Special Session

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.

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

Gov. Jim Justice has made two appointments to the Legislative Compensation Commission, which he has asked to limit West Virginia lawmakers' pay to five days for any special session needed to pass a state budget.

According to the governor's office, the commission has authority make salary recommendations. Justice has proposed legislation to cap legislator pay at five days during a special session.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the House of Delegates quickly approved a bill Sunday evening to provide $85 million in state aid to flood victims in 12 counties declared federal disaster areas in June.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin will call lawmakers into a special session Sunday evening to consider legislation that will help the state continue to cleanup and recover from June’s historic flooding. 

Gov. Tomblin issued the proclamation Friday convening a special session beginning Sunday evening at 6pm. Lawmakers will only be able to consider two pieces of legislation, according to the session call.

West Virginia Legislature

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is urging county school boards to tally their flood damages quickly so he can call a special session later this month to address flood costs.

Tomblin told reporters Wednesday that school damages will be key in determining whether the cash-strapped state has to foot 25 percent of flood costs, or just 10 percent.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

 

 

After more than three months of a budget impasse and 16 days until a potential shutdown of state government, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. That light comes in the form of Monday's completion of a tobacco tax increase and the passage of the budget in the House of Delegates.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has a proposal to offset health premium increases for state employees, retirees and teachers.

Tomblin said Sunday he'd introduce legislation with $15 million extra for Public Employee Insurance Agency beneficiaries if the GOP-led Legislature passes his tobacco tax increase.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

  Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has added an additional bill to his special session call for state lawmakers to consider- a bill reducing funding for the state infrastructure fund.

Martin Valent / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A spokesman for the House of Delegates says lawmakers will tentatively return to Charleston Saturday to once again work on the state's budget for the 2017 fiscal year.

On Wednesday, Gov. Tomblin vetoed the budget plan approved by lawmakers on June 2. That plan relied on more than $180 million from the state's Rainy Day Fund to help close a $272 million budget gap for the upcoming fiscal year. 

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A spokesman says Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin will veto the Republican-led Legislature's entire budget.

Spokesman Chris Stadelman said Friday that Tomblin will work with lawmakers on a plan that doesn't mortgage West Virginia's future.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Thirteen days into their special session, lawmakers have approved a bill to fund state government for the 2017 fiscal year that relies heavily on one-time monies to close the $272 million budget gap.

The bill moved quickly Thursday, being approved in the Senate on a party line vote, 18-16, in the early evening and receiving a 58-30 vote in the House just a few hours later.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A mere 24 hours after the Senate Finance Committee floated a bill to increase the state’s consumer sales tax by 1 percent, which would bring in $196 million in new revenues to close the $272 million gap in the 2017 budget, the bill died after a 6-10 vote.

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