West Virginia Legislature

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia Senate has approved a bill to send $85 million in state aid to counties impacted by June’s flooding.

Senators voted 32-0 Monday completing the Legislature’s work on the bill.

The bill appropriates $21 million from lottery reserves, $9 million from an unappropriated surplus from the previous fiscal year, and $55 million from the state’s Rainy Day Fund.

Farmers Are Using Data But Who Owns the Data?

Sep 19, 2016
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Nicole Erwin with the Ohio Valley Resource explores how farmers are using data to determine when to plant and when to harvest.  The story on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the House of Delegates quickly approved a bill Sunday evening to provide $85 million in state aid to flood victims in 12 counties declared federal disaster areas in June.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin will call lawmakers into a special session Sunday evening to consider legislation that will help the state continue to cleanup and recover from June’s historic flooding. 

Gov. Tomblin issued the proclamation Friday convening a special session beginning Sunday evening at 6pm. Lawmakers will only be able to consider two pieces of legislation, according to the session call.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Two legislative interim committees received updates Sunday on the state of West Virginia’s recovery since June’s flooding.

Infrastructure came first during a meeting of the Joint Legislative Oversight Commission on Department of Transportation Accountability.

DOT Secretary Paul Mattox told lawmakers the state’s highways, roads and bridges suffered $55.5 million dollars in damage. That damage was largely focused in three counties- Clay, Kanawha and Greenbrier- and Mattox said significant progress has been made in repairs in those areas.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A new committee of West Virginia lawmakers will meet at the Capitol Monday to focus on ways  to reduce the size of state government.

Senate President Bill Cole and House Speaker Tim Armstead announced the creation of the Government Accountability, Transparency and Efficiency Committee last week, calling it GATE for short. 

West Virginia State Capitol
davidwilson1949 / wikimedia Commons

Auditors have concluded that at least four state legislative employees were either paid for days they did not work or took days off without submitting the proper leave time.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Glynis Board reports on a study that shows drinking water is laced with toxic chemicals and Ashton Marra talks with Revenue Secretary Bob Kiss about how the state will pay its share of the bill for flood repairs. 

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

Craig Blair
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A West Virginia state senator has set up a hotline for reporting government fraud, waste or abuse.

Sen. Craig Blair of Berkeley County announced the Report It WV hotline on Wednesday.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, reporter Liz McCormick has an update on the so-called Brunch Bill that allows county residents to vote on whether to allow restaurants to sell alcohol at 10:00 am on Sundays.  Some cities and towns have found a way around the county wide referendum. 

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

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

In Clay County, the process of recovery after June 23 and 24 flooding is just beginning as volunteer firefighters, the American Red Cross and the National Guard continue to pass out food and water and remove potentially hazardous debris from the county.

Philanthropy West Virginia, a three person non-profit based in Morgantown, shifts its focus from its normal work to aiding in flood relief efforts, directing donations to the hardest hit areas.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin signed eight bills Friday, including the budget for the 2017 fiscal year lawmakers spent nearly a month in a special session crafting. 

The budget bill includes cuts to state agencies and Constitutional Officers as well as the use of one-time Rainy Day Funds to find a balance. 

Courtesy Photo / West Virginia Division of Forestry

West Virginia's Division of Forestry will lay off 37 workers to address a $1.7 million shortfall in the new budget year.

A news release Wednesday says lawmakers rejected legislation to fully fund the Division of Forestry, and the $1.7 million shortfall will spur layoffs of more than one-third of the agency's workforce.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, the House of Delegates has passed a cigarette tax increase.  It’s a vital component of the state budget proposal for 2017.  We’ll have the latest from the special session at the state capitol.  And Appalachia Health News reporter Kara Lofton looks at how retired coal miners are losing their benefits after companies declare bankruptcy. 

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

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

While the House took up the budget Monday, the Senate passed a bill that puts a little more than $2 million from state reserves into the Boone County Board of Education.

Senate Bill 1010 is a supplemental appropriation that would take money from general revenue and state reserves to help the Boone County school system get back on its feet after a decline in tax revenue this fiscal year.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

 

 

After more than three months of a budget impasse and 16 days until a potential shutdown of state government, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. That light comes in the form of Monday's completion of a tobacco tax increase and the passage of the budget in the House of Delegates.

State Budget Being Considered in the W. Va. House

Jun 13, 2016
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, statehouse reporter Ashton Marra has the latest from the special session at the state capitol.  Democratic Governor Tomblin wants to make a deal with the Republican led House.  And we’ll meet a busy piano tuner in southern West Virginia. 

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

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has a proposal to offset health premium increases for state employees, retirees and teachers.

Tomblin said Sunday he'd introduce legislation with $15 million extra for Public Employee Insurance Agency beneficiaries if the GOP-led Legislature passes his tobacco tax increase.

Nineteen days before a potential government shutdown, the West Virginia Senate passed a budget Saturday on a 24-7 vote. With coal revenues in decline in recent years, state lawmakers have been scrambling to fill a $270 million hole.

The Senate’s version of the budget bill, SB 1013, uses $64.5 million in monies from the Rainy Day Fund.

Implementing the State Budget Takes Time

Jun 10, 2016
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, A Change of Tune host Joni Deutsch continues her series “30 Days of West Virginia Music.”  And Hayes Carll is along with the Mountain Stage song of the week. 

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

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography


June 30. That’s the day the Governor’s Office, members of the Legislature, even members of the media say is the final day lawmakers can approve a budget for the 2017 fiscal year and that’s technically true.

 

That is the day by which lawmakers must approve a budget to avoid a government shutdown, but state officials whose jobs are to implement the budget say that's not soon enough.

Martin Valent / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A spokesman for the House of Delegates says lawmakers will tentatively return to Charleston Saturday to once again work on the state's budget for the 2017 fiscal year.

On Wednesday, Gov. Tomblin vetoed the budget plan approved by lawmakers on June 2. That plan relied on more than $180 million from the state's Rainy Day Fund to help close a $272 million budget gap for the upcoming fiscal year. 

Harpers Ferry Celebrated on New U.S. Coin

Jun 9, 2016
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, one of the measures the legislature failed to act on before recessing its special session was the governor’s bill to provide over two million dollars to Boone County schools.  Ashton Marra has that story.  And the U.S. Mint has unveiled a new quarter honoring Harpers Ferry. 

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

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting


When lawmakers return to Charleston Sunday, they won’t just be considering the budget bill. Members of both chambers will also consider another piece of legislation left floating when they left town on June 2.

 

House Bill 119, also known as Senate Bill 1010, was placed on the expanded special session call by Gov. Tomblin earlier this month. The bill looks to take a little more than $2 million from state reserves for the Boone County Board of Education.

What Is A Cracker Plant?

Jun 8, 2016
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, the Shell Oil Company will build a cracker plant in Pennsylvania near the West Virginia border.  Beth Vorhees talks with a chemical engineering professor at WVU for a review of how these plants operate.  And also from Pennsylvania, a story about how educators there teach climate change. 

These stories 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, Appalachia Health News reporter Kara Lofton looks at the new law that allows advanced nurse practitioners to practice medicine without a supervising physician.

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, statehouse reporter Ashton Marra reports on the state budget passed yesterday by the special session of the legislature.  And A Change of Tune host Joni Deutsch joins Beth Vorhees to talk about her new project she’s calling 30 Days of West Virginia Music. 

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

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Thirteen days into their special session, lawmakers have approved a bill to fund state government for the 2017 fiscal year that relies heavily on one-time monies to close the $272 million budget gap.

The bill moved quickly Thursday, being approved in the Senate on a party line vote, 18-16, in the early evening and receiving a 58-30 vote in the House just a few hours later.

W. Va. Senate Considers Tobacco Tax Increase Again

Jun 2, 2016
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, statehouse reporter Ashton Marra has the latest from the special session of the legislature where there is no clear solution for the 2017 state budget.  And Inside Appalachia host Jessica Lilly talks with Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep about the program’s recent visit to the Appalachian region.   

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

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A mere 24 hours after the Senate Finance Committee floated a bill to increase the state’s consumer sales tax by 1 percent, which would bring in $196 million in new revenues to close the $272 million gap in the 2017 budget, the bill died after a 6-10 vote.

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