The Legislature Today

We're potentially just one vote away from having a budget sent to Gov. Jim Justice. It's been a week of early mornings, late evenings and the passage and failure of some notable legislation – and a call for a special session. We’ll bring you the latest in our weekly reporter roundtable.

In a session dominated by an omnibus education bill that ultimately died, lawmakers know officially now that they'll be back for a special session on education. We bring you the latest, and we also speak with the presidents of two state universities.

Assistant News Director Glynis Board leads a discussion with activist Robert Grossman of Morgantown on one of several criminal justice reform bills that have been considered this session. We also bring you the latest updates from the House of Delegates and Senate.

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.

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.

West Virginia Legislative Services

The West Virginia House of Delegates has passed its version of the state budget for 2019-2020 that includes funding for teacher raises.

The House voted 92-5 Saturday afternoon on the $4.6 billion spending bill.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

This week, we've seen a teacher and school workers strike, the death of a massive controversial education bill, and a campus-carry gun bill zoom through the House of Delegates. We bring you up-to-date on all these issues and more.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

This morning we’ll hear about the controversial legislation that would allow students to carry guns on to college campuses. 


With SB 451 – comprehensive education reform – effectively dead, attention now turns to another bill that’s stirring up controversy at the statehouse and around West Virginia. HB 2519 – the Campus Self Defense Act – is on the fast track. The bill would allow people with concealed carry licenses to carry their  guns on college campuses.

W.Va. Tourism event at the West Virginia Capitol on Nov. 14, 2018 celebrating the launch of Fallout 76.
Daniel Walker / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Tourism Day was recognized by the West Virginia Legislature this week. In light of that, we bring you a report on a video game that tourism officials believe makes a positive impact in bringing visitors to West Virginia. By now, you may have heard of Fallout 76 - the latest in the popular line of Fallout video games. It was released last fall with much fanfare by Gov. Jim Justice and the West Virginia Division of Tourism. West Virginia Public Broadcasting spoke with a local gamer, and we bring you this special look inside the video game.

It was the second day of a statewide teacher and service personnel walkout over a comprehensive education reform bill. We bring you up-to-date on the latest action, and we also bring you special reports on black lung-related legislation, economic development, and tourism.

Teachers and school workers were on strike in 54 of West Virginia’s 55 counties Tuesday. But shortly after 12:30 p.m., the controversial education bill, which drove them out of school, was postponed indefinitely by a motion in the House of Delegates. Host Suzanne Higgins and Senior Statehouse Reporter Dave Mistich discuss the action on the bill, and the leaders of the teachers and school service personnel unions join the show to discuss whether the bill could have another shot at passage.

Late in the afternoon on Monday, the West Virginia Senate took up SB 451 – comprehensive education reform – as amended by the House of Delegates. But the upper chamber provided its own amendment to the House’s version. Host Suzanne Higgins and Senior Statehouse Reporter Dave Mistich break down the day’s floor action over the bill and what could come next. We also hear from the chairman and minority chairman of the House Select Committee on Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse.

SB 451 – comprehensive education reform – is now back in the Senate, and the chamber is expected next week to consider the massive bill as amended by the House of Delegates. In this reporter roundtable, host Suzanne Higgins speaks with fellow statehouse reporters on the evolution of SB 451, and we explore other issues moving through the legislative process.

The comprehensive education reform bill passed out of the House of Delegates on a vote of 71 to 29. We’ll recap the day’s action on the bill, and host Suzanne Higgins talks with Randall Reid-Smith, Curator of the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History.

The House of Delegates considered amendments to SB 451 – comprehensive education reform – all day, and they’ve continued their work into the evening. We break down the day’s proceedings, and we have a discussion with the Senate Health Committee over several healthcare bills that are moving through the legislative process.

We turn our attention to agriculture needs in West Virginia. Host Suzanne Higgins chats with Jennifer Greenlief, Assistant Commissioner at the West Virginia Department of Agriculture about the hemp industry in West Virginia, agriculture jobs, and funding needs to the department’s facilities.

Updated on Tues. Feb. 12, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. to include the TV broadcast of "The Legislature Today" from Feb. 11, 2019.

Adobe Stock images / WVPB illustration

The West Virginia House of Delegates is considering changes to Senate Bill 451 – or the education omnibus bill, as it is often referred to. 

This week’s reporter roundtable focuses on the week’s action over SB 451 – comprehensive education reform. We recap what happened with the bill since passing out of the West Virginia Senate on Monday, and where it is now in the committee process over in the House of Delegates.

Delegate Sean Hornbuckle speaks in the West Virginia House.
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia House of Delegates has scheduled a second public hearing on a long, sweeping and controversial education reform bill. Lawmakers decided Friday, Feb. 8, to add a second chance for members of the public to express their thoughts on Senate Bill 451.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Energy and Environment Reporter Brittany Patterson joins us again on The Legislature Today to lead a discussion exploring environmental issues in West Virginia. She brings us a special report from Minden, West Virginia, and she chats with a lawmaker in the House of Delegates who’s also an environmental scientist.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Trump, R-Morgan, and fellow Senate Judiciary member Mike Romano, D-Harrison, join host Suzanne Higgins to chat about some of the recent legislation they’ve considered in committee as well as on the Senate floor. We also breakdown the recent changes to SB 451 – comprehensive education reform – made in the House of Delegates.

We bring you a special report and in-depth discussion on water infrastructure needs in West Virginia. Reporter Caity Coyne of the Charleston Gazette-Mail joins us to explore the issues and discuss two bills moving through the West Virginia Legislature that may address some of the need.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Updated Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019 at 5:04 p.m.

 

It didn’t take long for Democrats in the West Virginia House of Delegates to try to derail a long, sweeping and controversial education reform bill. The measure, which ties pay raises to charter schools, education savings accounts and other provisions the teachers and the leaders of their unions oppose, saw a motion Tuesday, Feb. 5, that attempted to kill the bill.

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