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.

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Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia Legislature’s 60-day regular session could very well be remembered more for the bills that failed as those that passed. Top-priority proposals -- and some measures that sprung up through the legislative process -- fell by the wayside as the clock ticked toward midnight Saturday and lawmakers adjourned sine die.

We're potentially just one vote away from having a budget sent to Gov. Jim Justice. It's been a week of early mornings, late evenings and the passage and failure of some notable legislation – and a call for a special session. We’ll bring you the latest in our weekly reporter roundtable.

Black lung is a deadly disease caused by exposure to dust underground.
Department of Labor

A bipartisan group of West Virginia Senators has introduced a resolution that would task a legislative committee with studying the state’s black lung epidemic.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 59 was introduced Friday afternoon in the Committee on Health and Human Resources. The resolution was sponsored by Sen. Ron Stollings, a Democrat from Boone County, who is also a doctor.

 

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Updated Friday, March 8, 2019 at 3:14 p.m.

The West Virginia House of Delegates has tabled two efforts to further punish a Democratic member for his actions during a tense series of events last week. Members voted Friday to not act on resolutions calling for the censure and expulsion of Del. Mike Caputo, D-Marion.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

With just two days left in the legislative session, some Republican delegates are calling for further punishment of Democrat Mike Caputo, of Marion County. The effort follows last week’s explosive moment in and around the chamber, which was sparked by anti-Muslim sentiments in the rotunda.

In a session dominated by an omnibus education bill that ultimately died, lawmakers know officially now that they'll be back for a special session on education. We bring you the latest, and we also speak with the presidents of two state universities.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia House of Delegates has approved a measure that would make the state’s home rule program permanent. The bill also cut out a significant amendment adopted that would have allowed a referendum override of municipal ordinances under the program.

With Senate Bill 4 on third reading with a restricted right to amend, delegates chose to strike out an aspect that would have allowed for a recall of local laws passed under home rule.

The Capitol building in Charleston, West Virginia.
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A bill that would transfer control of a unit that fights Medicaid fraud to the West Virginia attorney general's office has been sent to the governor.

The House of Delegates voted 58-42 Thursday, March 7, to pass the bill, which was earlier approved by the state Senate.

The bill would transfer control of the fraud unit from the Department of Health and Human Resources.

Courtesy Photo

West Virginia’s craft beer laws are one step closer to being loosened after the House of Delegates cleared a bill Thursday calling for various changes.

Craft brewers in the state would be able to make beer at a higher alcohol percentage under the bill. According to Senate Bill 529, the alcohol by volume limit for craft beer would increase from 12 percent to 15 percent.

Adobe Stock

A bill that would reduce the severance tax on coal used by power plants is one step closer to passing.

After much debate Wednesday afternoon, the Senate Finance Committee passed an amended version of House Bill 3142. The measure, which has already passed the House, now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

Assistant News Director Glynis Board leads a discussion with activist Robert Grossman of Morgantown on one of several criminal justice reform bills that have been considered this session. We also bring you the latest updates from the House of Delegates and Senate.

Martin Valent / WV Legislative Photography

The West Virginia Senate has completed its part of next year’s state budget.

The Senate passed House Bill 2020 on a 20-14 vote. The split was along party lines with Republicans voting in support of the bill and Democrats going against the measure.

The Senate amended its budget bill into the House’s version on Tuesday. There are significant differences between the two chamber’s budgets.

The West Virginia House of Delegates
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia House of Delegates has passed a bill that would allow state residents to attend community and technical college for free.

The bill was approved on an 85-13 vote Wednesday. It now goes back to the Senate, which had previously passed the bill unanimously and now must address House changes.

A long-sought funding formula for higher education will have to wait even longer. Host Suzanne Higgins speaks with two delegates – both members of Gov. Jim Justice’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Higher Education – who provide us with an update. We also bring you the latest legislative action from the statehouse.

Adobe Stock

The West Virginia Legislature has passed a bill containing a set of environmental regulations, including a controversial water pollution rule that was pared down during the legislative process.

The House passed Senate Bill 163 on a 78-22 vote. The measure, which passed in the Senate last month, is now in effect.

The fallout continues from an anti-Muslim poster and materials displayed Friday during West Virginia’s GOP Day at the Capitol. Host Suzanne Higgins speaks with leaders of three religions – Islam, Judaism, and Christianity – who all say the issues of racism and discrimination go far deeper than Friday's events.

Mike Caputo
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A Democratic member of the West Virginia House of Delegates who was at the center of Friday’s explosive events has been removed from his committee assignments for the remainder of the legislative session.

Del. Mike Caputo, D-Marion, was informed Monday he will not serve out the remainder of the  session on the Energy, Government Organization, Industry and Labor and House Rules committees. He was notified of that in action in a letter from House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay. 

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The former sergeant at arms of the West Virginia House of Delegates broke her silence Sunday after an explosive moment Friday in the rotunda just outside the chamber that led to her resignation.

Anne Lieberman, the ousted House Sergeant at Arms, posted on Facebook that she disputes the allegation that she called all Muslims “terrorists.” She also says she has been threatened online since Friday.

An inflammatory poster displayed outside of the House of Delegates’ chamber by participants of West Virginia GOP Day at the Capitol, launched a firestorm of remarks Friday morning. Just as the Speaker of the House called the body to order, Del. Mike Pushkin stood and launched what would be a series of remarks - Democrats condemning hate speech, while Republicans defending freedom of speech.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Updated March 2, 2019 at 12:17 p.m.

 

Anti-Muslim sentiments seen just outside of the West Virginia House of Delegates Friday caused an explosive day in and around the chamber, which led to the resignation of a staff member, an injury and possible disciplinary action against a Democratic member.

Emotions ran high in the House of Delegates late Wednesday evening as HB 2519 – the Campus Self Defense Act – came to the floor after a day of procedures that took it off and then back on the House’s active calendar. We recap the night’s action, and we take a special look at foster care.

It’s Day 50, Crossover Day, and the last day for Senate bills to get out of the Senate, and for House bills to get out of the House. This determines whether those bills are to survive this session. We recap the day’s action, and we also look at the latest on SB 1 – the “last dollar in” community and technical college bill.

Wednesday is crossover day, meaning it’s the last day for the West Virginia House of Delegates and Senate to consider bills on third reading, or voting stage, in their chamber of origin. Host Suzanne Higgins speaks with Senate President Mitch Carmichael and Senate Minority Leader Roman Prezioso about legislation they hoped would make it out and on legislation they still hope to consider.

Lawmakers are working weekends and evenings now as we enter the seventh week of the 2019 West Virginia Legislative session. We'll discuss a controversial Medicaid bill that originated in the House Finance Committee. It was reported to the floor at almost the last possible moment for consideration.

Robinson, Ellington
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

With a legislative deadline looming for Wednesday, the House of Delegates moved Monday to bring bills held up in committee onto the floor. Some of those motions were successful, but one bill -- which has been notable throughout the session -- failed to move forward.

Wednesday is Crossover Day, a deadline for bills to have passed their chamber of origin. With that in mind, delegates offered motions to forego committee references and advance bills that have been caught up in committee.

West Virginia Senate Education Committee chairwoman Patricia Rucker, left, and Senate President Mitch Carmichael speak in the Senate chambers at the state Capitol Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019.
John Raby / Associated Press

The West Virginia Senate has decided not to immediately consider a bill to raise pay for teachers, school service workers and state police.

The Republican-led Senate on Saturday, Feb. 23, rejected a motion to take up the bill that the House of Delegates passed Friday.

This week, we've seen a teacher and school workers strike, the death of a massive controversial education bill, and a campus-carry gun bill zoom through the House of Delegates. We bring you up-to-date on all these issues and more.

The West Virginia House of Delegates has passed a bill calling for pay raises for teachers, school service personnel and state police. The increases would be the second in two years for public employees whose salaries are set in state code.

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.

W.Va. Tourism event at the West Virginia Capitol on Nov. 14, 2018 celebrating the launch of Fallout 76.
Daniel Walker / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Tourism Day was recognized by the West Virginia Legislature this week. In light of that, we bring you a report on a video game that tourism officials believe makes a positive impact in bringing visitors to West Virginia. By now, you may have heard of Fallout 76 - the latest in the popular line of Fallout video games. It was released last fall with much fanfare by Gov. Jim Justice and the West Virginia Division of Tourism. West Virginia Public Broadcasting spoke with a local gamer, and we bring you this special look inside the video game.

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