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.

Thanks to our 2020 sponsors for The Legislature Today:

Marshall University | West Virginia University

The 60-day legislative session heads to an end at midnight, and lawmakers are putting the final touches on their scheduled work for the year. While most of Republican leadership's priorities have been settled, hundreds of bills still have a chance of making it across the finishline before the Senate and House of Delegates gavel out sine die.

The House of Delegates’ foster care bill was up for a vote in the Senate Friday, while the Senate's Intermediate Court of Appeals bill was up for a vote in the House. We recap that action and more in our weekly reporter roundtable.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A bill that would have created an intermediate court of appeals in West Virginia was rejected Friday in the House of Delegates. Lawmakers also rejected a motion to reconsider the vote on the bill, which effectively kills the measure for the remainder of session. 

Host Suzanne Higgins has a conversation with House Finance members for a breakdown of the budget bill that passed out of the House chamber Wednesday night – a budget with some key differences in spending priorities than that of the Senate.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A bill that would create another appellate layer within West Virginia’s judiciary is headed to a vote after being further amended Thursday on the floor of the House of Delegates. With Senate Bill 275 on the amendment stage, delegates approved three changes before accepting others made by the House Judiciary Committee.

Host Suzanne Higgins speaks with Interim Chancellor of the Higher Education Policy Commission and Chancellor of the West Virginia Community and Technical College System, Dr. Sarah Armstrong Tucker for a discussion on higher education funding issues, secondary education attainment and financial aid requirement challenges.

We explore criminal justice reform legislation from this session, and we bring you an in-depth report and follow-up conversation on the issue. We also bring you the latest news from West Virginia’s statehouse.

A bill that would create a utility solar energy program in West Virginia is one step closer to becoming law.

On Thursday, despite vocal opposition from some coalfield lawmakers, the House of Delegates passed an amended version of S.B. 583, 75 to 23 with two members not voting. The bill now heads back to the Senate to address two House amendments.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A bill that would allow homeschool students in West Virginia to participate in public school sports and other extracurricular activities is on its way to becoming law. The measure, which has failed to get across the finish line in recent legislative sessions, cleared the Senate Monday and now heads to Gov. Jim Justice for a signature.

Senators voted 32-1 Monday to approve House Bill 3127. Sen. Ryan Weld, R-Brooke, was the lone vote in opposition to the measure.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A bill that would create a new layer of appellate courts in West Virginia has cleared its final committee reference and is now headed to the floor of the House of Delegates. But with the measure being amended substantially Friday in the House Judiciary Committee, its fate remains unknown.

We have updates on gun legislation, a renewable energy bill, and we bring you the latest on the Senate’s version of the budget bill.

Host Suzanne Higgins is joined by Brad McElhinny of West Virginia MetroNews and Steven Allen Adams of Ogden Newspapers for a reporter roundtable featuring an update on both the Senate and House proposed state budgets.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The focus at the West Virginia Capitol is quickly turning to the upcoming fiscal year’s budget, as finance committee members from both chambers unveiled their proposals this week and Gov. Jim Justice has weighed in to reinforce one of his own priorities. 

It was Arts Day at the Capitol. We spotlight the activities from the day, and we bring you a special report on an educational effort by the West Virginia Humanities Council.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

In honor of Crossover Day, the deadline for legislators to pass their bills out of their respective chambers and send them to the next body for consideration, West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s legislative team is taking a step back to review where some of the bill’s we’ve been monitoring stand now. 

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Shortly before the full House was scheduled to vote on it, members of the chamber’s Rules Committee voted to remove a ‘Ban the Box’ bill from the agenda, effectively killing the bill for the session. 

It was Crossover Day at the West Virginia Legislature, which means it was the final day for bills to be read a third time in their house of origin. Host Suzanne Higgins speaks with senior reporter Dave Mistich and reporter Emily Allen for updates from both the House and Senate. We also bring you updates on several health-related bills and issues.

Jessica Hill / AP Photo

The West Virginia Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would provide low-income adults with dental coverage.

Senate Bill 648 would provide a $1,000 dental benefit each year for adults in West Virginia on Medicaid. The state’s Medicaid recipients currently can receive only emergency dental services.

Ahead of Domestic and Sexual Violence Awareness Day at the Capitol this week, we bring you a special report and update on several bills aimed at helping survivors.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Updated Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020 at 6:05 p.m.

A controversial and sweeping tax reform overhaul met its demise Tuesday in the West Virginia Senate when the second — and most essential — part of a two-pronged plan to wipe out tangible personal property taxes was rejected. While the Republican-led chamber had already passed the details of the proposal, they failed to pull enough votes to allow it to have a chance at becoming constitutional.

Brittany Patterson / Ohio Valley ReSource

 

The West Virginia House of Delegates on Tuesday passed two bills that would provide tax cuts to the natural gas industry in an effort to boost petrochemical and plastics manufacturing.   

Will Price / West Virginia Le

A two-pronged tax overhaul got halfway completed Monday in the West Virginia Senate. The sweeping proposal — which includes a repeal of hundreds of millions of dollars in personal property taxes on manufacturing, motor vehicles and other personal property, as well as hikes on tobacco and sales taxes — is the combination of a bill and a proposed constitutional amendment that allows for all of the proposed changes to take effect.

A sweeping tax proposal calls for the elimination of manufacturing machinery, equipment and inventory taxes on motor vehicles and other personal property. It also calls for hikes to tobacco and consumer sales taxes. The legislation has passed in the Senate, but a joint resolution that would make the bill constitutional was held over in that chamber for one day.

We recap this week’s legislative action with statehouse reporters, and we take a special look at bills seeking to bar discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

We explore a major broadband bill that passed the House of Delegates, and we have a discussion with two West Virginia lawmakers who are involved in broadband and technology expansion in the state.

We bring you updates on the energy and environment legislation we've been following, and we also meet some students who visited the Capitol to participate in the page program for their local lawmakers.

Greyhound dogs sprint around a turn during a race at the Palm Beach Kennel Club, in West Palm Beach, Fla. Oct. 4, 2018.
Brynn Anderson / AP Photo

The West Virginia Senate has rejected a measure that would have eliminated a fund that helps prop up the state’s greyhound racing industry.

Medical Marijuana
John Locher / AP Photo

Lawmakers took a major step in 2017 toward legalizing cannabis use in West Virginia when they passed a bill that created a medical program. But nearly three years later, the program still isn’t operational — and many say it’s still more than a year away from launching. 

This session, lawmakers continue to offer some major tweaks to the as-of-yet-launched program. Those proposals – which are included in multiple bills – could change which forms would be considered medically acceptable.

We bring you a special report on the state's Medical Cannabis program and a bill this session to expand it to further accommodate patients. We'll also bring you an update on other major health bills from members of the House Health and Human Resources Committee.

There were events all day at the Capitol celebrating the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment – guaranteeing women the right to vote. We hear about West Virginia’s suffragists and the need for West Virginia women to engage more actively in the political process.

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