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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Marshall University | West Virginia University

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.

Courtesy of the Governor's Office

One day ahead of the 2019 legislative session, Gov. Jim Justice announced another month of revenue surpluses. But with proposed increases to spending and hopes to rollback some sources of tax revenue, the overall budget picture remains unclear.

Daniel Walker / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia lawmakers and policy experts met in Charleston Friday to discuss potential issues ahead of this year’s legislative session, which kicks off next week. The event, hosted by the West Virginia Press Association, brought about discussions of marijuana reform, education and the state budget.

WVPB Continues Nightly Legislative News from the Capitol

Jan 2, 2019

West Virginia Public Broadcasting will return to the state Capitol to deliver nightly coverage of the 2019 legislative session, beginning with Gov. Jim Justice’s State of the State Address, Wednesday, Jan. 9 at 7pm.

The Legislature Today is West Virginia’s only nightly program devoted to covering the state’s 60-day regular legislative session.

BridgeValley Community and Technical College is one of nine CTCs in West Virginia.
Daniel Walker / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A bill West Virginia Public Broadcasting followed closely during the 2018 regular state Legislative session could resurface in 2019 – legislation that would offer tuition assistance to in-state students attending a Community and Technical College. Last year, it was often referred to as the "free community and technical college bill," and it would’ve provided the “last dollar in” after all other forms of financial aid had been exhausted.

Saturday, March 10, marked the 60th and final day of the 83rd West Virginia Legislature's Second Regular Session. 

Update: March 11, 2018 at 12:31 a.m.

House Bill 4345, which would expand West Virginia’s medical marijuana law by increasing the number of dispensaries and growers, and providing for banking facilities related to the industry, died in the final minutes of the 2018 state legislative session. House leadership cited procedural delays in not bringing the bill up for a vote on the floor. The Senate had passed HB 4345 at about 6:30 Saturday evening.

On The Legislature Today, we bring you a special hour-long broadcast from the Capitol building in Charleston. Host Andrea Lannom chats with House Finance Chairman Del. Eric Nelson, R-Kanawha, and House Finance Vice Chairman Del. Mick Bates, D-Raleigh, on the status of budget discussions with only one day left in the regular 2018 state Legislative session. We also look back at some of the major issues that unfolded over the last two months in our reporter roundtable.

On The Legislature Today, the West Virginia Senate unanimously passed its version of the budget bill. The Senate's bill did not include the governor's revised revenue estimate of $58 million in its $4.38 billion budget. Both the House and Senate Finance Chairs said they hope to have the budget passed as quickly as possible. Host Andrea Lannom chats with Senate Majority Leader Ryan Ferns, R-Ohio, about the 2019 budget and whether we might see a budget passed before the 60th day.

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