Mitch Carmichael

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.

The Senate President and House Speaker join us for a conversation about some of the top issues this session, and we take a closer look at medical marijuana with a special report from Senior Statehouse Reporter Dave Mistich.

Mitch Carmichael
Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

As the 2018 midterm election approaches, some West Virginia Senate Republican leaders are making use of a large and influential worldwide public relations firm to aid in messaging about this year’s teacher strike and the economy. The politicians making use of the public relations services, which an independent expenditure political action committee is paying for, are not on this year’s ballot.

People wait in line to bet on the NCAA college basketball tournament at the Westgate Superbook sports book Thursday, March 15, 2018, in Las Vegas. Sports Betting.
AP Photo / John Locher

Following a U.S. Supreme Court decision today, West Virginia is set to have legal sports betting. State lawmakers passed a bill earlier this year in anticipation of the court’s ruling on a case from New Jersey.

On The Legislature Today, an agreement among House and Senate conferees for a five percent pay raise for all of West Virginia’s public employees was announced Tuesday morning. Later that afternoon, both the House and Senate bodies approved HB 4145, giving teachers, school service personnel, and state troopers a five percent raise. Shortly after that, the bill was signed by Governor Jim Justice and will go into effect on July 1, 2018. Teachers erupted over the news that effectively began the end of a 9-day statewide teacher and school personnel work stoppage. Host Andrea Lannom speaks with Senate President Mitch Carmichael to hear the latest.

On The Legislature Today, host Andrea Lannom is joined by Senate President Mitch Carmichael and Senate Minority Leader Roman Prezioso to discuss the latest in the issues over teacher pay and the Public Employee Health Insurance Agency.

West Virginia Governor's Office

The bickering that has persisted at the statehouse since the end of the special session between Gov. Jim Justice and legislative leaders continued at the Capitol Wednesday, this time over restrooms.

Justice’s Office sent another statement Wednesday morning - one of many released over the past few weeks - criticizing members of the Legislature for their funding priorities.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

West Virginia's top state senator has lost his other job as a Frontier Communications executive, which follows legislation authorizing some new competition for the internet provider.

Senate President Mitch Carmichael, a Jackson County Republican, says he was laid off two weeks ago after six years as a sales manager for West Virginia's dominant provider.

Perry Bennet / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Both the House and Senate gaveled in around 11 am Monday, but without the final version of a new tax reform bill, delayed their action into the afternoon, and then into Tuesday.

Senate President Mitch Carmichael said the legislation was sent by the Governor’s Office to bill drafting—an arm of the state’s legislative services division—but was in the wrong format and staffers needed additional time.

Perry Bennet / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Senate President Mitch Carmichael believes lawmakers are getting close to a budget deal after taking a 10-day recess from the special budget session called by Gov. Jim Justice at the beginning of the month.

The Legislature returned to session May 4 for two days, but when they were unable to reach a compromise, recessed and will return Monday, May 15.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Senate President Mitch Carmichael says legislative leaders and the Governor are inching closer to a budget deal that he's "optimistic" can be approved by next week.

Carmichael says that budget deal will be based on a tax reform plan approved in the Senate last week that was voted down twice in the House.

Perry Bennet / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Lawmakers are postponing work on the 2018 state budget another week after the House of Delegates voted to kill a tax reform measure presented by members of the Senate and Gov. Jim Justice.

The Senate voted 32 to 1 Friday afternoon in favor of the tax reform bill that was then killed in a 59 to 34 vote in the House shortly after.

Editor's Note: This is a developing story. For more, visit our live blog on the latest from the final night of the Legislature's Regular Session. 

Just two hours before the end of the 60th and final day of the 83rd West Virginia Legislature's First Regular Session, Governor Jim Justice said he and Senate President Mitch Carmichael have struck a deal to run a revenue bill that would help push through a budget before midnight.

“To just tell it like it is, I’ve been really pessimistic for the last 36 hours. Until about 2 o’clock today. About 2 o’clock today, the momentum changed and all of the sudden there became a real hope and real optimism,” said Justice during a 10 p.m. Saturday news conference in the Governor’s Reception Room.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

While Republican legislative leaders haven’t unveiled an actual bill, they have unveiled a more detailed plan for balancing the state’s budget. Senate President Mitch Carmichael and House Speaker Tim Armstead announced those plans during a press conference Monday

The plan is based on a premise Carmichael calls "novel" in state government: spending only the amount of money the state actually has. 

On The Legislature Today, House Speaker Tim Armstead and Senate President Mitch Carmichael say their chambers are still diligently working on plans to balance the 2018 budget, but the $497 million gap estimated by the Governor's Office for the coming fiscal year, Carmichael calls it a number inflated by Gov. Jim Justice's want to increase spending. 

Carmichael discusses the Senate's push to "hold the line" on spending while still providing vital government services. 

Armstead says while he would like approve a budget in a bi-partisan fashion, he believes Republican members of his chamber are ready to make the tough decisions when it comes to downsizing government, which likely means laying off state workers. 

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice accepts a ball cap from Fairmont State University President Maria Rose after giving a speech during a stop on his Save Our State Tour on Thursday, March 3, 2017, at FSU.
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Governor Jim Justice made a stop at Fairmont State University on Thursday as part of his Save Our State tour, a statewide tour to promote his budget plan. 

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Legislative leaders on both sides of the aisle are reacting to Gov. Jim Justice’s announcement Tuesday that the state’s bond rating had been downgraded by the third national rating agency in a year.

Moody’s dropped the state’s rating from AA1 to AA2.

On The Legislature Today, Senate President Mitch Carmichael has created a committee focused on restructuring the state's tax code and says its goal is to get rid of the state's income tax. 

Carmichael discusses his newly formed committee and his goals as the newly elected Senate President.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia House and Senate met for the first day of the 2017 regular state Legislative session Wednesday.

 

The first official day of the 83rd West Virginia Legislative session began as House Speaker Tim Armstead and Senate President Mitch Carmichael gaveled in Wednesday.

 

 


Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The leader of West Virginia's Senate says lawmakers will consider overhauling the state's tax structure this year, including a possible shift from an income tax to a consumption tax.

Senate President Mitch Carmichael says he has appointed a special committee to examine possible revisions with its report expected in about two weeks.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

West Virginia Senate President Mitch Carmichael says he supports new Gov. Jim Justice's proposal to cut the state government's education bureaucracy.

Carmichael, leader of the Republican-controlled Senate, says it's "encouraging" to see a governor ready to make wholesale changes to the education system, something he says legislators have been trying for.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin during his farewell address Wednesday in the House of Delegates chamber.
Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

For the past six years each January, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has returned to the chamber where he began his political career to address members of the Legislature, Board of Public Works, Justices of the Supreme Court and citizens of the state of West Virginia.

Martin Valent/Perry Bennet / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Optimism. That’s the key to moving the state of West Virginia forward, according the newly elected Senate President and House Speaker.

The 83rd Legislature gaveled in for the first time Wednesday to elect chamber leaders and take their oaths of office, hearing for the first time as a body from the men who will lead them through the upcoming Legislative session.

Martin Valent/Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia Senate will have a new leader come February, but it appears legislative priorities on both sides of the Capitol rotunda will remain the same. 

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

This weekend, members of the West Virginia Legislature will return to Charleston for their December interim meetings.

Democrats and Republicans from the House and Senate will meet behind closed doors Sunday separately to choose the next Senate President and House Speaker, and the two chamber minority leaders, all influential posts.

But with a Democratic governor and a Republican majority in both legislative chambers, there’s one position that seems to control policy a little more than the others: West Virginia's next Senate President.

Gage Skidmore

Two of the Republican Party's top leaders have hesitated to support a bill that would preserve the pensions and health care benefits for thousands of retired union coal miners.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump are both popular in Appalachian coal communities. But McConnell in the past has blocked a bill that would rescue the pensions and health benefits of more than 13,000 retired coal miners in Kentucky. Trump has been silent on the bill, which Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has endorsed.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A bill to remove the permitting and safety training requirements to carry a concealed weapon in West Virginia is just one vote away from becoming law.  

Delegates voted 64 to 33 to override Governor Tomblin's veto of House Bill 4145 Friday morning.

Martin Valent / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Berkeley County Democrat Sen. John Unger has dropped his lawsuit against Senate President Bill Cole after "reaching an agreement" with Senate Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael Thursday.

Unger filed a lawsuit in Kanawha County Circuit Court after Senate leadership announced they would hold floor sessions, including votes on bills, both Saturday and Sunday this week.

West Virginia Legislative Photography

State Senate Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael says he will contend for the Senate presidency in 2017.

The Jackson County Republican told The Associated Press about his plans Tuesday.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Interim meetings at the state capitol are usually laid back. Lawmakers attend their meetings and sometimes meet with a spare group of lobbyists and constituents.

Sunday, however, the House Government Organization Committee Room was overflowing. Men and women in union t-shirts filled the audience seats, the hallway and even the stairwells outside. What drew the crowd? A proposed piece of legislation that would make West Virginia a Right to Work state.

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