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 2019 sponsors for The Legislature Today:

AARP | Charleston Gazette-Mail | Lumos NetworksMarshall University | Orion Strategies | West Virginia University

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.

Senate
Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

This is a developing story and will be updated.

 

A controversial piece of legislation focused on overhauling public education continues to move quickly through the West Virginia Senate. Lawmakers adopted a motion Monday, Jan. 28, to skip the bill’s second reference to the Senate Finance Committee and instead bring the bill before the full Senate as the Committee of the Whole.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Former West Virginia state Senator Richard Ojeda has announced he is dropping out of his bid seeking the Democratic nomination for president in 2020. The announcement comes just over two weeks that Ojeda announced he would leave the Senate and ten days after his resignation became effective.

We bring you another Friday Reporter Roundtable. Host Suzanne Higgins is joined by statehouse reporters to recap the week and look ahead to the next. We explore the massive education reform bill, the debate over legalizing cannabis in West Virginia, child welfare needs, and the latest on legislation related to an Intermediate Court of Appeals.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

After weeks of speculation over the contents of an education reform bill, lawmakers in the West Virginia Senate are now releasing details of the legislation. Widely known as an “omnibus” bill, the legislation is set to offer pay raises and address healthcare, but also offer additional components opposed by leaders of teacher and service personnel unions.

A huge education reform bill was revealed in the Senate Education Committee. We bring you up-to-date on the bill’s latest action, and we also take a closer look at broadband expansion legislation moving through the statehouse.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Energy and Environment Reporter Brittany Patterson leads a discussion with Del. Joshua Higginbotham and Sen. Stephen Baldwin about the growth of the oil and gas industry in West Virginia, and the challenges that go along with it. We also hear the latest in statehouse news with Senior Statehouse Reporter Dave Mistich.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A measure that would help clear the way for a repeal of the state’s business inventory, machinery and equipment tax has cleared its first committee hurdle.

House Joint Resolution 17 was approved by the House Finance Committee Wednesday. Deputy Revenue Secretary Mark Muchow told the committee that between $250 million and $300 million in annual revenue could be lost between commercial and industrial business taxes.

Sen. Finance Chairman Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, speaking during a Senate floor session.
Will Price / WV Legislative Photography

A bill that would provide tuition assistance to attend community and technical colleges in West Virginia has passed the Senate.

Senate Bill 1 passed the Legislature’s upper chamber with a unanimous 34-0 vote Wednesday.

Huntington, Ohio River
Youngamerican / Wikimedia Commons

The Senate Energy, Industry and Mining committee voted Tuesday evening to reinstate 60 updated human health standards into Senate Bill 167, a rules bill that outlines a state regulation limiting pollution discharges into the state’s streams and rivers.

 

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) proposed the updates to the state's Water Quality Standards in a proposed rule released in July.

We take an in-depth look at House Bill 2010 – modifying the state’s foster care system by transitioning it into managed care. We’ll also bring you the latest action on Senate Bill 1 – the ‘last dollar in’ community and technical college bill, and we have a piece on volunteerism in West Virginia.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia Senate’s top legislative priority drew lengthy debate Tuesday over proposed amendments to a bill that would create a grant program to pay the remaining tuition balance for community and technical college students.

President of the West Virginia Board of Education David Perry joins host Suzanne Higgins to weigh in on multiple proposals this session, including their own to the school aid funding formula. We'll also have our Social Media Monday segment and the latest from the Capitol with Senior Statehouse Reporter Dave Mistich.

 

Unions representing public educators and school service personnel are trying to stave off a bill that hasn’t even been introduced yet. What some are calling an omnibus education bill would boost teacher salaries and benefits, but could also reform education in ways the unions oppose.

It’s Friday, which means we're joined by veteran statehouse reporters to discuss the latest action from the West Virginia Legislature. Host Suzanne Higgins is joined by Jake Zuckerman and Ryan Quinn of the Charleston Gazette-Mail and Brad McElhinny of WV MetroNews.

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has selected a registered lobbyist working on behalf of the governor’s family companies to fill a vacancy left by the resignation of a state senator.

Paul Hardesty of Logan County will replace former Sen. Richard Ojeda in the state Senate’s 7th District, which covers Boone, Lincoln, Logan and parts of Mingo and Wayne counties.

John Deskins, Director of the West Virginia University Bureau of Business and Economic Research, joins host Suzanne Higgins for a discussion on the state’s economy, areas of growth, labor force participation, and the employment growth forecast in West Virginia. We also have stories from reporters Randy Yohe and Danite Belay.

Senate Finance Chair Craig Blair and House Finance Minority Chair Mick Bates join Senior Statehouse Reporter Dave Mistich to talk budget issues. We also bring you coverage from the West Virginia Department of Education’s budget hearing in House Finance and the latest on the community and technical college tuition assistance bill, SB 1.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Taking a quick glance at Gov. Jim Justice’s legislative agenda, many onlookers are wondering how the budget will shape up by the end of session. With proposals for new spending and rollbacks on taxes currently yielding high-dollar price-tags, getting to a balanced budget remains unknown.

But politics are a part of policy making -- and everything becomes a negotiation.  

The Senate President and House Speaker join us for a conversation about some of the top issues this session, and we take a closer look at medical marijuana with a special report from Senior Statehouse Reporter Dave Mistich.

Beth Walker
Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

After a year of scandal involving lavish spending that led to the entire bench of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals being impeached, the court gave a budget presentation to the Senate Finance Committee. While Supreme Court Chief Justice Beth Walker outlined the entire court system’s budget and the implementation of new spending policies Tuesday, attention was heavily focused on a recent transaction to a women’s clothing and lingerie retailer.

Caleb Hanna
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

This is a developing story that will be updated.

 

A group of Republican lawmakers in the West Virginia House of Delegates have announced a plan to introduce a bill that would divert $10 million from the state’s current surplus to help President Donald Trump build a wall along the southern U.S. border.

Over the weekend, a horrific fire in Clay County claimed the lives of four foster children. It's put an intense and more immediate spotlight on a child welfare system in crisis. Lawmakers have been working throughout interim sessions on addressing the significant needs of the state's foster care system, and now they bring that work into the regular session.

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

A resolution introduced in the West Virginia Senate seeks to require that the Legislature’s upper chamber confirm Supreme Court appointments made by the governor. The proposal comes following a year of scandal surrounding the state’s high court, which lead to three appointments by the goveror.

Senate Joint Resolution 8 was introduced Monday and referred to the chamber’s Judiciary Committee. Republican Patricia Rucker is the lead sponsor of the resolution.

Two statehouse reporters join host Suzanne Higgins for a look back at the first three days of the 2019 West Virginia Legislative session. We also meet some of the legislature’s newest members, and we chat with Politifact about Gov. Jim Justice’s State of the State address.

Gov. Jim Justice gave his third annual State of the State Address Wednesday night. We'll have coverage of his speech and reaction from both the Senate and House Minority Leaders. We also bring you the latest on Sen. Richard Ojeda, D-Logan, who announced his resignation from the state Senate to run for United States President.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Sen. Richard Ojeda, D-7th, spoke to his colleagues on the Senate floor to announce his looming departure to focus on a run for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020. In a typically passionate tone, Ojeda criticized Republican leaders for failing to run bills he believes would have been helpful to all West Virginians.

“I’m sure everybody has heard quite a few rumors out there. I just wanted everybody to know there is truth to the rumor,” Ojeda said Thursday.

Gov. Jim Justice, R-W.Va., delivers his annual State of the State speech, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019, in Charleston, W.Va.
Tyler Evert / Associated Press

In his third State of the State address, Gov. Jim Justice promised to capitalize on West Virginia’s recently reported economic turnaround -- focused on education, roads, the state’s drug problem and rollbacks on taxes.

Pipe ready for construction.
Seth Perlman / Associated Press

A top lobbyist for a major natural gas pipeline outlined a series of priorities to West Virginia lawmakers Tuesday, which included calling on the Legislature sign a resolution condemning "rogue environmental groups."

"I think it's important for West Virginia to go on record that the end result of their tactics hurt the state economy of West Virginia," Dominion Energy’s West Virginia State Policy Director Bob Orndorff said in an address to the Joint Committee on Natural Gas Development. "That's important, for the pipeline industry to have that type of support from the West Virginia Legislature."

John Raby / AP Photo

Republican leaders in the West Virginia Legislature outlined their priorities for the 60-day session, which kicks off today at noon. Senate President Mitch Carmichael and House Speaker Roger Hanshaw gathered members of their respective caucuses Tuesday and came up with four main priorities.

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