West Virginia Legislature

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

After almost 15 years doing without, revenue dollars are flowing back into West Virginia’s horse and dog racing industries. The legislature came through on a promise made more than a decade ago, and men and women within the racing industry are excited at the possibility of a boom in business. As part of our occasional series, “Effective from Passage,” we explore the potential effects of Senate Bill 13 (SB 13), which went into effect last week.

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.

Eric Nelson
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A longtime Republican member of the West Virginia House of Delegates is vying for a seat in the state Senate. Del. Eric Nelson of Kanawha County made the announcement Tuesday outside the state Capitol.

Flood
Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Legislature’s Joint Committee on Flooding is set to meet Tuesday in Charleston. State lawmakers established the panel following devastating floods in June 2016 that claimed 23 lives and destroyed thousands of homes and businesses.

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.

West Virginia State Flag
Lulla / Dollar Photo Club

On March 8, 1963, the West Virginia Legislature adopted blue and “old gold” as the official state colors.

Many West Virginians think that blue and “old gold” have always been the state colors, but it didn’t occur officially until West Virginia’s Centennial celebration in 1963.

Prior to that, the state often used blue and gold in ceremonies because those were the official colors of West Virginia University. So, when the legislature adopted blue and “old gold,” it came as a surprise to many West Virginians that we didn’t already have official colors.

BridgeValley Community and Technical College is one of nine CTCs in West Virginia.
Daniel Walker / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A bill West Virginia Public Broadcasting followed closely during the 2018 regular state Legislative session could resurface in 2019 – legislation that would offer tuition assistance to in-state students attending a Community and Technical College. Last year, it was often referred to as the "free community and technical college bill," and it would’ve provided the “last dollar in” after all other forms of financial aid had been exhausted.

West Virginia House Majority Leader Daryl Cowles, R-Morgan, studies legislation in a House Finance Committee meeting in 2017.
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

West Virginia lawmakers in the Eastern Panhandle have a long list of issues they hope to tackle in the upcoming state Legislative session, including reintroducing a controversial bill to allow eligible people to carry guns on college campuses.

Outgoing W.Va. Senator Ed Gaunch, R-Kanawha (right), shakes hands with Gov. Jim Justice on Dec. 4, 2018 as he accepts the position of Secretary of Commerce.
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A pair of West Virginia Republican lawmakers who lost reelection bids in November will fill two open cabinet positions.

The West Virginia Supreme Court chamber
West Virginia Judiciary

West Virginia's Supreme Court has effectively halted the legislature's remaining efforts to impeach the state's justices as a violation of the separation of powers doctrine.

WVPB Graphic Illustration

Separate constitutional measures on West Virginia's Nov. 6 ballot would allow lawmakers to restrict or ban tax-payer funded abortions and have some control over the state judiciary's budget.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

West Virginia Lawmakers of both parties are mourning the loss of Republican Del. Frank Deem. The Wood County politician was a fixture at the Capitol for several decades, having served in the Legislature a total of 48 years between the House and Senate.

West Virginia’s first black legislator, Christopher Payne, was born in Monroe County on September 7, 1848. He was raised near Hinton, where he worked as a farmhand. Although he was born a free person of color, he was forced as a teenager to serve as a servant in the Confederate Army during the Civil War.

  

After the war, Payne attended night school in Charleston and taught school in Monroe, Mercer, and Summers counties. He became a Baptist minister and earned a doctor of divinity degree from the State University in Louisville.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography


The House of Delegates has selected Del. Roger Hanshaw as the chamber’s new presiding officer. Hanshaw took the podium over the Democrats’ choice, House Minority Leader Tim Miley.

Roads, Road, Highway, Turnpike
Seicer / Wikimedia Commons

Gov. Jim Justice says motorists can use a website to view ongoing West Virginia road and bridge construction projects.

Justice said Monday the website Drive Forward WV lists details on 600 construction projects across the state.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear about how summer food providers are trying to overcome the challenge of feeding West Virginia kids during the summer months, and we’ll hear the latest on possible impeachment proceedings from the statehouse. These stories coming up on West Virginia Morning.

Thoroughbred horses participating in a race at the Hollywood Casino in Charles Town, W.Va.
Courtesy Photo / Coady Photography

The dog and horse racing industries have played a major role in West Virginia’s economy since the mid-1930s. But in recent years, lawmakers at the statehouse have debated whether these industries fit into the state’s economic future. Those who support the racing industry are fighting to see it survive, while others say it doesn’t bring in revenue like it once did.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, detoxing from drugs is a subject more people than ever throughout the Ohio Valley have experience with… Some people are turning to dietary supplements to help ease that pain. This story and more on this West Virginia Morning.

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.

Money, Cash
2bgr8 / Deviantart

Legislative auditors have expressed concern on how the West Virginia Supreme Court accumulated around $29 million in its excess revenue funds in fiscal year 2012.

Justin Robinson with the legislative auditor's office says the court had $1.4 million in its rainy-day fund in fiscal year 2007. He says the court accumulated $29 million in its rainy-day fund by fiscal year 2012.

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.

Samantha Richards (right), Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer for Patient Care Services, Berkeley and Jefferson Medical Centers speaking with a nurse at Berkeley Medical Center in Martinsburg.
John Hale / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Seventeen health science graduate students from across West Virginia are getting money to help pay for their education.

Why? Because the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission has awarded some health sciences grad students a chunk of cash to help pay for their college education – so long as they commit to practicing medicine in a rural or underserved community in West Virginia following graduation.

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.

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.

Senate Finance Chairman Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, speaking during a Senate floor session.
Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography


State lawmakers from the Eastern Panhandle met Tuesday for the Berkeley County Chamber of Commerce's annual Legislative Wrap-Up Breakfast in Martinsburg, where education and the teacher pay raise took center stage.

April 20, 1963: W.Va. Legislature Meets at the Custom House in Wheeling

Apr 20, 2018
e-WV Encyclopedia / WV Division of Tourism via Steve Shaluta

On April 20, 1963, the West Virginia Legislature met in a special ceremonial session at the old U.S. Custom House in Wheeling.

It marked the 100th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation certifying that West Virginia would become a state.

The legislative event was a turning point for the building, which was more than a century old. During the Civil War, it’d been the capitol of the pro-Union Reorganized Government of Virginia and the location of West Virginia’s statehood debates.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Hundreds of West Virginians travel from the Eastern Panhandle to Maryland or Washington D.C. every weekday for work. These commuters catch the Maryland-based MARC train, or Maryland Area Regional Commuter.

But during this year’s West Virginia Legislative session, lawmakers debated the future of the MARC train in the state.

Maryland threatened to discontinue MARC service to West Virginia unless certain provisions were met.

Daniel Walker / West Virginia Public Broadcasting


For more than 85 years, the West Virginia Capitol building has housed the iconic crystal chandelier, illuminating the rotunda for generations of lawmakers and visitors who pass below -- its presence a fixture in the statehouse.

 

But now, it’s been taken down.

Saturday, March 10, marked the 60th and final day of the 83rd West Virginia Legislature's Second Regular Session. 

Update: March 11, 2018 at 12:31 a.m.

House Bill 4345, which would expand West Virginia’s medical marijuana law by increasing the number of dispensaries and growers, and providing for banking facilities related to the industry, died in the final minutes of the 2018 state legislative session. House leadership cited procedural delays in not bringing the bill up for a vote on the floor. The Senate had passed HB 4345 at about 6:30 Saturday evening.

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