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 aftermath of flooding that occured in June 2016, in Clendenin, W.Va.
Kara Lofton / WVPB file photo

A bill seeking to speed up post-disaster construction efforts, particularly post-2016 flood recovery construction, is heading to Gov. Jim Justice’s desk Thursday after both chambers of the West Virginia Legislature approved the legislation. 

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A bill known as the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act has cleared a first committee in the West Virginia Senate after passing the House of Delegates earlier this session. The Senate Health and Human Resources Committee cleared House Bill 4007 Thursday on a 11-1 roll call vote. 

Sen. Corey Palumbo, a Democrat from Kanawha County who is not running for re-election this year, was the only member of the health committee to vote no. 

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photogrpahy

Bills to regulate the legal use of, taxation, and decriminalization of recreational marijuana are budding in the West Virginia House of Delegates, according to its Democratic members.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia Senate is working to undo a decision by a temporary bench of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals that effectively prevents justices of the state’s high court from being impeached and standing trial. 

Members of the upper chamber’s Judiciary Committee advanced a joint resolution — a potential constitutional amendment — that would remedy the 2018 impeachments that ultimately fizzled out.

A proposal to establish an intermediate court system has passed the Senate Judiciary and is now in Senate Finance. Senior reporter Dave Mistich speaks with Danielle Waltz of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Jonathan Mani, President-Elect of the West Virginia Association for Justice to explore both sides of the issue.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

In an effort to address overcrowding in regional jails, the West Virginia House of Delegates has passed a bill to release pretrial inmates that have been charged with certain misdemeanor crimes, on their own recognizance. The bill now goes to the state Senate for consideration, where previous bills with a similar mission have failed. 

Natural gas pipeline warning sign
Richard Marx / Adobe Stock

West Virginia lawmakers in the House Energy Committee Tuesday voted to advance a bill that would provide tax credits to companies that store and transport a valuable byproduct of natural gas production. 

Charleston Area Medical Center

Lawmakers are considering a bill that would authorize private hospitals to employ police officers.

It was E-Day at the West Virginia Legislature – a focus on the environment when advocates gather to lobby on behalf of environmental policy. Host Suzanne Higgins speaks with a lawmaker who is also an environmental scientist, to review several environmental related bills.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee has approved a bill that would create an intermediate appellate court system. But amendments to the proposal Monday changed the way judges would take seats on the proposed bench — now calling for nonpartisan elections rather than gubernatorial appointments. 

Senate Bill 275, which committee members began work on Friday, has appeared in recent legislative sessions but has failed to make its way to the governor’s desk. 

RISE is the state-run and federally funded Flood Recovery Program. The state received $150 million to assist low-income residents needing repair or replacement of their homes following the flood of June 2016. Today, hundreds are still displaced.

We bring you the latest on this program and a discussion with state lawmakers who sit on the Joint Committee on Flooding.

This week lawmakers debated tax breaks, sought remedies for a foster care system in crisis, passed a resolution calling for a convention of states and much more. Host Suzanne Higgins is joined by statehouse reporters to recap a week of legislative action.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia House of Delegates has passed a bill that would allow voters with certain disabilities to vote electronically in the upcoming election. 

Capitol, West Virginia State Capitol
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

 

For The Legislature Today, reporter Brittany Patterson spent a day at West Virginia University’s Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources speaking with students studying petroleum and natural gas engineering. 

The industry is an economically important one across the state. According to the state tax department, in 2019, the state received $146 million in severance taxes from natural gas.

 

On The Legislature Today, we discuss West Virginia children in crisis and a foster care system under the microscope. The new Senate Select Committee on Children and Families had its first meeting where the dire needs of the state's 10,000 homeless students and 7,000 foster children are the focus. Reporter Roxy Todd also joins our program to lead a discussion with state lawmakers on the issue.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia House of Delegates passed a bill Thursday that would roll back certain fire safety regulations. Some lawmakers said this move will increase the risk of electrical home fires, while the bill’s proponents said it would save constituents some money.  

West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s energy and environment reporter Brittany Patterson returns to lead a conversation on West Virginia’s struggling coal industry. We’re also joined by senior reporter Dave Mistich and reporter Emily Allen to discuss the latest news from the Capitol.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Would a gathering of delegates from each of the fifty states, tasked with amending the United States Constitution, be focused on a singular topic? Or would such a convention turn into a free-for-all — leaving the country’s supreme legal document susceptible to reckless changes?

Capitol, West Virginia State Capitol
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Delegates on the West Virginia House Judiciary Committee passed a bill to create a foster child’s bill of rights Tuesday morning.

We begin a two-part series on West Virginia’s energy sectors. West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s energy and environment reporter Brittany Patterson looks at the forecast for oil and natural gas production and includes perspective from environmentalists and private property owners. Also, host Suzanne Higgins speaks with statehouse reporter Emily Allen for the latest in legislative action.

Downtown Richwood, WV, at dawn after hours of heavy rain flooded the little town.
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting file photo

The West Virginia House of Delegates unanimously passed a bill Tuesday, Jan. 21, from members of its interim committee on flooding, hoping to speed up the process for rebuilding homes after natural disasters. 

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The introduction of a proposed state constitutional amendment that would repeal a tax on manufacturing equipment and Inventory sparked conversation Tuesday in the West Virginia Senate. 

Senate Joint Resolution 8, titled the “Manufacturing Growth Amendment,” was introduced Tuesday in the Senate. Such an effort has become a perennial issue in recent years — and offered in various forms — under the GOP-controlled legislature, but has yet to clear both chambers. 

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia Senate passed a bill that protects victims of sexual assault and rape from being required to submit to certain physical exams. Senate Bill 125 cleared the upper chamber Tuesday on a 33-0 vote.

The measure would prevent a court from ordering a victim of sexual assault from submitting to a medical examination evaluating the reported assault. Additionally, a victim’s refusal to submit to such examinations could also not be used as a basis to exclude evidence gathered from other relevant examinations of the victim.

A marijuana plant grows at Fotmer SA, an enterprise that produces cannabis for medical use, in Montevideo, Uruguay, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019.
Matilde Campodonico / AP Photo

Democrats in the West Virginia House of Delegates are asking the state Department of Commerce to fast-track a study on adult use of recreational cannabis.

State Department of Commerce Secretary Ed Gaunch told the House Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development Committee Wednesday he would consider studying the economic impact of adult use of recreational cannabis. 

We look at the 2020 West Virginia Legislative session through the lens of civil rights and social justice on this Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We also bring you the latest news from the Capitol as we begin the second full week of the 2020 session.

Host Suzanne Higgins speaks with statehouse reporters to recap a week of legislative action. We also bring you a story looking at the newly created West Virginia Narcotics Intelligence Unit.

Capitol, West Virginia State Capitol
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

It’s the 21st century, and West Virginia officials in charge of combating drug crimes say trafficking and other offenses are more sophisticated and elusive than ever before. 

Host Suzanne Higgins sits down with Gov. Jim Justice to discuss his proposed budget, his work over the last four years as governor, and his thoughts for the future. Higgins also speaks with Reporter Emily Allen and Senior Reporter Dave Mistich about the latest news from the Capitol building.

Patricia Rucker
Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A controversial proposal that failed in the GOP-led West Virginia Legislature’s education overhaul last year has been reintroduced in the state senate. 

The House of Delegates passed a bill known as the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. It calls on doctors to use "reasonable medical judgement" in the event of an unsuccessful abortion, and it passed with bi-partisan support.

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