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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Marshall University | West Virginia University

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.

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.

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