West Virginia Legislature

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.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A Senate committee has delayed consideration of a bill that some Democratic members challenged as being unconstitutional Saturday.

Senate Bill 609 would cut funding to public education by reducing the state school aid funding formula.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the Senate voted 27-6, with one member absent, Saturday to increase the state's gasoline tax and some vehicle fees to increase funding for the state's Road Fund.

Senate Bill 477 was presented to lawmakers on behalf of Gov. Jim Justice.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A Senate committee has advanced a bill to create a medical marijuana program in West Virginia, despite the committee chairman’s vote against it. 

The Senate Health and Human Resources Committee took up Senate Bill 386 Friday morning, the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act. 

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Update Friday, March 24, 2017: Senators have approved Senate Bill 18, 18-16, with four Republicans joining their Democratic colleagues to vote against it. 

Senators will vote on a bill Friday that will give lawmakers the authority to approve all change to education standards and aligned standardized testing to be required in West Virginia schools after an amendment to a bill on the chamber floor Thursday.

Chad Lovejoy
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A House Judiciary Subcommittee reconsidered a bill Thursday that barely made it through the legislative process on the final night of the 2016 session.

That bill required West Virginians to bring some form of identification with them when they go to cast a ballot at their polling place. It also set up an automatic voter registration process between the Secretary of the State’s office and the Division of Motor Vehicles.

Delegates initially intended to gut parts of that law altogether this year, but have since worked on a compromise.

Flood
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On June 23, 2016, West Virginia experienced some of the worst flooding in the state’s storied history. During the past 52 years, 282 West Virginians have died in floods, including the 23 who perished last summer after historic water levels led to a federal disaster declaration in 12 counties.

Nine months later, communities are still recovering from the high water. 

West Virginia Governor's Office

Gov. Jim Justice says he and his staff will be waiting for lawmakers in his “war room”—a conference room in the Governor’s Office—every morning until the end of the legislative session to work on a budget compromise.

Justice held the first of those meetings Wednesday, which was attended by six members of the Democratic caucus from both the House and Senate.

West Virginia Governor's Office

Gov. Jim Justice joined energy workers from across West Virginia for a rally at the Capitol Tuesday morning to promote the natural gas industry in the state.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Appalachia Health News reporter Kara Lofton looks at rural hospitals and how the new federal health care proposal will affect them and Ashton Marra talks with Tom Smith, the new Secretary of the state Department of Transportation.

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 “puts the final nail in the coffin” on Common Core in West Virginia, according to Senate Education Chair Kenny Mann.

The chamber voted 23-8 Saturday in favor of Senate Bill 524.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

West Virginians would pay less in interest on unpaid court judgments under a bill approved by state lawmakers.

The measure, approved 25-8 by the Senate on Friday, would set the rate at 2 percent above an annually set Federal Reserve rate, down from 3 percent.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Senators also debated an election bill on the floor today, one that deals with how the governor is required to fill vacancies in elected offices. The bill is the result of a 2016 resignation in the Senate, one by a former member who changed party affiliation to give Republicans a majority in the chamber.

Education Changes Move at the Legislature

Mar 16, 2017
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Liz McCormick reports lawmakers are looking to reduce spending on education, but they say they will give local schools more flexibility in how they spend their money and West Virginia’s Poet Laureate Marc Harshman has won a prestigious poetry award.  We’ll hear him recite some of his work from the winning book.  

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning Ashton Marra talks with Del. Rupie Phillips of Logan County -- the Legislature's only Independent and Anne Li reports from the Green Bank Observatory in Pocahontas County about one family's efforts to save it after the National Science Foundation announced it is reviewing the property's viability.

That's on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting -- telling West Virginia's story.

State Spending Plans Revealed

Mar 14, 2017
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Republican leaders at the statehouse have unveiled a draft of their proposed state spending plan and Ashton Marra talks with two GOP delegates about their own budget proposal.

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

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