West Virginia Legislature

West Virginia Governor's Office

State revenue officials have released new income projections for the 2018 fiscal year, but are basing those numbers largely on legislation that has yet to be approved by lawmakers during a special session.

Revenue Secretary Dave Hardy released the updated projections for the 2018 fiscal year Tuesday, increasing previous estimates by nearly $170 million.

Perry Bennet / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Gov. Jim Justice spent hours caucusing with House Democrats Monday morning as a special budget session continued at the statehouse. 

House Minority Leader Tim Miley said the governor spent more than two hours discussing his latest plan to balance the 2018 budget.

Perry Bennet / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A group of Republican delegates have introduced a bill to dissolve the greyhound breeders fund, giving lawmakers an additional $14 million to use to balance this year’s budget. 

Perry Bennet / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Budget negotiations are continuing at the Capitol Thursday after a new revenue deal was presented to lawmakers earlier in the week. 

Gov. Jim Justice presented the new revenue bill to lawmakers Tuesday. The plan has been at the crux of budget negotiations between his office and members of both the House and Senate.

Perry Bennet / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Legislative leaders in both the House and Senate have agreed to a 12-day recess in their special budget session while they continue to negotiate a deal with Gov. Jim Justice. 

Members voted to adjourn until June 5, leaving the leaders of both caucuses in both chambers to continue to work on a budget plan.

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.

Perry Bennet / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The Senate's Select Committee on Tax Reform has voted once again to make changes to a revenue bill being floated back and forth between the House and Senate, and the committee chair says members of his caucus will not budge when it comes to their plan to eventually repeal the state's personal income tax.

Perry Bennet / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the House are standing their ground when it comes to tax reform. At least, that’s what House Speaker Tim Armstead said Friday after a vote in the chamber on its own version of a revenue bill.

The bill does not include any of the changes to the personal income tax Senate Republicans and Gov. Jim Justice have agreed to, but Armstead said that doesn’t mean his chamber isn’t still willing to work on a compromise.

Perry Bennet / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the House Finance Committee voted almost unanimously in favor of their version of a revenue bill Thursday afternoon, one that looks drastically different than one the Senate approved earlier this week.

Perry Bennet / West Virginia Legislative Photography

After attempting to rally members of the Senate around his tax reform plan Tuesday, Gov. Jim Justice decided to also formally address members of the House of Delegates Wednesday.

Senators have already approved the measure to significantly alter the state’s tax code, but with only Republican support. Justice largely focused on his disappointment with Senate Democrats in his speech to the House.

Perry Bennet / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The Senate has approved a bill that would drastically restructure the state’s tax code in the hopes of balancing the budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

The plan has the support of Senate Republicans and Democratic Gov. Jim Justice, who switched parties before announcing his bid for the office. The bill is, however, losing its previous support from Democrats and will meet some serious opposition in the House.

Perry Bennet / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Both the House and Senate gaveled in around 11 am Monday, but without the final version of a new tax reform bill, delayed their action into the afternoon, and then into Tuesday.

Senate President Mitch Carmichael said the legislation was sent by the Governor’s Office to bill drafting—an arm of the state’s legislative services division—but was in the wrong format and staffers needed additional time.

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.

Minnie Buckingham
E-WV / WV Humanities Council

  On May 15, 1886, Minnie Buckingham was born in Putnam County. She later moved to Keystone in McDowell County and married E. Howard Harper, who was elected to the legislature in 1926. When Harper died in the middle of his term, the county Republican executive committee unanimously recommended Minnie to replace him. In January 1928, Governor Howard Gore appointed Minnie Buckingham Harper to complete her husband’s term, making her the first African-American woman in U.S. history to serve in a state legislature.

West Virginia Governor's Office

As lawmakers continue negotiating a budget deal at the state Capitol, Gov. Jim Justice took a trip to Greenbrier and Monroe counties this week to host President Donald Trump's son, Don Jr., for a hunting and fishing excursion.

According to a press release issued by the Governor's Office Wednesday, the pair hunted turkey and fished for trout while discussing “the pressing issues facing West Virginia and the United States.”

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Statehouse Reporter Ashton Marra reports from the Capitol after lawmakers returned for a special budget session last week.

And we hear from the Ohio Valley Resource's Mary Meehan who reports on the addiction crisis in the Ohio Valley which is causing another health problem in the region - a heart infection called endocarditis.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Members of the House of Delegates have voted down a bill to overhaul the state’s tax system.

The bill was the key to the governor’s plan to balance the 2018 budget and died on a 59-36 vote Thursday evening.

Daryl Cowles
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Eastern Panhandle lawmakers met for a Legislative Wrap-Up panel in Martinsburg Thursday, and figuring out the 2018 state budget was at the forefront of lawmakers’ minds.

Gov. Justice Vetoes 2018 Budget Bill

Apr 14, 2017
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, host Beth Vorhees talks with producer Roxy Todd about the upcoming series of reports called “The Struggle to Stay” which profiles West Virginians who are considering whether to stay here or leave and Judith Owen is along with our Mountain Stage song of the week.

That’s on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

Perry Bennet / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Gov. Jim Justice has vetoed the budget bill lawmakers approved early Sunday morning.

The bill relies on $90 million from the state’s Rainy Day Fund to find a balance and Justice said signing it would be like signing the state’s death certificate.

2017 Legislative Session Wrap Up

Apr 10, 2017
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Ashton Marra and Liz McCormick join Beth Vorhees in our studio to talk over the final night of the legislative session and highlight some bills that were passed before the Saturday midnight deadline and Appalachian farmers are waiting for the confirmation of President Trump’s Secretary of Agriculture.

That’s on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

Editor's Note: This is a developing story. For more, visit our live blog on the latest from the final night of the Legislature's Regular Session. 

Just two hours before the end of the 60th and final day of the 83rd West Virginia Legislature's First Regular Session, Governor Jim Justice said he and Senate President Mitch Carmichael have struck a deal to run a revenue bill that would help push through a budget before midnight.

“To just tell it like it is, I’ve been really pessimistic for the last 36 hours. Until about 2 o’clock today. About 2 o’clock today, the momentum changed and all of the sudden there became a real hope and real optimism,” said Justice during a 10 p.m. Saturday news conference in the Governor’s Reception Room.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

House Bill 2620, creating the West Virginia Drug Overdose Monitoring Act, would provide an office to gather data about the drug epidemic in West Virginia. Senate Judiciary Chair Charles Trump called that office a “hub.”

This would be a tool for the state to track concerns over drug abuse and overdoses throughout the state, as well as connect with other states to determine how they deal with similar concerns. Sen. Mike Woelfel said it is time for the Legislature to solve the problem.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The House of Delegates has agreed to amendments offered by the Senate to House Bill 3093, a bill that would expand broadband access to the entire state. The bill now heads to Gov. Jim Justice for his signature.

The bill allows for communities to form “internet co-ops.” These cooperatives would work together with a service provider to become their community’s own provider. This provision allows for areas that may not have access to broadband, due to geological issues or other setbacks, to provide internet access to their communities.

Twitter / @wvgovernor

Gov. Jim Justice has announced he will veto a bill that would have effectively put an end to the greyhound racing industry in West Virginia, according to its supporters. 

Justice traveled to Wheeling to announce the veto of Senate Bill 437 Saturday morning.

Saturday, April 8 marks the 60th and final day of the 83rd West Virginia Legislature's First Regular Session. 

Gov. Justice Will Sign Medical Cannabis Act

Apr 7, 2017
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Ashton Marra talks with Governor Jim Justice about the state’s budget dilemma and Margo Price has our Mountain Stage song of the week.

That’s on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Senators have approved a bill that was the subject of intense debate in the House earlier in the session—getting rid of the state’s Women’s Commission-- and once again, the chamber’s female members took a stand supporting the measure. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Governor Justice is disappointed that a budget compromise hasn’t yet been reached by lawmakers and has extended the legislative session by one day to get it done and Liz McCormick and Ashton Marra report on the two budget proposals passed yesterday in the House and Senate.

That’s on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

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