West Virginia 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.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Protect West Virginia and it’s partners gathered on the Capitol steps to denounce the state Legislature’s budget proposals today, arguing that they would be, quote, “disastrous for West Virginia families, businesses and communities.” 

Steven Smith Protect West Virginia representative said, We will not accept any proposal that mortgages the future of our state and hands this problem over to the next generation.”

Budget Bills Up For A Vote In House And Senate

Apr 5, 2017
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, the lead sponsor of the senate bill to legalize medical marijuana says he will accept all the changes the house made to the bill and today’s a big day at the legislature.  Both chambers will vote on their budget bills.

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

Perry Bennet / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Both the House and Senate will be presented with their respective 2018 budget plans on the floor Wednesday, and in the House, that budget will rely on nearly $140 million in new revenue.

The revenue comes from getting rid of certain exemptions to the state’s sales tax in an effort to lower the overall rate down the road.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Senators have approved a House bill that clarifies the state’s telemedicine laws, but also creates a new restriction for certain treatments.

House Bill 2509 makes it clear that doctors can treat certain diseases in minors or adults who are still enrolled in public school. 

House Votes Tuesday on Medical Cannabis Act

Apr 4, 2017
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, a bill to legalize medical marijuana is up for a vote today in the House of Delegates and both the House and Senate revealed state spending plans yesterday.  The Senate relies on cuts while the House budget contains some revenue measures.

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

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Senators on the chamber's Finance Committee were given their first look at the chamber's proposed budget bill Monday, which the chamber’s finance chair says relies almost solely on cuts to find a balance.

The Senate’s budget largely relies on cutting all state agencies across the board by 4 percent, but zeroing out some programs altogether. 

Perry Bennet / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the House Finance Committee have advanced their bill to "broaden the base and lower the rate" of the state's sales tax, a bill that the chamber is relying on to balance its 2018 budget.

Members were initially presented the latest version of Senate Bill 484 Saturday and took the bill up once again Monday morning.

Perry Bennet / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Yet another plan to restructure taxes in West Virginia has been taken up by members of the House of Delegates.

The House Finance Committee was presented with their version of a Senate Bill 484 during a Saturday afternoon meeting.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Senators are considering amendments to a bill that would make it illegal to manufacture and distribute fentanyl in West Virginia, adding it to the state’s list of schedule one drugs.

One Senator, however, thinks the bill may prohibit doctors from prescribing the drug for terminally ill patients, which caused some delay to consideration Friday.

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

West Virginia legislators have voted to tighten limits on lawsuits alleging poor care by nursing homes.

Meanwhile the House has postponed until Saturday voting on the bill to eliminate state funding for greyhound racing and until Monday the bill to legalize medical marijuana.

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

At a press conference surrounded by Democrats from both chambers Thursday morning, Gov. Jim Justice said while his office is still willing to negotiate a budget deal with Republican leaders in the House, they reached an impasse Wednesday night.

“We’ve had all kinds of discussions and we got right to the altar," he said, "but the net of the whole thing was we couldn’t make a decision.”

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Senators have voted to override Governor Jim Justice’s veto of Senate Bill 330.

The bill was an attempt to clarify some language in the state’s Right to Work law which was approved by lawmakers in the 2016 session.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Senators have approved a bill to create a medicinal cannabis program in the state. Senate Bill 386 was approved on a 28 to 6 vote Wednesday night in the chamber.

The bill would create a 17-member medical cannabis commission under the West Virginia Department of Health and human Resources that would largely be responsible for creating the rules of the program. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, the House of Delegates voted against a bill that would have eliminated tax credits for filmmakers and the Appalachian region voted overwhelming for Donald Trump for president, but now the President is facing push back over his plan to cut funding for the Appalachian Regional Commission.

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

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Senate reporter Ashton Marra and House reporter Liz McCormick talk about the tax bills legislators are working on and the House yesterday passed a bill they hope will get a handle on the state’s fleet of vehicles.

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

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