News

Rebecca Kiger

Wendy Crites is a single mom, a Christian and a recovering addict in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. She's on parole and receiving substance abuse treatment through the Jefferson Day Report Center. Crites has been using drugs since she was 13, intravenously since she was 15.

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Three advocacy groups in Virginia want federal regulators to rescind or revise an environmental assessment of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline because they say it lacks meaningful analysis.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A bipartisan group of Senators voted to block a repeal of the state's requirement that all adults wear helmets while driving a motorcycle.

The repeal was amended into Senate Bill 173 during the committee process, a bill that would allow drivers to use autocycles, three-wheeled, fully enclosed vehicles, and would exempt drivers from having to obtain a motorcycle license. 

On The Legislature Today, lawmaker have reacted the halfway point of this legislative session and Gov. Jim Justice is pressuring Republican leaders to release their spending plan. 

After some harsh words from the governor during a press conference Friday aimed at the caucus, House Finance Chair Eric Nelson and Senate Finance Chair Mike Hall pushback, defending the legislative process they say is defined in the state's Constitution. 

Perry Bennet / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Democrats in the House of Delegates Thursday attempted to change the scheduling classification of marijuana so it could be prescribed by doctors.

House Bill 2526 focuses on adding drugs to the state’s scheduling system, a classification of both prescription and illicit drugs. These classifications are referred to as Schedule I, II, IV, and V.

Alzheimer's Disease, dementia, elderly, couple, worried
Dollar Photo Club

Adopting healthy lifestyle practices like eating well, exercising and managing weight are challenging when also juggling full-time work, children, school or care giving. Researchers had thought that retirement may help people launch a new start to healthy living.

They found that physical activity was likely to increase after retirement, but retired baby boomers were more likely to be obese and have high blood pressure than older working adults. The retirees were also no more likely to follow a healthy diet than working adults.

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Two U.S. House committees have approved a Republican proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act.  Critics of the law say it will raise premiums and cause millions to lose health coverage.

The House bill does, however, preserve an amendment written into the Affordable Care Act that makes it easier for coal miners with black lung disease to qualify for compensation benefits.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Ashton Marra talks with legislative leaders about their plans to address the large hole in next year’s state budget and Clark Davis reports from Huntington where citizens are joining together to go solar.

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

On The Legislature Today, House Speaker Tim Armstead and Senate President Mitch Carmichael say their chambers are still diligently working on plans to balance the 2018 budget, but the $497 million gap estimated by the Governor's Office for the coming fiscal year, Carmichael calls it a number inflated by Gov. Jim Justice's want to increase spending. 

Carmichael discusses the Senate's push to "hold the line" on spending while still providing vital government services. 

Armstead says while he would like approve a budget in a bi-partisan fashion, he believes Republican members of his chamber are ready to make the tough decisions when it comes to downsizing government, which likely means laying off state workers. 

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If lawmakers don't approve Gov. Jim Justice’s proposal to increase taxes, representatives of the state's Department of Health and Human Resources says they will be forced to cut funding to programs. Bill Crouch is the new Department of Health and Human Resources Cabinet Secretary, says some programs, like the Aged and Disabled Waiver Program, might be eliminated entirely.

Cathy Justice
Daniel Walker / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

First Lady Cathy Justice spoke at her first solo event Wednesday since her husband’s election. The First Lady helped recognize International Women’s Day at the Capitol, kicking off Women’s History Month.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The Senate’s Workforce Committee has advanced a bill to limit the powers of cities and towns.

Senate Bill 399 prevents local governments from enacting ordinances or local policies that impose requirements on employers when it comes to employee wages and benefits. Among other things, the bill would prevent a city or town from making minimum wage higher than the state’s.

Adobe Stock

On Monday night, members of the U.S. House of Representatives released their bill to replace the Affordable Care Act. Possibly the biggest deal for West Virginia is that the new bill proposes changing the way that Medicaid is funded.

 

 

Medicaid is the joint state-federal insurance program that covers more than a third of West Virginians. Right now, the federal government matches state spending for Medicaid dollar for dollar. But under the proposed bill, that funding would change to a per-capita cap.  

Amos Perrine / Mountain Stage

 

Piers Faccini is an English singer-songwriter with Anglo-Italian and Jewish roots who currently resides in Southern France. His music is just as storied as his past, blending folk, acoustic blues, and West African textures into his sound. For his Mountain Stage debut, he performs an even more colorful rendition of "Cloak of Blue" during this week's broadcast.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, the House of Delegates is passing bills increasing the penalties for drug trafficking.  Liz McCormick has that story and Ashton Marra talks with the state Superintendent of Schools about the challenges facing the state’s public school system. 

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

Solar Panels, Cheryl and Corky Brown
WV Sun

A group of people in and around Huntington are joining together to try to make solar power a reality for their homes.

It’s a solar co-op. A group of residents from the Huntington community and the surrounding areas are using the power of a group to purchase solar panels. It’s not the first solar co-op in the state. Previous co-ops have been formed in Morgantown, Wheeling and Charleston. And solar co-ops are coming together in Beckley, Lewisburg and the Mid-Ohio Valley region of the state.

Robert Thompson
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the House of Delegates are looking for ways to help grow the state’s agriculture industry. A bill in the chamber’s Agriculture Committee would require the state to purchase more locally grown food.

House Bill 2566 creates the West Virginia Fresh Food Act. As introduced, the bill would require state funded institutions to purchase at least 20 percent of their produce from West Virginia farmers.

Isaac Sponaugle
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members in the House of Delegates have considered a number of bills this legislative session that increase the penalties for breaking various laws. At least three of those bills have focused on drug crimes which Republican lawmakers say is in response to the state’s substance abuse epidemic.

On The Legislature Today, there are more than 700 classrooms in the state being led by substitute teachers, more than a dozen local school systems being monitored for a lack of operational funds, and over the past few years, the state Department of Education has reduced its numbers by some 80 positions. 

Still, lawmakers are looking for ways to save money on education, one of the largest drivers of the state's budget.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Martirano discusses the problems that face the state's public education system and what lawmakers can do to address them.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Senators are looking to make changes to the way some employees will pay their union dues or club fees.

Senate Bill 239 would require an employer to have the written consent of an employee to withhold any amount from their paycheck for contributions to a political candidate or candidate committee. That consent would have to come through a form submitted to the Secretary of State’s Office and is only good for 12 months.

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