The West Virginia Senate will have a new leader come February, but it appears legislative priorities on both sides of the Capitol rotunda will remain the same.
Members of the House and Senate caucused behind closed doors this weekend to choose the next leaders of each chamber.
Republican House Speaker Tim Armstead will stay at the head of his chamber and former Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael, also a Republican, will become the next Senate President.
The two men have spent more than a decade each at the statehouse and say their priorities in the 2017 session will remain the same as they've pushed in the previous two session since Republicans too control of the Legislature in 2014.
“Education reform, civil justice reform, tax reform, and regulatory reform" are what Sen. Carmichael said will create the base of the Republican legislative agenda in both chambers.
Armstead said taking on those four areas will help remove barriers for businesses attempting to create new jobs, but he’s also focused on the state’s budgetary issues.
“We cannot continue to operate government at the rate we’ve been operating at. Families have to cut back in their budget, we’re going to have to do the same, and that’s what we’re trying to do,” Armstead said.
Under Gov. Tomblin’s administration, some state agencies have seen budget cuts of as much as 20 percent.
House and Senate Democrats also chose their leaders for the upcoming session Sunday. Tim Miley will remain minority leader in the House and long-time Sen. Roman Prezioso will take the position in the Senate.