moving Rapidly in House

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With SB 451 – comprehensive education reform – effectively dead, attention now turns to another bill that’s stirring up controversy at the statehouse and around West Virginia. HB 2519 – the Campus Self Defense Act – is on the fast track. The bill would allow people with concealed carry licenses to carry their  guns on college campuses.

HB 2519 narrowly advanced out of the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. That move was followed by a motion to bring the bill directly to the floor on Wednesday night, but then a motion Thursday morning sent the bill to the House Finance Committee.

College campuses around the state strongly oppose the bill. About a hundred people gathered at West Virginia University’s downtown campus to voice their concerns. There was also a smaller counter protest. Reporter Brittany Patterson sent us a montage of comments from Morgantown.

We hear from two lawmakers with vastly different opinions on HB 2519. Del. Brandon Steele, R-Raleigh, supports the Campus Self Defense Act, while Del. Barbara Evans Fleischauer, D-Monongalia, opposes the bill.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIIf8TQXP3U

The West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services is hoping for movement on HB 2625, which has been in the House Finance Committee for almost two weeks. The bill would establish higher reimbursement rates for meals served to seniors in both congregate and in-home settings. It would mean an additional $5.3 million for the program. Reporter Danite Belay brings us this story.

It was History Day at the Capitol, and if there's one thing West Virginians care about deeply, it's their heritage. Reporter Randy Yohe found visitors today with roots that run deep.

Liz McCormick is WVPB's Eastern Panhandle and education reporter/producer. Liz is a native of Charleston, West Virginia and received her B.A. in Communications and New Media from Shepherd University in 2014. You can connect with Liz via email at emccormick@wvpublic.org or on Twitter @LizMcCormickWV