Special Session

W.Va. Senate Adjourns, Ending Special Session On Education

Sep 23, 2019
Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

West Virginia's special session is officially over.

The Senate adjourned the education-focused session after a brief meeting Monday, capping a gridlocked legislative overtime where lawmakers approved a sweeping GOP plan to allow the state's first charter schools despite heavy protests from teachers.

Hanshaw, Harrison
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography


The West Virginia House of Delegates will return to the state Capitol to finish up work on their first special session of the year. 

House Speaker Roger Hanshaw sent a letter Monday to delegates, calling on them to return to Charleston next week. 

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Despite tornado warnings and a brief recess in which lawmakers and the public were evacuated downstairs at the Capitol, the West Virginia Senate voted Monday to pass a controversial omnibus bill that could most notably lead to the state’s first charter schools. Senators fast-tracked the bill by suspending rules that would normally require they read the bill three times on three separate days. 

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Updated Wednesday, Jun 19, 2019 at 11:40 p.m. 

The West Virginia House of Delegates has passed its version of a long, sweeping and controversial education reform measure. The bill, which is the latest in a series of omnibus proposals, cleared the lower chamber Wednesday on a 51-47 vote after delegates considered amendments on third reading.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia House of Delegates has advanced its own omnibus education bill and is getting set for a vote on the complex and controversial measure. The measure moved forward during a Tuesday floor session in which teachers lined the galleries to watch the proceedings.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography


With hundreds of teachers, school service personnel and other supporters spread across the capitol complex Monday, the West Virginia House of Delegates began its work on a special session focused on overhauling public education. Monday offered a flurry of activity in the House of Delegates, with floor sessions and committee meetings illustrating a mostly partisan divide -- and majority Republicans unveiling new proposals.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Updated Monday, June 3, 2019 at 1:40 p.m.

 

The West Virginia Senate has passed a complex and controversial education reform bill that contains anti-strike provisions that say teachers can be fired for walking off the job and allows for the state’s first charter schools. The upper chamber also passed a measure creating education savings accounts, another controversial issue touted by majority Republicans.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography


The West Virginia Senate has adopted an amendment that would allow teachers to be fired or have their pay withheld for going on strike. That change, among others, was made Sunday, June 2, to a long and controversial education reform bill that will be up for a Senate vote Monday.

John Raby / AP Photo

West Virginia Senate President Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson, held a news conference Thursday to boost support for his sweeping education reform package, but questions remain over how long the upper chamber will take to approve those proposals.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Republican leaders in the West Virginia Senate have rolled out their latest plan for education reform. The 144-page bill, dubbed the “Student Success Act”, was released Friday afternoon by Senate President Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson.

“This bill boldly incorporates many suggestions and recommendations from the education forums that were held throughout the state,” Carmichael said in a Friday statement. “It reflects the input of teachers, students, and parents. There is widespread recognition that our state’s education system can be improved.”

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Issues related to public education lingered heavily in the background -- and at times worked their way to the front -- of a Monday special session of the West Virginia Legislature.

Senate Education Chair Patricia Rucker and Senate President Mitch Carmichael meet at the podium on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019.
Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

West Virginia lawmakers are scheduled to return to Charleston at 2 p.m. on Monday to reconvene a special session on education betterment that was called months ago. But Republican leaders have yet to agree on exactly what kinds of reforms will be considered. So instead of focusing on education, the special session will likely address bills Governor Jim Justice vetoed on technical grounds.

classroom
Arria Belli / Wikimedia Commons

Unions representing teachers and school service workers in West Virginia are calling for an upcoming special legislative session on education to be canceled.

West Virginia Senate Education Committee chairwoman Patricia Rucker, left, and Senate President Mitch Carmichael speak in the Senate chambers at the state Capitol Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019.
John Raby / AP Photo

West Virginia lawmakers will reconvene next week in a special session on education.

 

House of Delegates Speaker Roger Hanshaw and Senate President Mitch Carmichael announced Monday that the special session will resume at 2 p.m. May 20.

Sen. Patricia Rucker, R-Jefferson, gives her opening remarks during the 2019 Legislative Wrap Up Breakfast in Martinsburg.
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A special session to address education in West Virginia is just around the corner, and lawmakers from the Eastern Panhandle are making plans to reintroduce controversial legislation next month.

classroom
Arria Belli / Wikimedia Commons

Public roundtable forums on education in West Virginia are complete and now state officials will examine the information to offer for a special legislative session to address school issues.

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.

Tyler Evert / AP Photo

Gov. Jim Justice has called a special session to begin as soon as the 60-day regular legislative session ends Saturday. According to the governor, the special session will focus on “education betterment” with focus on a promised pay raise for teachers and service personnel, as well other aspects of the public education system.

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.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

West Virginia lawmakers have begun the rare process of deciding whether impeachment proceedings are necessary just days after a state Supreme Court justice was charged in a 22-count criminal indictment.

The House Judiciary Committee met without taking action Tuesday. Earlier the House of Delegates voted to have the committee investigate any justice but decided against setting a deadline.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we’ll hear from students, like Alex Bridges, who helped record 25 oral histories with people across West Virginia, as part of a summer folklore class. We’ll also hear the latest from the statehouse after Gov. Jim Justice issued a special session of the W.Va. Legislature on possible Supreme Court impeachments.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography


West Virginia lawmakers wrapped up work on a special legislative session Monday afternoon. The House and Senate completed eight bills, including technical clean-ups to legislation passed during the regular session, as well as supplemental appropriations.

 

Although lawmakers fast-tracked the measures on Gov. Jim Justice’s special session call, Delegates debated House Bill 101 for nearly an hour. The bill creates the Department of Arts, Culture and History.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice talks about his budget proposal during a stop on his Save Our State Tour on Thursday, March 3, 2017, at Fairmont State University.
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Updated: May 21, 2018 at 2:30 p.m.

 

Gov. Jim Justice has issued a call for a special session that will coincide with May interims. Lawmakers are being asked to address clean-ups to various bills passed during the 2018 session.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the Senate have approved a budget for the upcoming fiscal year -- for a second time this week.

 

The bill they approved Tuesday contains no new revenue for 2018 and makes major cuts to both higher education and Medicaid in order to find a balance, but the new version of the budget bill approved Thursday night is accompanied by yet another tax reform bill that now has bi-partisan support in the state’s upper chamber.

West Virginia Governor's Office

Gov. Jim Justice said Wednesday the budget proposals being considered in both the House and Senate are wrong for West Virginia and will result in major cuts that hurt vulnerable citizens, but with a deadline to approve a budget in time to avoid a government shutdown quickly approaching, Justice said he would consider signing the budget sent to him. 

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Wednesday, members of the House of Delegates approved their own version of a budget for the upcoming 2018 fiscal year—a budget that, much like the one approved earlier in the week in the Senate, does not include any new revenue from various tax reform measures debated between the two chambers for weeks.

Instead, the House used the increased revenue estimate sent this week by Gov. Jim Justice’s Office to members of the Senate as the base for its $4.225 billion budget.

Perry Bennet / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the Senate’s Finance Committee were presented with some hard numbers Tuesday about the impacts their tax reform plan will have on the overall state budget.

The chamber has presented and voted on similar plans over the last several months, and, even with a clear message from the House that Delegates won’t support the measure, the upper chamber will likely vote on an almost identical bill again Wednesday. 

West Virginia Governor's Office

Gov. Jim Justice expanded the special session call for the second time Tuesday, May 23, adding seven more bills – including his budget for the 2018 fiscal year.

The executive message with those bills was read in the Senate Tuesday morning, but not introduced. The bills were referred to committees in the House during its afternoon floor session.

West Virginia Governor's Office

As members of the West Virginia Legislature return to Charleston Monday to continue their work on the 2018 budget, Gov. Jim Justice has added two bills to the special session call.

The first of those bills is to increase the consumer sales and use tax on motor vehicles. 

The second is bill to allow the governor to furlough state employees in the wake of a financial emergency, or a government shutdown.

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.

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