The Legislature Today

Beginning January 19, 2015. You can watch weeknights at 6:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. on WVPB. Weekdays at 6:00 a.m. on WVPBS.2. You can also listen weekdays at 6:30 p.m. on WVPB Radio.

The Legislature Today is West Virginia's source for daily legislative news and information.  The only live television program covering the West Virginia Legislature, the broadcast features reports from the Senate, House and committee meetings with in-depth interviews and analysis of the legislative process in West Virginia.

Monday, February 9 -  Attorney General Patrick Morrisey

Tuesday, February 10 -  Agriculture Commissioner Walt Helmick

Wednesday, February 11 - Superintendent of Schools Michael Martirano

Thursday, February 12 - House Speaker Tim Armstead

Friday, February 13 - Senate President Bill Cole 

Subscribe to The Legislature Today Podcast for daily downloads of the program.

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Special Coverage
3:56 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Watch Concealed Weapons, Water Protection Public Hearings on WVPB.2

Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

It's been an historic session of the West Virginia Legislature, and West Virginia Public Broadcasting is proud to announce expanded, live coverage during the final two weeks of the regular session.

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HB 2881
4:18 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Video: Public Hearing on Controversial W.Va. Bill Banning LGBT Anti-Discrimination Laws

Credit West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Update: Late Friday afternoon, the House Government Organization Committee postponed indefinitely further consideration of House Bill 2881.  The last day for committees to pass bills is Sunday, March 1, 2015.

The West Virginia House of Delegates held a public hearing on HB 2881 on Friday morning. The West Virginia Intrastate Commerce Improvement Act would prohibit cities and counties from enacting or enforcing non-discrimination laws that do not already exist on the state level.

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The Legislature Today
6:39 pm
Mon February 16, 2015

Legislature Considers Allowing Kanawha River Become Second Water Intake Source

At the legislature today, protestors brave the snow and cold at the Capitol to rally against a bill that scales back the state's prevailing wage. The head of law enforcement for the Division of Natural Resources tells a Senate committee the pay scale set in code for his officers is making it difficult to recruit qualified individuals. And a special report about the city of Huntington's on going fight against drugs on The Legislature Today.

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The Legislature Today
6:22 pm
Fri February 13, 2015

Senate Taking a Long Look at Charter Schools

At the legislature today, both chambers have started to move on Governor Tomblin's bill to aid the state's craft brewing industry. In the House, the bill received some minor changes in committee. Senators are still working to craft a bill that would allow charter schools in West Virginia weeks after the process began. And we'll talk with the senate president now that the session is passed the halfway point on The Legislature Today.

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The Legislature Today
6:29 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

30 Days In, 30 To Go

At the legislature today, the House passed a Senate bill relating to deer farming in the state.  It’s an issue that’s been around a while.  In the Senate, the health committee amends a bill about immunization that gives the state more control over exemptions for vaccination.  And we’ll check in with legislative leadership for a update at the midway point on The Legislature Today. 

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The Legislature Today
6:29 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

DEP Secretary Responds to New Storage Tank Bill

  At the legislature today, legislation limiting abortions is on its way to the Senate after the House passed the bill overwhelmingly today.  Uber, the international car service, wants to do business in West Virginia, but legislators have concerns.  And we’ll talk with the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection about the bill to roll back the aboveground storage tank law on The Legislature Today.

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Legislature
11:26 am
Wed February 11, 2015

Could Uber Be Coming to West Virginia?

Jill Rice with the West Virginia Insurance Federation told members of the Senate Transportation committee her group has problems with a proposed ride-sharing bill.
Credit Ashton Marra

Members of the Senate's Transportation Committee took up a bill Wednesday that would allow ridesharing businesses to legally operate in West Virginia.

Ride-sharing companies, like Uber and Lyft, run through computer or smartphone software and allow anyone to connect with a local driver who uses a personal vehicle to provide taxi-like services.

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The Legislature Today
6:44 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

Coal Mine Safety Debated in House and Senate

At the legislature today, emotional debate in both houses as the Senate takes up the Coal Jobs and Safety Act of 2015. In the House, Delegates focused on the legal remedies those hurt or killed in a mining accident will have. And we'll talk with Agriculture Commissioner Walt Helmick about his plans to grow the state's economy on The Legislature Today.

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The Legislature Today
6:31 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

Attorney General Suggests Term Limits for Constitutional Officers

At the legislature today, Republican leaders are one step closer to realizing their tort reform goals this session as the Senate passes a bill imposing comparative fault. The amended bill heads back to the House for its approval. And on tourism day at the legislature, we'll meet the new Tourism Commissioner and find out her priorities to grow the number of visitors to the state. These stories and more coming up on The Legislature Today.

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The Legislature Today
6:30 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

House Passes Bill for Legislative Approval of DEP Clean Air State Plan

At the legislature today, the House approves a bill that inserts the legislature into the state Department of Environmental Protection’s plans to comply with US EPA carbon emission standards. That measure now goes to the senate where passage is expected. And a year after the Kanawha Valley water crisis, things are back to normal for the 300,000 West Virginians affected, but some residents of McDowell County are just getting clean water after years without it. A special report on water and more coming up on The Legislature Today.

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The Legislature Today
6:36 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

Senate Debates Prevailing Wage Bill

At the legislature today, the bill to repeal the prevailing wage law isn’t on the senate floor yet, but an attempt to stop it from coming to the floor sparked debate about the measure.  In the house today, delegates adopted an amendment that would require the Governor to appoint two members of the West Virginia Board of Education that have school age children.  These stories and we’ll meet the Majority Leaders on The Legislature Today.

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The Legislature Today
6:34 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

House Passes Judges' Non-Partisan Election Bill

At the legislature today, there was some intense debate on the house floor as lawmakers took up two bills that are priorities for the new majority. Also at the Capitol, labor unions rally against a Senate bill repealing the state's prevailing wage. And West Virignia's craft beer makers are seeking some regulatory relief. They have the backing of Governor Tomblin, but what do lawmakers think of the industry? We'll meet the chairs of the small business committees to find out on The Legislature Today.

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The Legislature Today
6:28 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

Religious Exemption Pulled from Vaccinations Bill

  At the legislature today, as a measles outbreak makes national headlines, a senate committee considered a bill to provide  religious and medical exemptions for vaccinations. But after further discussion, the religious exemption is off the table.  We’ll talk about this and other health issues with the Chairman of the House Health Committee on The Legislature Today.

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The Legislature Today
6:32 pm
Mon February 2, 2015

Energy Committees Now Have Major Legislative Status

At the legislature today, the senate re-visited West Virginia’s Medical Liability Act to add another health care position to the list of professions protected by a cap on malpractice awards.   We’ll meet the new chairs of the Energy Committees in both houses.  Once minor committees, these now have a new status at the legislature.  And we’ll give you a preview of tonight’s television documentary about children in poverty on The Legislature Today. 

Legislature
4:24 pm
Mon February 2, 2015

Senate Approves CPR, Overdose Drug Bills

The final vote on Senate Bill 6.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Members of the West Virginia Senate approved four bills Monday, including three related to the healthcare field.

SB 6- Relating to medical professional liability

The bill works to give healthcare administrators more protection when it comes to some hiring practices or staffing issues. The loophole has allowed administrators to face medical malpractice suits without the award cap put in place by the state’s Medical Professional Liability Act. Senate Judiciary Chair Charles Trump explained the definition changes in Senate Bill 6, in addition to some new sections, bring administrators back under the $250,000 cap.

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The Legislature Today
6:44 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Study Reports on What Would Happen if Prevailing Wage is Repealed

At the legislature today, when their party took over control of the House and Senate, Republicans promised tort reform. Several bills are moving through the legislative process including one about nursing home administrators that was up for amendments on the senate floor today.  And we’ll find out more about West Virginia’s prevailing wage law.  It’s also a target of the majority.  We’ll talk with a fiscal policy expert and one of our statehouse colleagues covering the issue on The Legislature Today. 

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Legislature
6:34 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

North v. South, Republican v. Democrat, Drugs v. Education: Heated Debate in the House

Delegate Patrick McGeehan
Credit Daniel Walker / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

At the end of every floor session, senators and delegates are allowed to give remarks to the entire body.  In the House Thursday, these remarks led to extended debate about jobs in the north and the lack of them in the south; about drug addiction and education, and the debate lasted for nearly an hour.

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The Legislature Today
6:23 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Education Chairs Sen. Sypolt and Del. Pasdon Talk Controversial Bills

At the legislature today, lawmakers were updated on a bill that passed two years ago and its effect on overcrowding in the state's jails and prisons. But correction officials say it will take more money to continue implementing the new law.

And does the state Public Service Commission have too much control over your local water utility? Some small public service districts say yes.

These stories plus a look the education issues facing lawmakers on The Legislature Today.

Government
6:05 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

West Virginia's Craft Brewing Industry Hopeful for Boost from Legislature

Credit Larry Dowling / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

During the Governor’s State of the State Address earlier this month, Tomblin detailed some of his main priorities for this legislative session. The governor detailed the measures he would ask lawmakers to take to balance this year’s budget, bills he would introduce to improve the state’s business climate and juvenile justice system. But he also touched on a bill he hopes will incite the growth of an already burgeoning industry in West Virginia, craft brewing.

For Brian Arnett of Mountain State Brewing Co. located in Thomas and Morgantown, craft brewing--especially here in West Virginia--is something way more than just yeast, barley and hops.

“It’s a full on revolution. It’s people that want to know a story behind what they’re consuming and they like they story and they like the different flavors and the provided variety and flavors and things they would not get otherwise,” said Arnett.

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Legislature
3:40 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

In Tight Budget Year, DOC Looking for Boost

DOC Commissioner James Rubenstein before the Senate Finance Committee.
Credit West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Senate Finance Committee continued budget hearings Thursday with state Division of Corrections. Since the passage of the governor’s Justice Reinvestment Act in 2013, the Commissioner of Corrections told lawmakers overcrowding is becoming less and less of an issue, but the division is still asking for a budget increase.

Commissioner Jim Rubenstein presented the governor’s proposed budget for his division for the upcoming fiscal year. In it, the governor is suggesting a budget increase of about $1.8 million from general revenue funds.

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