The Legislature Today

  • Hosted by Andrea Lannom

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.

The Legislature Today can be seen weeknights on:

  • 6 and 11 p.m. - WVPB (main channel)
  • 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. - The West Virginia Channel

The Legislature Today can also be heard at 6 p.m. weeknights on WVPB's statewide radio network.

 

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

The Legislature Today
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Del. Mick Bates of Raleigh County discussed his party's proposals in the House to increase road funding. Those proposals have failed so far this session, but now Bates and other members of the House are waiting to see what Senators will do with a bi-partisan bill that would increase some fees in order to generate revenue.

Senators cast their final votes on a bill to remove the permitting and safety training requirements to carry a concealed weapon in West Virginia. Members of the body also discuss a possible tobacco tax increase.

In the House, Delegates vote to allow West Virginia University Institute of Technology to transfer its headquarters out of Fayette County.


It’s been a little over a week since Delegates approved a bill creating the West Virginia Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Known as RFRA, the bill creates a judicial standard for cases where a person’s religious freedoms are infringed upon by a government entity.

 

The bill has been assigned to a Senate committee, but has yet to make its way onto an agenda. Still, that hasn’t stopped members of the upper chamber from voicing their thoughts about the bill on floor this week.

 

The Senate Finance Committee has approved a bill to increase the tobacco tax on cigarettes by $1 a pack. 

West Virginia University Health Sciences Executive Dean Dr. Clary Marsh says the increase will be enough to discourage West Virginia smokers and will likely increase the health outcomes for vulnerable populations like pregnant women and children.

Dr. Marsh discusses the tobacco tax, as well as what WVU is doing to combat substance abuse in West Virginia.

Two southern West Virginia Senators discuss the economic impact the decline in the state's coal industry is having not just on the overall state budget, but the county level budgets as well which have led to cuts in programs and services as well as school layoffs.

Sen. Bill Laird of Fayette County and Sen. Ron Stollings of Boone County join us.

Ted Boettner with the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy discusses the group's latest report detailing Governor Tomblin's 2017 budget proposal. 

Boettner explains previous tax cuts alongside the declining severance tax collections have hurt the state budget for years in a row. He also focuses in on the importance of funding higher education.

The West Virginia Religious Freedom Restoration Act's approval in the House of Delegates caused a firestorm on social media as many businesses spoke in opposition, but groups backing the bill say its important to West Virginia.

Jill Rice with Opportunity West Virginia and Allen Whitt with the Family Policy Council of West Virginia debate the bill that's now being considered in the Senate. 

In the second year of Republican control of the statehouse, lawmakers have voted both a second and third times to override Tomblin vetoes.

A simple majority in both chambers voted Friday to make the prevailing wage repeal and Right-to-Work bills law.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey discusses the latest in his case challenging the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan. The U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay in the case this week which essentially freezes the implementation of the carbon reducing rules.

Between a repeal of the Common Core based education standards, a cut in the school aid formula and teacher layoffs, it’s a busy time in education in West Virginia. State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Martirano address all three issues in a special extended interview.

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. 

Martin Valent / WV Legislative Photography

In a party-line vote, a Republican-led Senate panel has cleared a push to make West Virginia the 26th right-to-work state.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the measure Friday to prohibit requiring paying union dues as a condition of employment.

Dollar Photo Club

The West Virginia House of Delegates approved a resolution Wednesday setting up a committee to tackle substance abuse issues in the state.

On the first day of the 2016 session, the West Virginia House of Delegates passed House Resolution 3, creating the Select Committee on Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse.

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

Mar 3, 2015
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.

The Legislature Today
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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