The Legislature Today Podcast

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.

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Senators approve a bill to drug test welfare recipients, but are still struggling with one that would increase campaign contribution limits. The Senate's Judiciary Chairman discusses changes to the bill he says may prevent its passage.

Also, state Auditor Glen Gainer discusses the latest on a state computer operating system lawmakers threatened to delay.

The House of Delegates approves a controversial gun bill, one similar to legislation Governor Tomblin vetoed in 2015.

A special report tonight on West Virginia’s Division of Tourism and what they’ve done with $4 million lawmakers committed to a new advertising campaign.

Also, Secretary of State Natalie Tennant joins us to discuss the progress of the state’s public campaign financing program and a proposal to increase contribution limits in the middle of an election cycle.

Members of both the House and Senate are focused on a problem that needs a fix quickly: balancing the 2016 budget.

In this episode, we hear what both the House and Senate Finance Chairs say their chambers are doing to find a solution.

Also, Common Core was the focus of a public hearing in the House Thursday, and a special report on a program helping kids return to school after experiencing a trauma at home.

Two contentious pieces of legislation--one repealing the prevailing wage and the other making West Virginia a Right-to-Work state --see votes on the Senate and House floors, respectively.

Both pass by slim majorities with some lawmakers even crossing party lines in the process.

The prevailing wage repeal heads to Governor Tomblin's desk, but Right-to-Work will return to the Senate after some amendments in the House.

Legislation to ensure West Virginia can pay its bills through the end of the year is now on Governor Tomblin’s desk which he says he’ll sign quickly.

But bills to repeal the prevailing wage and implement right-to-work provisions, those may see a veto. We speak with the governor tonight.

Also on our show, changes have been made to some controversial pieces of legislation, and the Education Chairs join us to discuss their work during this 60 day session.

Democratic Senators continued with attempts to slow or kill a bill that repeals the state's prevailing wage, but the GOP majority maintains the bill will help West Virginia's economy.

Sean O'Leary with the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy and John Deskins with the West Virginia University Bureau of Business and Economic Research discuss the possible economic impacts of the bill that will be up for passage in the Senate Thursday.

    

In the third full week of this legislative session both chambers are poised to vote on bills that could see vetoes from Governor Tomblin--one to make West Virginia a Right-to-Work state, the other, to repeal the state’s prevailing wage.

The chairs of the House and Senate Government Organization Committees discuss the proposed repeal as well as a possible change to the state's Home Rule Pilot Program.

 A House Committee takes up the contentious Right to Work legislation for the first time, which causes House Democrats cause sparks on the floor as the attempt to fund state employee healthcare benefits with money from the Rainy Fund.

Also, a special report tonight on new security measures and construction on the state Capitol complex.

Hundreds of children and their families descend on the Capitol for their lobbying day at the Legislature.

But so did advocates for a bill they say protects their religious freedoms. The bill’s opponents say it will legalize discrimination in the state.

Also, the chairs of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees join us to discuss the contentions bills making their way through the major committees.

 

  At the legislature today: Should West Virginians be able to carry a concealed weapon without a permit? That was the subject of a public hearing this morning.

West Virginia is on track to join 18 other states who do not have prevailing wage laws after Delegates approved a repeal this afternoon.

Also, the chairs of the House and Senate Energy Committees discuss the ailing coal and natural gas industries. Coming up on The Legislature Today.

At the legislature today, a nearly 400 million dollar budget deficit in looming over our guests tonight, the chairs of the House and Senate Finance Committees.

Sen. Mike Hall and Del. Eric Nelson share their thoughts on how to make up for the shortfall.

Also, it was broadband day at the statehouse as West Virginians young and old focused on how to expand access to the necessary utility.

At the legislature today, members of the West Virginia Senate welcome a new member to the chamber after Supreme Court ruling Friday, a ruling that called for a Republican to be appointed. We focus in on fracking tonight with a special report detailing the updated version of a bill that died in a rare tie on the final night in 2015, and General James Hoyer joins us to discuss the latest after the weekend’s winter storm.

The Legislature Today
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  On The Legislature Today, West Virginia is one step closer to becoming a Right to Work state after a vote on the Senate floor. And members of the House will consider another union opposed bill next week, a repeal of the state’s prevailing wage. The minority leaders of both chambers join us tonight to discuss these controversial bills and others they’ll proposed to the GOP majority. That conversation coming up on The Legislature Today.

On the latest episode of The Legislature Today, Speaker Tim Armstead discusses  two bills union members across the state are speaking out against: Right-to-Work and a repeal of the state's prevailing wage. Both are measures the Republican supports.  

The Legislature Today
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this episode of The Legislature Today, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals heard oral arguments Tuesday in the case to replace former state Senator Daniel Hall. 

The Legislature Today
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

In the first episode of The Legislature Today of 2016, host Ashton Marra sits down with Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to discuss how he is proposing the state close a $381 million budget gap expected by the end of the fiscal year. 

  At the Legislature today, Senators begin to focus in on the state's four billion dollar budget as they wait for Delegates to approve some major pieces of legislation, like charter schools and campaign finance reform. The West Virginia schools for the deaf and blind will be eligible for funding from the School Building Authority for badly needed improvements under a bill passed by the senate finance committee today.

At the legislature today, the Commissioner of West Virginia’s Bureau of Public Health has concerns with a bill changing the way immunization exemptions are granted in the state. We’ll talk with Dr. Rahul Gupta.  And constitutional questions are debated in both chambers. In the Senate,  lawmakers take up a resolution calling for a national convention of the states. In the house, delegates debate second amendment gun rights.  The fireworks in both chambers tonight on The Legislature Today.

At the legislature today, the vote tally board in the house turns bright red as lawmakers vote against eliminating West Virginia’s Courtesy Patrol roadside assistance program.  Forest-grown ginseng is said to be as valuable as the wild grown roots and it could be a valuable industry for West Virginia as well.  And we’ll talk with U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin about the benefits of the Opioid Antagonist Act to treat drug overdoses on The Legislature Today.

At the legislature today, the pros and cons of consuming raw milk is debated in the House.  Senate Bill 30 passed overwhelmingly and heads back to the Senate to consider House changes to the bill.  In the Senate there’s more discussion about funding for state roads and another agreement for more study about that issue.  And we begin a two part series about ginseng. Could it become a leading cash crop? These stories and more coming up on The Legislature Today.

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