The Legislature Today

Beginning January 13, 2014, airs weeknights at 6:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. on WV PBS. Weekdays at 6:00 a.m. on WVPBS.2. Also weekdays at 6:30 p.m. on WV Public 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.

Guests for the week of March 3, 2014:

March 3:     Ted Boettner,  West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy

March 4:     E. Gordon Gee, West Virginia University President

March 5:     Guests TBA

March 6:     Thom Stevens, Healthcare Lobbyist

March 7:     Governor Earl Ray Tomblin

Support for The Legislature Today comes from the West Virginia ALF-CIO, the voice for West Virginia workers.

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House of Delegates
5:01 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

House Close to Voting on Bill to Increase Minimum Wage in W. Va.

The House of Delegates will have a bill to increase minimum wage in West Virginia up for vote on Wednesday.
Credit Aaron Payne

Currently, the minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.

The House Finance Committee amended H.B. 4283 to increase minimum wage by 75 cents to $8.00 per hour by January of 2015 and then add another 75 cents by January of 2016 to total $8.75. The amendment delayed those changes from July 2014 and 2015 respectively so that businesses could have time to budget for the increase.

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The Legislature Today
7:19 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Statehouse Reporters Dave Boucher & Pam Pritt Talk Water Crisis, Medical Marijuana

Members of the West Virginia Senate and Jimmy Gianato of the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management respond to Wednesday's news conference with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Environmental Protection Agency and  the House of Delegates passes bills to make land record electronic, adds requirement to consumer transactions. Dave Boucher of The Charleston Daily Mail and Pam Pritt of Beckley's The Register-Herald talk about the water crisis and other issues making their way through the statehouse.

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Chemical Leak
3:46 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Lawmakers, State Official React to Latest Press Conference

Director of the WVDHSEM Jimmy Gianato testifies before the Joint Legislative Oversight Commission on State Water Resources.
Credit Ashton Marra

Director of the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Jimmy Gianato testified before the Joint Legislative Oversight Commission on Water Resources Friday, answering questions about the state testing water quality in homes.

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House of Delegates
1:29 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

House Passes Bills to Make Land Records Electronic, Adds Requirement to Consumer Transactions

The House before voting on H.B. 4010 and H.B. 4220.
Credit Daniel Walker

After a brief delay, the House convened for its final floor session of the week.

House Bill 4010 creates the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act. It was approved and recommend for enactment in all 50 states by the National Conference of Commissioners of Uniform State Laws.

Delegate Mark Hunt explained exactly what the Act would entail before it was voted on.

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The Legislature Today
7:06 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

SNAP Benefits, Soliciting Public Employees Via Email, & The West Virginia Community Development Hub

The House Finance Committee considers a bill that would prohibit candidates from using email to solicit public employees, Sen. Ron Stollings wants Congress to change SNAP benefits to exclude junk food, and Kent Spellman and Stephanie Tyree of the West Virginia Community Development Hub discuss blueprint communities and HUB Cap.

Subscribe to the podcast for daily downloads of the program.

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Food Stamps
4:55 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Senator Calls on Congress to Change SNAP Benefits

Senator Ron Stollings decided against continuing his legislation relating to the U.S. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and is opting for a resolution instead, calling on Congress to change the benefits nationwide.

Stollings’ bill directed the state Department of Health and Human Resources to apply for a waiver with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The waiver would prohibit the purchase of soda and junk foods with SNAP benefits, or food stamps.

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Judiciary Committee
3:31 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

House Looking to Prohibit Candidates From Using Email to Solicit Public Employees

Members of the House Judiciary Committee look over H.B. 4414, relating to the solicitation of public employees by an elected officer of the state.
Credit Daniel Walker

With the primary election coming in May and the general election in November, the House Judiciary Committee took a look at current code that prohibits elected officials and candidates from soliciting public employees, discussing H.B. 4414, relating to the solicitation of public employees by an elected officer of the state.

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The Legislature Today
7:31 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Gov. Tomblin Gives Briefing with CDC and EPA, Water Commission Hears from Health Officials, & More

The House passes a bill known as the Pregnant Workers' Fairness Act--but not without fierce debate over an amendment that sought to include "fetus" in the bill's language, The Joint Legislative Oversight Commission on State Water Resources hears from Kanawha-Charleston Health Depart chief Dr. Rahul Gupta and the state Bureau for Public Health's Dr. Letitia Tierney. Also, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin provides an update on the chemical spill and water crisis with officials from the CDC and EPA.

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House of Delegates
6:25 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

W. Va. House Passes Bill to Prevent Discrimination Against Pregnant Women In The Workforce

Discussion of Del. Folk's proposed amendments to the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act during Wednesday's House session.

On Wednesday the House passed bill 4284, also known as the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.

The bill’s purpose would be to prevent discrimination against pregnant women in the workplace.

The following would be considered an unlawful employment practice:

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The Legislature Today
7:14 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey Talks Chemical Spill Investigation, Legislative Audits, & More

The Senate moves a bill to make pseudoephedrine prescription-only, the House of Delegates weighs public comments in regards to the Senate's water protection and above-ground storage tank regulation bill, and Attorney General Patrick Morrisey talks about a his office's investigation on the chemical spill, price gouging, and the need for more legislative audits.

Subscribe to the podcast for daily downloads of the program.

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House of Delegates
5:48 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

House Takes Suggestions From Public Hearing, Moves Forward With Senate's Water Bill

The House Chamber during Monday's public hearing on S.B. 373, the "Water Bill."

The day after the House of Delegates’ public hearing on last month’s chemical leak and the safety of the water supply, lawmakers began the process of incorporating suggestions to strengthen Senate Bill 373.

While some speakers at the hearing felt that there were too many empty chairs at the hearing, Del. Don Perdue said the turnout from his fellow delegates was satisfactory.

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Pseudoephedrine Legislation
4:44 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Senate Furthers Bill to Decrease Meth Labs in W.Va.

Credit Martin Valent / WV Legislative Photography

The Senate Committee on Health and Human Resources was the first to take action on Senate Bill 6 Tuesday, regulating the sale of drug products used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine.

Senate Bill 6:

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House of Delegates
11:32 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Citizens Voice Concern With S.B. 373 During House Public Hearing, Want Tougher Water Protection

The House Chamber during the public hearing on S.B. 373, or the "Water Bill."

Before sending Senate Bill 373 through its Health and Human Resources, Judiciary and Finance Committees, the House of Delegates allowed citizens directly affected by the chemical leak to voice their concerns and offer suggestions to the bill in a public hearing in the chamber

While the stories and testimonies were different, the overall message was a call to action for lawmakers.

Some of the highlights of the points speakers made were:

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The Legislature Today
8:09 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Special Extended Broadcast: Public Hearing on Water Crisis, SB 373

The House of Delegates' Health, Judiciary, and Finance Committees held a joint public hearing Monday evening about the Elk River chemical spill.

On this special extended edition of The Legislature Today,  citizens tell lawmakers how they’ve been affected by the chemical contamination of their drinking water. 

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Senate
4:10 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Senate Passes Bill Requiring CPR Training for High School Students

Credit Ashton Marra

The upper chamber passed four bills Monday. They include:

Senate Bill 267

The bill ensure that state courts have jurisdiction over prosecuting unauthorized or fraudulent uses of state purchasing cards when used out of state. Penalties include 1-5 years of imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

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The Legislature Today
7:29 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

George Hohmann Talks 'Move to Improve' & Minimum Wage, Eric Eyre Discusses Rx-Only Pseudoephedrine

The House of Delegates responds to accusations that the triple committee reference of the Senate's chemical spill bill means certain demise. The Senate plans to get children exercising, rehabilitation programs to quell prison overcrowding, and a bill to create a future fund for mineral severance taxes. Former Charleston Daily Mail business editor and current West Virginia Press Association writer George Hohmann talks Senator John Unger's 'Move to Improve' initiative and minimum wage. Eric Eyre of The Charleston Gazette discusses prescription-only pseudoephedrine legislation aimed at stifling meth production.

Senate
6:34 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Kessler’s Future Fund Takes New Shape

Senate President Jeff Kessler discusses Senate business with staffers during the 2014 Legislative Session.
Credit Ashton Marra

Senate President Jeff Kessler introduced his Future Fund legislation into the Senate Friday. The proposal this year, however, is slightly different from years past.

Senate Bill 461 creates the statutory framework for the fund:

-Provides 25 percent of any revenues collected from oil and gas severance taxes over and above $175 million be automatically placed in Future Fund, up from $70 million baseline proposed last year

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House of Delegates
4:23 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

House Defends Triple Committee Reference of Senate's Water Bill

Delegate Meshea Poore responds to criticisms of the House's decision to send Senate 373 through three committees.
Credit Daniel Walker

It took 12 days from its introduction for the Senate to pass Bill 373.

It has been several days since its introduction to the House and the bill has yet to be seen by its first committee.

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Childhood Obesity
1:32 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Teachers Support Senate Bill to Get Students Moving

Senate Majority Leader John Unger
Credit WV Legislature

With the Success of the Feed to Achieve Act last year, Senate Majority Leader John Unger is now looking to take on childhood obesity with new legislation. He introduced the Move to Improve Act into the Senate Thursday.

“Move to Improve goes into our middle schools and our elementary schools and really tries to instill in our students the importance of good nutrition and physical activity,” Unger said.

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The Legislature Today
9:38 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Senator Unger Talks Child Poverty and Education, Chemical Spill Bill

The Senate focuses on the health of children around West Virginia, Senator John Unger talks issues regarding children and poverty, improving education,  as well as movement on the bill to protect water resources from another chemical spill. Transportation Secretary Paul Mattox discusses poor road conditions and funding with the House Finance Committee.

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