Government

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning: marijuana legislation, residents worried about plastic production, we celebrate some young artists, and we hear a debate about whether the state needs a new tier in the court system.

Gwen Ifill didn't want it to be a big deal.

The legendary journalist knew she'd served as a trailblazer for women and especially a beacon of what is professionally possible for women of color. But in an interview with The New York Times, she said she was eager for the days when it would not seem "like any breakthrough at all" for a black woman to be anchoring a national news program.

And yet, more than three years after her death, Ifill is still making breakthroughs. This time, on a stamp.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia Senate is working to undo a decision by a temporary bench of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals that effectively prevents justices of the state’s high court from being impeached and standing trial. 

Members of the upper chamber’s Judiciary Committee advanced a joint resolution — a potential constitutional amendment — that would remedy the 2018 impeachments that ultimately fizzled out.

A proposal to establish an intermediate court system has passed the Senate Judiciary and is now in Senate Finance. Senior reporter Dave Mistich speaks with Danielle Waltz of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Jonathan Mani, President-Elect of the West Virginia Association for Justice to explore both sides of the issue.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Engineers are increasingly concerned about locks and dams along the Ohio River in this day and age. We take a closer look at this issue and much more on this West Virginia Morning.

It was E-Day at the West Virginia Legislature – a focus on the environment when advocates gather to lobby on behalf of environmental policy. Host Suzanne Higgins speaks with a lawmaker who is also an environmental scientist, to review several environmental related bills.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we revisit some areas hard hit by the historic flood of 2016. We also hear the latest legislative action from the West Virginia statehouse.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee has approved a bill that would create an intermediate appellate court system. But amendments to the proposal Monday changed the way judges would take seats on the proposed bench — now calling for nonpartisan elections rather than gubernatorial appointments. 

Senate Bill 275, which committee members began work on Friday, has appeared in recent legislative sessions but has failed to make its way to the governor’s desk. 

RISE is the state-run and federally funded Flood Recovery Program. The state received $150 million to assist low-income residents needing repair or replacement of their homes following the flood of June 2016. Today, hundreds are still displaced.

We bring you the latest on this program and a discussion with state lawmakers who sit on the Joint Committee on Flooding.

This week lawmakers debated tax breaks, sought remedies for a foster care system in crisis, passed a resolution calling for a convention of states and much more. Host Suzanne Higgins is joined by statehouse reporters to recap a week of legislative action.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we’ll hear about the foster care system, and kinship parents – often grandparents – who are raising their children’s kids.

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.

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