West Virginia Legislature

House Committee Vows to Help Small Business

Jan 27, 2015
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Judiciary chairs Sen. Charles Trump (R) Morgan County and Del. John Shott (R) Mercer County discuss tort reform, non-partisan election of judges and other issues on West Virginia Morning. 

Judiciary Chairs Discuss Tort Reform

Jan 26, 2015

  At the legislature today, a senator from Greenbrier County gave his colleagues an update on the water situation in his district.  A diesel fuel spill has fouled the drinking water for thousands of residents there.  And we’ll sit in on a meeting of the House Committee on Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development to hear how the state assists small business owners.  Also we’ll meet the new chairs of the judiciary committees.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Two West Virginia advocacy groups gathered outside the House of Delegates Thursday to protest a bill they say is unconstitutional. Lawmakers in the chamber have re-introduced the 20 week Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, this year with additional provisions.

The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act makes it illegal for a medical professional in the state to conduct an abortion after 20 weeks except with the woman has a medical emergency.

It also sets up civil and criminal penalties for doctors who do not comply with the ban.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The chair of the Senate Committee on Labor pulled a bill from the committee's agenda Tuesday, Senate Bill 245, a bill that aims to repeal the state's prevailing wage requirement. 

Prevailing wage is a defined hourly wage, overtime and benefits used in government contracts established by regulatory agencies. Once those wage standards are set, anyone bidding on a state government contract must pay workers on their project at that level.

Senate President Bill Cole introduced similar legislation in 2014 repealing the wage requirement and said he still believes in repeal because it would be a cost savings to the taxpayers of West Virginia.

West Virginia Legislature

Senate Bill 256 was introduced to the full chamber Tuesday. Sponsored by Sen. Chris Walters of Putnam County, the bill aims at increasing the number of unexcused absences a student can have before the state court system intervenes.

“Currently, West Virginia has one of the most aggressive numbers and that’s five statewide," Walters said.  "Once a child reaches five unexcused absences then he arrives into the court system and can be placed in a facility.”

Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Members of both the House and Senate Energy Committees took up a bill Thursday repealing a law that’s commonly been referred to as West Virginia’s cap and trade law.

The Alternative and Renewable Energy Portfolio Act of 2009 requires electric utilities in the state to produce 25 percent of their electricity with alternative and renewable energy sources by 2025, meeting benchmarks of ten percent in 2015 and 15 percent in 2020.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  West Virginia lawmakers have begun a 60-day legislative session with Republicans in power for the first time in more than eight decades.

The Senate and House of Delegates gaveled in shortly after noon Wednesday.

As expected, Republican Bill Cole of Mercer County was elected Senate president. Republican Tim Armstead of Kanawha County was chosen as House speaker.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin gave his fifth State of the State Address Wednesday night in the House Chamber before a joint meeting of the legislature as well as the Supreme Court, Constitutional officers and many, many others.

Tomblin touted the financial success the state is seeing from fiscally prudent decisions made in recent years. From the strength of the state’s more than $800 million Rainy Day Fund to the accomplishments in paying off worker’s compensation debt, Tomblin said the state is in good financial health.

Water Quality Effects on Health

Jan 14, 2015
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, incoming legislative leaders tell us what they would like to hear from Governor Tomblin in his State of the State address tonight. And our water quality series continues with a look at the health effects of polluted water.

State Revenues Still in Shortfall

Jan 13, 2015
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Revenue Secretary Bob Kiss gives reporters an overview of the state’s budget challenges and Jessica Lilly continues her series of reports about water quality in southern West Virginia. 

1939 Law Affects the Price for Gas

Jan 12, 2015
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, lawmakers are discussing the price of gasoline in the state.  And Jessica Lilly begins a series of reports about water quality in southern West Virginia.

GOP Lawmakers Get Tips for Running the Legislature

Dec 23, 2014
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Republicans will be chairing committee meetings at the state legislature in January and they need a lesson in the parliamentary procedures to run them.  And we’ll travel to Pocahontas County for a re-telling of the story about a Christmas panther.

Rockefeller Has Harsh Words for Most CIA Directors

Dec 19, 2014
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Sen. Jay Rockefeller has harsh words for many of the CIA Directors he’s known.  Beth Vorhees continues her conversation with the senator about the CIA torture report released last week.  Also, a report about the Common Core curriculum.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, citizens in Fayette County speak out against the Boy Scout Amendment that passed in November.  They tell lawmakers that they fear the amendment will have a negative economic impact for businesses in the county.  And children’s advocates reveal their legislative wish list at the state capitol yesterday.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Ashton Marra explains the practice of “pooling” and how it affects mineral and surface owners in the Marcellus Shale gas region of the state.  And we meet Dr. Patrice Harris, a noted physician in Atlanta who grew up in the coalfields of West Virginia.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Ashton Marra reports from the state capitol where new legislative leaders were chosen yesterday.  And we profile another inspiring West Virginian who was the first to use supercomputers to study the large-scale structure of the universe.

West Virginia Legislature

  Republican lawmakers have chosen a new West Virginia Senate president and House of Delegates speaker.

The West Virginia Republican Party says Mercer County Sen. Bill Cole was named as Senate president and lieutenant governor during a caucus of GOP senators on Sunday. House Republicans named Kanawha County Delegate Tim Armstead as House speaker during their caucus.

In January, Republicans will hold majorities in both the House and the Senate for the first time in eight decades following the November general election.

Morgantown Delays Heavy Truck Ban

Nov 19, 2014
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, the chair of the Public Service Commission responds to a report that the state over regulates public water utilities.  And the city council in Morgantown has decided to delay an ordinance banning certain truck traffic downtown.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller will get a school named after him at West Virginia University.   And we’ll have an update about how the community of Matewan is turning their town around.

The Story of a Seed and a Songbird

Oct 22, 2014
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, operators of public water and sewer systems tell lawmakers that they are over-regulated.  They want the Public Service Commission to ease up.  And Glynis Board has an interesting story about wild ginseng and how a little bird could help the plant survive.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, lawmakers get some advice about how to make campaign finance reporting more transparent.  And we’ll profile Rocket Boy Homer Hickam. 

House of Delegates Mourns the Loss of Oce Smith

Oct 15, 2014
Martin Valent / The West Virginia Legislature

Members of the House of Delegates are mourning the loss of the long time Sergeant-At-Arms who passed away early Tuesday.

Oce Smith was Sergeant-At-Arms Emeritus. He retired in 2012 after 45 years serving the house.

House Speaker Tim Miley today noted Smith's vast knowledge of the legislative process.   Delegate Mike Caputo called him a true Statehouse institution.

Oce Smith lived in Marion County.  Funeral arrangements are pending.

Rules Prioritize Above Ground Tank Inspections

Sep 9, 2014
West Virginia State Capitol
davidwilson1949 / wikimedia Commons

Gov. Tomblin said today that after months of hard work by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, an interpretive rule providing guidance on the implementation of Senate Bill 373, the above ground storage safety law, has been established.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, we’ll meet Dave Tabler who heard so many jokes about being from West Virginia, he began a website and podcast to defend it.  We’ll also meet Uncle Dude of Pocahontas County.  His nephew explains how his uncle mastered bluegrass music after contracting polio as a child.  Ashton Marra reports on Gov. Tomblin's new effort to reform the state's juvenile justice system. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

What does the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling about Virginia's gay marriage ban mean for West Virginia? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency begins a week of public hearings about it's Clean Power Plan and business owners in Huntington think about what to do next after a large fire Sunday in a building downtown. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Part two of our report on the Veterans to Agriculture Program, giving returning soldiers a chance for therapeutic work.  Public policy workshops give citizens a chance to voice concerns about legislative issues. Marshall University's Forensic Science program gets a high national ranking and in Princeton, cruising is making a comeback as a way of revitalizing the downtown area.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  The West Virginia Legislature is taking a road trip this summer.

House Speaker Tim Miley announced Tuesday lawmakers will convene a three-day interim session at the Bridgeport Conference Center and other area locations in August. He said legislators will also make a number of stops along Interstate 79 and throughout Harrison, Marion and Monongalia counties.

Miley says the interim sessions in north-central West Virginia will provide an opportunity for legislators from around the state to get a better understanding of the region, especially the oil and gas boom.

Flickr / davidwilson1949

West Virginia lawmakers will study 76 wide-ranging topics in committee meetings that lead up to their annual legislative session in January.

This year's interim committee topics include a study on the craft beer business, possible commuter rail service and a possible tax break for coal producers selling to in-state buyers who increase their purchases.

They will also delve into contamination issues with water supplies and feasibility of toughening campaign finance disclosure requirements.

An Eastern Panhandle city and another city in the Kanawha Valley will seek to participate in the state's Municipal Home Rule Pilot Program.
 
 The Martinsburg City Council and the Nitro City Council both approved ordinances on Tuesday authorizing the submission of applications to the program.
 

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