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.

 

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It was the second day of a statewide teacher and service personnel walkout over a comprehensive education reform bill. We bring you up-to-date on the latest action, and we also bring you special reports on black lung-related legislation, economic development, and tourism.

Teachers and school workers were on strike in 54 of West Virginia’s 55 counties Tuesday. But shortly after 12:30 p.m., the controversial education bill, which drove them out of school, was postponed indefinitely by a motion in the House of Delegates. Host Suzanne Higgins and Senior Statehouse Reporter Dave Mistich discuss the action on the bill, and the leaders of the teachers and school service personnel unions join the show to discuss whether the bill could have another shot at passage.

Late in the afternoon on Monday, the West Virginia Senate took up SB 451 – comprehensive education reform – as amended by the House of Delegates. But the upper chamber provided its own amendment to the House’s version. Host Suzanne Higgins and Senior Statehouse Reporter Dave Mistich break down the day’s floor action over the bill and what could come next. We also hear from the chairman and minority chairman of the House Select Committee on Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse.

SB 451 – comprehensive education reform – is now back in the Senate, and the chamber is expected next week to consider the massive bill as amended by the House of Delegates. In this reporter roundtable, host Suzanne Higgins speaks with fellow statehouse reporters on the evolution of SB 451, and we explore other issues moving through the legislative process.

The comprehensive education reform bill passed out of the House of Delegates on a vote of 71 to 29. We’ll recap the day’s action on the bill, and host Suzanne Higgins talks with Randall Reid-Smith, Curator of the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Updated on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019 at 6:54 p.m.

The West Virginia House of Delegates has passed its version of a long, sweeping and controversial education reform bill. The proposal, which calls for teacher and school service pay raises, but also other ideas opposed by public educators such as charter schools, is a stripped-down version of the measure the Senate passed last week.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Updated Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019 at 4:00 a.m.

 

The West Virginia House of Delegates finished their opportunity to tailor a long, sweeping and controversial education reform bill after more than 10 hours of debate Wednesday. With Senate Bill 451 on the floor amendment stage, delegates voted on 31 amendments to a strike-and-insert version of the measure -- adopting 10 and rejecting 21.

The House of Delegates considered amendments to SB 451 – comprehensive education reform – all day, and they’ve continued their work into the evening. We break down the day’s proceedings, and we have a discussion with the Senate Health Committee over several healthcare bills that are moving through the legislative process.

We turn our attention to agriculture needs in West Virginia. Host Suzanne Higgins chats with Jennifer Greenlief, Assistant Commissioner at the West Virginia Department of Agriculture about the hemp industry in West Virginia, agriculture jobs, and funding needs to the department’s facilities.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The full West Virginia House of Delegates is set to consider a controversial education reform bill. The measure, which has taken a winding path since passing in the Senate last week, has made its way through two House committees and will be on the floor amendment stage Wednesday.

Updated on Tues. Feb. 12, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. to include the TV broadcast of "The Legislature Today" from Feb. 11, 2019.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Public school teachers, administrators, parents and representatives of special interest groups gathered in the West Virginia House of Delegates chamber Monday morning to give their take on a long, sweeping and controversial education reform bill. It was the first of two public hearings on the issue.

 

Adobe Stock images / WVPB illustration

The West Virginia House of Delegates is considering changes to Senate Bill 451 – or the education omnibus bill, as it is often referred to. 

This week’s reporter roundtable focuses on the week’s action over SB 451 – comprehensive education reform. We recap what happened with the bill since passing out of the West Virginia Senate on Monday, and where it is now in the committee process over in the House of Delegates.

Delegate Sean Hornbuckle speaks in the West Virginia House.
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia House of Delegates has scheduled a second public hearing on a long, sweeping and controversial education reform bill. Lawmakers decided Friday, Feb. 8, to add a second chance for members of the public to express their thoughts on Senate Bill 451.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Energy and Environment Reporter Brittany Patterson joins us again on The Legislature Today to lead a discussion exploring environmental issues in West Virginia. She brings us a special report from Minden, West Virginia, and she chats with a lawmaker in the House of Delegates who’s also an environmental scientist.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Trump, R-Morgan, and fellow Senate Judiciary member Mike Romano, D-Harrison, join host Suzanne Higgins to chat about some of the recent legislation they’ve considered in committee as well as on the Senate floor. We also breakdown the recent changes to SB 451 – comprehensive education reform – made in the House of Delegates.

We bring you a special report and in-depth discussion on water infrastructure needs in West Virginia. Reporter Caity Coyne of the Charleston Gazette-Mail joins us to explore the issues and discuss two bills moving through the West Virginia Legislature that may address some of the need.

The comprehensive education reform bill – SB 451 – passed the West Virginia Senate following a few hours of debate. The bill now heads to the House of Delegates for consideration. Host Suzanne Higgins and Senior Statehouse Reporter Dave Mistich break down the day’s action over the bill. We also bring you a special report about the state’s drug court.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Updated: Feb. 4, 2019 at 10:40 p.m.

 

The West Virginia Senate has passed a sweeping and controversial bill that seeks to overhaul the state’s public education system. The measure’s fate is unclear in the House of Delegates. Whether teachers will strike in response to its passage in the Senate remains to be seen.

The creek where the WVU Stream Lab team dropped their sensors. Save the Tygart Watershed Association has been keeping tabs on the waterway since before the coal slurry pond was installed nearby.
Colleen S. Good / WVU Stream Lab Project

The West Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee voted today to remove a set of 60 proposed updates from Senate Bill 167, a rules bill that outlines a state regulation limiting pollution discharges into the state’s streams and rivers.

In this reporter roundtable, we recap the week’s proceedings over Senate Bill 451 – a massive bill to reform public education in West Virginia. We bring you up-to-date on where the bill is now and where it’s heading.

Assistant News Director Glynis Board leads a discussion on the impacts and trauma the opioid epidemic has inflicted on West Virginia’s youth, and host Suzanne Higgins chats with Senior Statehouse Reporter Dave Mistich for an update on some of the day’s major stories.

House Banking and Insurance Chair Eric Nelson presides over the committee as they consider a bill proposing a banking fix to West Virginia's medical cannabis program.
Perry Bennett / WV Legislative Photography

A proposed banking solution to West Virginia’s medical cannabis law has cleared its first hurdle in the House of Delegates.

The lower chamber’s Banking and Insurance Committee approved House Bill 2538 Thursday.

Sen. Craig Blair presides over the Senate's Committee of the Whole on Jan. 30, 2019, to discuss SB 451, sweeping and controversial education reform bill.
Will Price / WV Legislative Photography

The full West Virginia Senate is set to consider amendments to a wide-ranging and controversial education reform bill Friday.

Senate Bill 451, also known as the omnibus education bill, cleared the chamber’s 34-member Committee of the Whole on an 18-16 roll call vote and advanced to the Senate proper. Republican Sens. Kenny Mann and Bill Hamilton joined Democrats as no votes.

It’s been a marathon day in the West Virginia Senate, as senators discuss SB 451 – the comprehensive education reform bill – as a “committee as a whole.” In the House, delegates considered amendments to HB 2010 – transitioning the state’s foster care system to a managed care model.

Appalachia Health News Reporter Kara Lofton leads a discussion on the Justice administration’s plan to tackle the state's substance abuse crisis, and host Suzanne Higgins chats with Senior Statehouse Reporter Dave Mistich about the comprehensive education reform bill, which continues to garner attention throughout the state and under the dome.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

As members of the West Virginia Senate prepare to take up a wide-ranging education reform bill with the entire chamber acting as a committee, leaders in the Republican caucus have announced changes to the measure. However, Gov. Jim Justice continues to take issue will some of the remaining provisions -- going as far as suggesting he would veto the current version of the bill should it pass both the Senate and House.

Ross D. Franklin / AP

One of the founders of the West Virginia United Caucus, Jenny Craig, spoke to West Virginia Public Broadcasting about how teachers feel about the proposed education reform Senate Bill 451. The caucus is made up of teachers who are members of various education unions. The group formed last year after educators came together during a historic 10-day walkout.

The omnibus education reform bill is the talk of the Capitol’s halls. A historic move was made by Senate leadership Monday to have the bill, SB 451, reported to the floor and be considered by “the committee as a whole” – meaning all 34 senators would consider the bill from the floor in the same manner as if it were still in committee.

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