Budget

Host Suzanne Higgins has a conversation with House Finance members for a breakdown of the budget bill that passed out of the House chamber Wednesday night – a budget with some key differences in spending priorities than that of the Senate.

Host Suzanne Higgins speaks with Interim Chancellor of the Higher Education Policy Commission and Chancellor of the West Virginia Community and Technical College System, Dr. Sarah Armstrong Tucker for a discussion on higher education funding issues, secondary education attainment and financial aid requirement challenges.

We have updates on gun legislation, a renewable energy bill, and we bring you the latest on the Senate’s version of the budget bill.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A bill to create an intermediate court of appeals in West Virginia passed the House Judiciary Committee Friday with a few noteworthy changes and, ultimately, a favorable recommendation.

Host Suzanne Higgins is joined by Brad McElhinny of West Virginia MetroNews and Steven Allen Adams of Ogden Newspapers for a reporter roundtable featuring an update on both the Senate and House proposed state budgets.

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

In its $6.1 billion budget request for the upcoming fiscal year, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources has proposed increasing funds for child welfare programs, the recruitment and retention of staff, efforts to improve state-run hospitals and the elimination of a waitlist for the state IDD waiver program. 

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.

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.

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

The West Virginia Department of Education shared a $2.59 billion budget proposal for 2021 with the House Finance Committee Monday morning. 

West Virginia Treasurer John Perdue
West Virginia Treasurer's Office

West Virginia Treasurer John Perdue said Monday his office plans to transfer an additional $20 million into the state’s general revenue fund this fiscal year. 

The halls of the Capitol are now quiet. Lawmakers have gone home for the weekend, and the session has gotten off to a low-key start. We discuss the first three days of the 2020 West Virginia Legislative session with statehouse reporters, and we look at some of the legislation introduced this week in both the House and Senate.

Update at 6:22 p.m. ET

President Trump announced an agreement on a two-year budget deal and debt-ceiling increase.

The deal would raise the debt ceiling past the 2020 elections and set $1.3 trillion for defense and domestic spending over the next two years.

An inflammatory poster displayed outside of the House of Delegates’ chamber by participants of West Virginia GOP Day at the Capitol, launched a firestorm of remarks Friday morning. Just as the Speaker of the House called the body to order, Del. Mike Pushkin stood and launched what would be a series of remarks - Democrats condemning hate speech, while Republicans defending freedom of speech.

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.

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.

Prison Bars
Schavda / wikimedia Commons

Officials in one West Virginia county say they're spending less on jail by routing some offenders through alternative programs instead.

The Journal of Martinsburg reports Berkeley County's bill for the Eastern Regional Jail was down to nearly $646,000 for the three months ending in February, from nearly $800,000 during the same period the year before.

On The Legislature Today, the teachers strike is over and schools are back in operation, so now the story at the Capitol is the budget. Both the House and Senate are considering their versions during these last few days of the session. Host Andrea Lannom is joined by Senate Finance Vice Chairman Greg Boso, R-Nicholas, and House Finance Minority Vice Chairman Mick Bates, D-Raleigh, to discuss some differences and some areas where the two chambers can agree.

On The Legislature Today, an agreement among House and Senate conferees for a five percent pay raise for all of West Virginia’s public employees was announced Tuesday morning. Later that afternoon, both the House and Senate bodies approved HB 4145, giving teachers, school service personnel, and state troopers a five percent raise. Shortly after that, the bill was signed by Governor Jim Justice and will go into effect on July 1, 2018. Teachers erupted over the news that effectively began the end of a 9-day statewide teacher and school personnel work stoppage. Host Andrea Lannom speaks with Senate President Mitch Carmichael to hear the latest.

On The Legislature Today, Gov. Jim Justice held a press conference Tuesday evening announcing a 5 percent pay increase for teachers and state service personnel as well as an end to the work stoppage – however, the stoppage looked far from over Wednesday. We bring you the latest from the Capitol. Also, in this episode, host Andrea Lannom is joined by Senate Finance Chairman Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, to talk about the budgetary issues facing lawmakers.

On The Legislature Today, we hear two very different perspectives on budget policy. As lawmakers continue holding budget presentations for state agencies and continue to grapple with how and where to spend state dollars, we’ve asked the directors of two West Virginia policy research organizations – with very different philosophies – to join host Andrea Lannom and offer us all something to think about. Garrett Ballengee is the Executive Director of the Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy and Ted Boettner is the Executive Director of the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia is on track to meet its budget estimates for this fiscal year.

In a press call with reporters, Revenue Secretary Dave Hardy said the state’s General Revenue Fund is 4.5 percent ahead of where it was this time last year – and overall budget estimates for this fiscal year are, so far, on target.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the special session of the West Virginia Legislature this year was supposed to be focused on one thing—putting together a budget for the 2018 fiscal year, but over the course of several weeks, lawmakers spent most of their time debating a separate issue: tax reform.

It turns out, West Virginia wasn’t the only state having the conversation about changing its tax code this year. In fact, 23 states attempted to make changes specifically to taxes charged on services. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the coal industry in West Virginia has been struggling, but over the past several months, revenues from coal severance taxes have increased for the state. That’s because of increased demand overseas, says West Virginia University Research Assistant Professor Brian Lego.

Lego is a member of the WVU Bureau of Business and Economic Research team that recently released its annual report predicting the future of the industry. He discussed the report with Ashton Marra.

West Virginia Governor's Office

The Governor’s Office says the state technically ended the previous fiscal year in the black last month, but there is already a deficit in fiscal year 2018. 

The new budget year officially began July 1—less than two weeks ago—and the state is already $11 million short.

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Gov. Jim Justice said the legislatively approved budget for the 2018 fiscal year will become law without his signature. 

“I can’t sign this. I can’t possibly sign this," Justice said.

Huntington Police Department

Five former West Virginia police officers will return to their department after a city's projected $5 million budget deficit laid them off.

The Herald-Dispatch reported on Tuesday a City of Huntington statement says the five probationary officers will return to their posts starting July 3, and that police will also bring on a new officer from the department's civil service hiring list who will enter the state police academy in late August.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the House are not budging on reforming the state’s tax code the way Gov. Jim Justice and now Senators on both sides of the aisle want to.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the Senate have approved a budget for the upcoming fiscal year -- for a second time this week.

 

The bill they approved Tuesday contains no new revenue for 2018 and makes major cuts to both higher education and Medicaid in order to find a balance, but the new version of the budget bill approved Thursday night is accompanied by yet another tax reform bill that now has bi-partisan support in the state’s upper chamber.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Gov. Jim Justice is still pushing lawmakers to approve some kind of revenue increasing measure to prevent major cuts in the 2018 budget. 

That push, though, comes as members of the House and Senate are debating budget bills based solely on a newly released revenue estimate, not tax reform proposals that were once at the center of budget negotiations.

West Virginia Governor's Office

Gov. Jim Justice said Wednesday the budget proposals being considered in both the House and Senate are wrong for West Virginia and will result in major cuts that hurt vulnerable citizens, but with a deadline to approve a budget in time to avoid a government shutdown quickly approaching, Justice said he would consider signing the budget sent to him. 

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