Government

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.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On last night’s episode of The Legislature Today, WVPB assistant news director Glynis Board spoke with Felicia Bush. Bush is a founder and CEO of the nonprofit Harmony Mental Health and co-founding member of Handle with Care. She works to implement trauma-informed care across six counties in the state – helping educators respond to students traumatized by the opioid crisis. On this West Virginia Morning, we hear an excerpt from the interview.

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.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, House Bill 2010 would revamp the state’s foster care system – transitioning it into a managed-care model. On Wednesday in the House of Delegates, lawmakers considered amendments to the bill, and it will be up for passage Thursday in the chamber. On last night’s episode of The Legislature Today, host Suzanne Higgins spoke with lead sponsor of the bill Del. Kayla Kessinger about some of the pushback the bill has received since it was introduced. We hear an excerpt from that interview.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia Senate held a more than nine-and-a-half-hour committee meeting Wednesday as an entire body to focus on a long, sweeping and controversial education reform bill. The chamber’s 34-member Committee of the Whole was briefed on the measure, questioned counsel and heard presentations from expert witnesses. The committee has yet to move to the amendment stage or send the bill to the full floor for consideration -- leaving deliberations to continue Thursday.

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.

Is Donald Trump's approval rating highest of all in West Virginia?

Jan 29, 2019
AP Photo

During a recent interview with Bloomberg television, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., was asked about how his constituents feel about the government shutdown and the immigration policy dispute that caused it.

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia officials are warning residents and motorists about possible extreme cold weather this week.

The state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management said Gov. Jim Justice asked it and the National Guard to prepare for cold conditions expected through Thursday.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, a controversial piece of legislation focused on overhauling public education continues to move through the West Virginia Senate. Lawmakers adopted a motion yesterday 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. Dave Mistich has more.

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.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, milk is flooding into food banks across the country. The federal government is buying surplus milk from dairy farmers to help mitigate losses created by trade disputes. Free milk for food banks sounds nice. But is anything really ever free? Glynis Board found some Ohio Valley pantries struggling to put the milk to use.

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.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, after weeks of speculation about 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 health care, but also offer additional components leaders of teacher and service personnel unions oppose. Dave Mistich has more.

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.

Food Aid A Concern As Government Shutdown Affects SNAP Payments

Jan 24, 2019
Mary Meehan / Ohio Valley ReSource

The partial shutdown of the federal government is affecting families depending on the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program program, or SNAP. Benefits for February have come early as a temporary fix to avoid anticipated disruptions should the shutdown drag into another month.

But the leader of God’s Pantry Food Bank in Lexington, Kentucky, said the threat of hunger remains. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s energy and environment reporter, Brittany Patterson, recently visited Summers County. She spoke with a family affected by natural gas pipelines built nearby. Pipeline supporters point to millions of dollars in economic benefits and thousands of jobs. But some residents living in the path of these projects have seen their way of life radically altered.

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.

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.

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