West Virginia Legislature

vote, voting, polls
Jeff Gentner / AP Photo

Starting this year, West Virginians must show identification before they can vote in an election.

A law passed by the Legislature last year took effect Monday. For any election, voters in West Virginia have to present a valid form of ID or have another registered voter vouch for them under oath.

Charles Town, Jefferson County, Charles Washington Hall, Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office is presenting a training session on a tax credit program and changes that become effective in January.

Charles Town, Jefferson County, Charles Washington Hall, Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

During a special session of the West Virginia Legislature in October, lawmakers passed a bill that makes redeveloping historic buildings in the state more viable, financially. The bill had widespread support from both sides of the aisle, but some are concerned it doesn’t go far enough.

The Capitol building in Charleston, West Virginia.
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Governor Jim Justice has appointed a teacher and radio broadcaster from Lewisburg to West Virginia's House of Delegates.

October 27, 1879: W. Va. Attorney General Howard Lee Born in Wirt County

Oct 27, 2017
Wikimedia commons / North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

West Virginia Attorney General Howard B. Lee was born in Wirt County on October 27, 1879. After graduating from Marshall College, now Marshall University, Lee taught school in Putnam County. Then, while studying law at Washington and Lee University, he was elected as a Republican to the West Virginia Legislature.

The Capitol building in Charleston, West Virginia.
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Legislature has passed a bill to exempt military retirees from paying personal state income taxes.

The bill easily passed the House of Delegates and later the Senate on Tuesday, Oct. 17, during the Legislature’s special session. It would exempt from state income tax any federal retirement income from the regular armed services, reserves and National Guard.

Steve Herber / Associated Press

A West Virginia legislative committee dedicated to flooding has been warned the state needs a more comprehensive way to fund stream gauges, which provide data needed to help warn residents of impending high waters.

Buck Jennings

D.R. "Buck" Jennings has been appointed to the West Virginia House of Delegates.

Gov. Jim Justice announced Jennings' appointment Tuesday to the 53rd District seat formerly held by Tony Lewis, who died last month of cancer. The district covers Preston and Tucker counties.

Sept. 22, 1893 - Legislator Elizabeth Simpson Drewry Born in Virginia

Sep 22, 2017
Elizabeth Simpson Drewry
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

Legislator Elizabeth Simpson Drewry was born in Virginia on September 22, 1893. As a young girl, she moved with her family to Elkhorn, where her father owned a barbershop. 

She was educated in the segregated schools of McDowell County and graduated from Bluefield Colored Institute—today’s Bluefield State College. Through her work with national organizations and her church, Drewry advanced community programs for needy children and adults. She stressed issues related to blacks in American society, including the importance of education as a means of racial uplift.

West Virginia House of Delegates
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Gov. Jim Justice has named Republican Dianna Graves to fill a vacant seat in the House of Delegates.

Flickr / davidwilson1949

West Virginia's Board of Funeral Service Examiners fails to protect the public against unscrupulous operators and should be disbanded, according to the Legislature's auditors.

They cited four cases in the past few years where they say the board delayed for many months suspending or revoking funeral directors' licenses despite evidence they had taken customers' advance payments that should have been held in trust.

Sept. 8, 1841: Clarksburg Convention Highlights Education Inequalities

Sep 8, 2017
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

On September 8, 1841, one of the most important education conventions ever held in present West Virginia convened in Clarksburg. At the time, a formal education was virtually unheard for families without money.

In 1829, the Virginia General Assembly had authorized counties to establish school systems but provided little funding. Monroe County opened a free school under this plan but soon discontinued it.

Christopher Payne
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

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.

Courtesy / West Virginia House of Delegates

A member of the West Virginia House of Delegates says she is resigning to tend to her family and her business.According to a release, House Delegate Nancy Reagan Foster announced Sept. 1 that she is stepping down.

Mike Hall
Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has appointed state Sen. Mike Hall as his new chief of staff.

Justice says in a news release that the Putnam County Republican "has a reputation for being able to work with everybody."

Roads, Road, Highway, Turnpike
Seicer / Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia tax authorities report collections rose to $73.6 million for the state road fund in July, the first month of higher taxes and fees to support it, exceeding last year's collections by almost $16 million.

Frontier Communications

Frontier Communications has filed a lawsuit to prevent a section of a bill that the company claims conflicts with federal law and increases the chances of outages for customers.

West Virginia Governor's Office

The Governor’s Office says the state technically ended the previous fiscal year in the black last month, but there is already a deficit in fiscal year 2018. 

The new budget year officially began July 1—less than two weeks ago—and the state is already $11 million short.

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.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Dozens of new laws took effect in West Virginia Friday, three months after the end of the state’s regular Legislative session. 

WVPB

After months of a budget standoff, Governor Jim Justice announced he would allow a budget heavy on cuts and with no tax increases to become law without his signature.

That doesn’t mean he was happy with it.

“I can’t possible sign this,” he said. “They voted against the people of this state. They didn’t hurt me. They hurt the people.”

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Gov. Jim Justice said the legislatively approved budget for the 2018 fiscal year will become law without his signature. 

“I can’t sign this. I can’t possibly sign this," Justice said.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the House are not budging on reforming the state’s tax code the way Gov. Jim Justice and now Senators on both sides of the aisle want to.

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.

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 Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

After yet another day of back and forth between the House and Senate, Speaker Tim Armstead says lawmakers are now close to an agreement on the 2018 budget.

And that agreement could likely come without the passage of any tax reform measures. 

West Virginia Governor's Office

Gov. Jim Justice sat the head of a long table in his conference room Monday afternoon, surrounded by reporters and members of his staff. It’s the same room that nearly three months ago Justice declared his budget war room, inviting members of the Legislature to join him and his staff each morning to hammer out a deal.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of a legislative conference committee will continue their work Monday, trying to come to an agreement over tax reform. The conference committee was assembled Wednesday and, according to Legislative rules, must finish their work by Saturday, but lawmakers voted to suspend those rules Friday, allowing the committee to meet over the weekend. 

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Legislators have assembled a conference committee to work out the final details of a tax reform bill that has been at the center of budget negotiations at the statehouse for months. 

Lawmakers have spent since the end of the regular session in March formally-- and informally-- negotiating the tax reform bill that began in the state Senate. The Senate Republican-backed plan largely aims to repeal the personal income tax in exchange for a higher consumer sales tax.

Perry Bennet / West Virginia Legislative Photography

An audit of the WVOASIS system says the state has wasted millions of dollars on consultants for the computer operating system.

The legislative audit was released to lawmakers during an interim committee meeting Tuesday. 

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