Government

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.  

Janet Kunicki/ WVPB

Across West Virginia, abuse and neglect cases have resulted in the removal of thousands of children from their family homes. Close to 7,000 have become foster children. Recently, state lawmakers introduced new legislation to address some of the problems. 

West Virginia Public Broadcasting spoke with several foster families about their experience. Here are several ways they said they would like to see changes in the foster care system. 

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?

Richard Ojeda
Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography file photo

A former Department of Veterans Affairs employee has been sentenced to six months in prison for leaking the medical records of Richard Ojeda as the former Army major was running for Congress in West Virginia.

Jeffrey Miller of Huntington was sentenced Tuesday in federal court. Miller, 40, had pleaded guilty to accessing the medical records of six veterans when he was working for the VA’s benefits administration.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, energy and environment reporter Brittany Patterson spoke with Angie Rosser, Executive Director of the West Virginia Rivers Coalition, and Dave McMahon, of the West Virginia Surface Owners' Rights Organization, during last night’s episode of The Legislature Today.

W.Va. Schools Chief: Plan To Cut History Classes Should Be History

Jan 22, 2020
West Virginia Department of Education

West Virginia's public schools superintendent wants the state Board of Education not to reduce the number of social studies courses required for high school graduation.

Superintendent Steve Paine said in a statement Monday that he will make the recommendation based on an overwhelming response to the proposal.

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.

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. 

This year at the Legislature, energy and environment issues will no doubt be hot topics of debate. From water quality regulations to natural gas to the state's coal industry — tell us what YOU want to know more about.

Your question might be selected as the topic of a news report during this legislative session.

Adobe Stock

A project to expand rural broadband in five north-central West Virginia counties will get $18.7 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, officials announced.

The $25 million project will connect more than 6,000 households in Harrison, Doddridge, Lewis, Barbour, and Upshur counties to high-speed internet, news outlets reported. Remaining funds for the project will come from private investment.

Members of the Coast Guard stand near seized cocaine Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, in Los Angeles.
Chris Carlson / Associated Press file photo

Alarmed by a deadly new twist in the nation’s drug addiction crisis, the government will allow states to use federal money earmarked for the opioid epidemic to help growing numbers of people struggling with meth and cocaine.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, as part of our occasional series “Wild, Wondering, West Virginia,” Lana Lester, of Wyoming County, submitted this question to Inside Appalachia: “Could West Virginia Be Self-Sustaining?”

She said she, “always had the feeling that God Blessed West Virginia with all of our natural resources, and we have everything there in the state to survive.”

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.

Updated at 4:40 p.m. ET

Thousands of gun ownership enthusiasts and armed militia members gathered at the Virginia State Capitol on Monday for a rally aimed at quashing new gun restrictions. The rally ended without any violence, but Richmond remains under a state of emergency and Gov. Ralph Northam's temporary ban on weapons on Capitol grounds will remain in place until Tuesday.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, The Legislature Today host Suzanne Higgins speaks with Gov. Jim Justice, who appeared on the show last week. Their talk touched on a number of issues, but one they discussed at length -- the future of healthcare in West Virginia. We hear an excerpt from the interview, taped live from the Capitol building in Charleston.

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.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we talk with psychologist Carol Dweck on building resilience in ourselves and our neighbors. She compares the tradition of barn raising to emotional support we can offer each other, to not lose hope. We also take a look at the newly created West Virginia Narcotics Intelligence Unit and we bring you this week’s Mountain Stage Song of the Week.

The Clorox Company

The Clorox Company says it plans to build a new manufacturing facility that would employ 100 workers in West Virginia.

Company officials told The Journal that they took the first step in the process of locating to the area by filing draft plans with the Berkeley County planning commission. Plans call for the plant to be located in the Tabler Station Business Park.

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.

Ted S. Warren / Associated Press File Photo

The federal Transportation Security Administration said Wednesday that the number of guns found at West Virginia airports nearly doubled last year.

The agency on Wednesday said officers stopped 18 firearms at airport checkpoints last year, up from 10 guns in 2018. The Tri-State Airport and Yeager Airport accounted for most of the weapons.

voting, voter, voting booth, voting machine
U.S. Department of State

Many voters casting ballots in West Virginia in 2020 will do so on new voting machines.

Secretary of State Mac Warner announced Wednesday, Jan. 15, that the state has used a $6.5 million federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) grant to help upgrade voting systems, Charleston Gazette-Mail reported.

Adobe Stock images/WVPB graphic

According to the Secretary of State’s website, 18 people filed financial disclosures last year declaring their intention to run for governor against incumbent Republican Jim Justice. The official period to file just began in the state, and candidates have until Jan. 25 to get their paperwork submitted to the Secretary of State’s website. West Virginia's primary election is May 12. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the House of Delegates passed a bill known as the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. 

The measure calls on doctors to use “reasonable medical judgement” in the event of an unsuccessful abortion. It passed with bi-partisan support.

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.

Updated at 6:15 p.m. ET

A federal judge in Maryland has blocked the Trump administration's executive order allowing state and local governments to turn away refugees from resettling in their communities.

West Virginia Senate President Mitch Carmichael
Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

West Virginia Senate President Mitch Carmichael is against a proposal to explicitly bar discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, the Republican said in a statement Tuesday, Jan. 14.

Carmichael had taken a neutral stance on the bill after drawing criticism for meeting with a group of activists about the legislation. He now says the current bill doesn't do enough to protect religious liberties.

Updated at 6:30 p.m. ET

The House of Representatives has delivered articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate, which is expected to begin a trial next week.

Earlier in the day, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi named seven Democratic members of Congress as the managers who will argue the case for impeachment.

Those managers brought the articles to the Senate on Wednesday evening.

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