Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

When Service Disappear, Will Senate Reconsider Tax Hikes?

DMAPS, the shorthand for the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, is an area of the budget that, according to Senate Finance Chair Mike Hall, can be difficult to cut. At $350 million, it’s a fairly sizable part of state government and houses the regional jails, prisons, homeland security office, State Police, and a few other divisions. During the department’s budget presentation Thursday, Gov. Jim Justice’s newly appointed Secretary Jeff Sandy told senators he’s only officially been in his position for just over a month, but he’s already looking to make changes that will result in savings.

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Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

DMAPS, the shorthand for the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, is an area of the budget that, according to Senate Finance Chair Mike Hall, can be difficult to cut. At $350 million, it’s a fairly sizable part of state government and houses the regional jails, prisons, homeland security office, State Police, and a few other divisions.

During the department’s budget presentation Thursday, Gov. Jim Justice’s newly appointed Secretary Jeff Sandy told senators he’s only officially been in his position for just over a month, but he’s already looking to make changes that will result in savings.

Tarannom Rajaee poses in front of her doodle.
Charles Ryan Associates

When the students at North Elementary School in Morgantown were called to a surprise assembly Thursday morning, they had no idea that one of them - a second grade student named Tarannom Rajaee - had won the statewide Doodle 4 Google contest.  

On The Legislature Today, hundreds of pieces of legislation get introduced each legislative session and the House and Senate Judiciary Chairs see most of them. Sen. Charles Trump and Del. John Shott discuss some of those bills, including the ones they call their top priority-- those that deal with substance abuse.

Del. Shott says the House has taken the lead on those bills, which include some to increase penalties for those bringing drugs into the state as well as those selling them.

Sen. Trump says its an issue that plagues the entire state and lawmakers are doing their best to tackle the issue from all sides. 

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

State Senators have approved a bill that makes it illegal to share a personal, private image of another person without his or her consent.

Senate Bill 240 was drafted by students at Bethany College in the state's Northern Panhandle and finessed in the Senate’s Judiciary Committee creating the misdemeanor offense. 

Perry Bennett / WV Legislative Photography

While lawmakers discuss ways to fix the state’s projected budget deficit, a related piece of legislation is beginning to take shape -- the creation of a state earned income tax credit.

An earned income tax credit, or EITC, is an extra lump of cash refunded to low-income, working families every year at tax time. The amount a family receives varies, but it’s based on a person’s income and the number of children in the home, but only working adults qualify. The credit is meant to help struggling families get ahead and many use the extra funds to make major purchases like cars, or large appliances.

Perry Bennett / WV Legislative Photography

A bill to provide tax credits and possible reductions to newly established small businesses began working its way through the house Thursday.

If passed, House Bill 2375 would reduce some taxes for newly established businesses in West Virginia, and its sponsors said it would empower local business owners and encourage more entrepreneurship.

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More than 22,000 West Virginians with substance use disorders have gained health coverage through Medicaid Expansion, according to a report released earlier this month in National Health Law Program. Medicaid Expansion was a voluntary provision of the Affordable Care Act.

Adobe Stock

If you are an early riser, you may have a leg up on fighting weight gain and obesity. New research published this month in the journal Obesity found that as a group, “morning type” people eat earlier in the day and are choosing healthier foods overall than “evening type” people. For reference – morning types are those who are most alert and energetic at night while evening types are most alert and energetic later in the day. Other studies have found that eating earlier in the day is associated with weight loss and a reduced risk of diabetes and heart disease.

 

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Legislative leaders on both sides of the aisle are reacting to Gov. Jim Justice’s announcement Tuesday that the state’s bond rating had been downgraded by the third national rating agency in a year.

Moody’s dropped the state’s rating from AA1 to AA2.

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

On February 23, 1945, Marine Corporal Herschel “Woody” Williams perilously risked his life to neutralize Japanese positions during World II.

At the time, American tanks were struggling to open a lane for infantry forces on Iwo Jima. With only four riflemen covering his movements, Williams repeatedly prepared demolition charges and rushed enemy lines.

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