Government

Sentencing Set for Ex-W.Va. Supreme Court Justice

Mar 6, 2019
WV Supreme Court of Appeals

A former West Virginia Supreme Court justice is due in court for sentencing for using a state vehicle and gas fuel card for a golf trip to Virginia.

Ex-Justice Menis Ketchum’s sentencing is scheduled for Wednesday, March 6, in federal court in Charleston.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia is one of several states with a so-called “second chance” law. It lets people with a felony criminal record appeal to a judge to reduce their charge to a misdemeanor. The goal? To help them find work.

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A controversial bill that would have allowed concealed weapons on West Virginia college and university campuses was defeated Tuesday in a Senate committee.

House Bill 2519 was voted down 7-9 in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Republican Sens. Charles Clements, of Wetzel County, and Ryan Weld, of Brooke County, joined Democrats to stop it from advancing to the floor.

Richard Vogel / AP Photo

The West Virginia Legislature has cleared a bill that provides a banking solution for the state’s medical cannabis program. The measure passed the Senate unamended, which sends the bill to Gov. Jim Justice.

The Senate passed House Bill 2538 on a 29-4 vote. Republican Sens. Mike Azinger (Wood), Donna Boley (Pleasants), Rollin Roberts (Raleigh) and Eric Tarr (Putnam) voted against the measure.

A long-sought funding formula for higher education will have to wait even longer. Host Suzanne Higgins speaks with two delegates – both members of Gov. Jim Justice’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Higher Education – who provide us with an update. We also bring you the latest legislative action from the statehouse.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, on last night’s episode of “The Legislature Today,” discussion was focused on racism and discrimination. This was in reaction to the anti-Muslim poster and materials displayed during West Virginia’s GOP Day at the Capitol last Friday. Host Suzanne Higgins spoke with three of West Virginia’s faith leaders: Rabbi Victor Urecki, Father Brian O'Donnell, and Ibtesam Sue Barazi, Vice President of the Islamic Association of West Virginia. We hear an excerpt from the interview.

The fallout continues from an anti-Muslim poster and materials displayed Friday during West Virginia’s GOP Day at the Capitol. Host Suzanne Higgins speaks with leaders of three religions – Islam, Judaism, and Christianity – who all say the issues of racism and discrimination go far deeper than Friday's events.

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Facebook says it’s going to help expand broadband internet in West Virginia.

The social media company announced a plan Monday, March 4, to build a high-capacity fiber optic cable network in the state that internet providers will then be able to access.

Mike Caputo
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A Democratic member of the West Virginia House of Delegates who was at the center of Friday’s explosive events has been removed from his committee assignments for the remainder of the legislative session.

Del. Mike Caputo, D-Marion, was informed Monday he will not serve out the remainder of the  session on the Energy, Government Organization, Industry and Labor and House Rules committees. He was notified of that in action in a letter from House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay. 

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The former sergeant at arms of the West Virginia House of Delegates broke her silence Sunday after an explosive moment Friday in the rotunda just outside the chamber that led to her resignation.

Anne Lieberman, the ousted House Sergeant at Arms, posted on Facebook that she disputes the allegation that she called all Muslims “terrorists.” She also says she has been threatened online since Friday.

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.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Updated March 2, 2019 at 12:17 p.m.

 

Anti-Muslim sentiments seen just outside of the West Virginia House of Delegates Friday caused an explosive day in and around the chamber, which led to the resignation of a staff member, an injury and possible disciplinary action against a Democratic member.

alcoholic beverages
wikimedia / Wikimedia Commons

West Virginians can now buy liquor on Sundays.

Republican Gov. Jim Justice on Thursday signed a measure allowing stores to sell liquor on Sundays after 1 p.m.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this A bill to modify West Virginia’s foster care system – House Bill 2010 – would transition the system to a managed care model. The issue has sparked debate at the statehouse and the state. On last night’s episode of “The Legislature Today,” Health Reporter Kara Lofton brought both sides of the issue together to have a discussion about the bill and ways to meet in the middle.

Emotions ran high in the House of Delegates late Wednesday evening as HB 2519 – the Campus Self Defense Act – came to the floor after a day of procedures that took it off and then back on the House’s active calendar. We recap the night’s action, and we take a special look at foster care.

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West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has signed legislation requiring students to take computer science classes before graduating high school.

Justice held a ceremonial bill signing Thursday, Feb. 28, at Cranberry-Prosperity Elementary School in Beckley.

W.Va. Judge Strikes Down Key Portions of So-Called Right-to-Work Law

Feb 28, 2019
Adobe Stock images / WVPB illustration

A judge on Wednesday sided with labor unions in striking down key portions of West Virginia’s so-called right-to-work law, including those that allowed workers to stop paying union dues.

Kanawha County Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey made the ruling in a lawsuit filed by the state chapter of the AFL-CIO and other unions. The judge said some provisions of the 2016 law violated the state constitution.

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A bill that sought to place work or other requirements on Medicaid recipients in West Virginia has died in the House of Delegates.

A House committee put the bill on its inactive calendar Wednesday, Feb. 27, the final day that legislation could be passed in their chamber of origin. The full House earlier Wednesday debated the bill but stopped short of voting on it, and did not take up the bill during a late evening session before adjourning.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the very first Senate bill introduced this session is awaiting action in the House Finance Committee. Senate Bill 1 would provide the “last dollar in” to in-state students seeking education from a community and technical college in West Virginia.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A bill that would allow for concealed weapons on college campuses in West Virginia cleared the House of Delegates just before an important legislative deadline. The measure, which saw a back and forth on the House active calendar on Crossover Day, ultimately passed on a 59-41 vote.

It’s Day 50, Crossover Day, and the last day for Senate bills to get out of the Senate, and for House bills to get out of the House. This determines whether those bills are to survive this session. We recap the day’s action, and we also look at the latest on SB 1 – the “last dollar in” community and technical college bill.

Did opioid overdose deaths in West Virginia fall by 8.5%?

Feb 27, 2019
AP

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., offered a note of optimism about her state’s struggle with opioid addiction in a Jan. 22 tweet.

Capito tweeted, "Thanks to successful federal, state, and local efforts, preliminary statistics show opioid overdose deaths are down 8.5% in West Virginia. Awesome news!"

Is this statistic correct? Capito’s office did not respond to several inquiries, but we were able to find data that addresses the question.

Oxfordian Kissuth / wikimedia Commons

The West Virginia Senate has passed a bill that would raise the state's minimum legal age for using tobacco products from 18 to 21.

The Senate passed the bill on a 20-14 vote Wednesday. The bill covers all tobacco and vaping products. A similar bill is pending in a House committee.

A bill that would revive film production tax credits in West Virginia has passed the House of Delegates.

Last year Gov. Jim Justice signed legislation ending the state's program after an audit showed the $5 million in annual credits produced little economic benefit.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Updated Wednesday, February 27, 2019 at 4:30 p.m.

A bill that would allow for concealed weapons on college campuses in West Virginia is now back into play, with the House Rules Committee reversing course on whether the measure would be placed on the chamber’s active calendar.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Gov. Jim Justice’s bill to give a 5 percent pay raise to teachers, state employees, and state police passed the West Virginia House of Delegates last week, but the Senate has yet to take it up. On last night’s episode of “The Legislature Today,” host Suzanne Higgins spoke with Senate President Mitch Carmichael and Senate Minority Leader Roman Prezioso about the bill. We hear an excerpt from the interview.

Wednesday is crossover day, meaning it’s the last day for the West Virginia House of Delegates and Senate to consider bills on third reading, or voting stage, in their chamber of origin. Host Suzanne Higgins speaks with Senate President Mitch Carmichael and Senate Minority Leader Roman Prezioso about legislation they hoped would make it out and on legislation they still hope to consider.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Senate has cleared a bill that would make changes to the state’s campaign finance laws. While the measure increases the limits on donations to candidates and other political groups, opponents say the bill fails to provide transparency on so-called dark money in elections.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, a controversial Medicaid bill that originated in the House Finance Committee last week was on the amendment stage last night in the West Virginia House of Delegates. House Bill 31-36 would create some work requirements for Medicaid holders. Supporters of the bill say it will help West Virginians get “back to work,” while some in the health community have concerns.

Lawmakers are working weekends and evenings now as we enter the seventh week of the 2019 West Virginia Legislative session. We'll discuss a controversial Medicaid bill that originated in the House Finance Committee. It was reported to the floor at almost the last possible moment for consideration.

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