2015 Legislative Session


Over 300 teens will be at the Capitol this weekend for a mock legislative session. Teenagers from all over the state who are part of the Youth Leadership Association: Youth in Government will travel to Charleston to hold a student led, mock legislative session for three days.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

In the first days of the 2015 Legislative session, energy was the focus of legislators’ attention. A bill that first began as a total repeal of the alternative and renewable energy portfolio act soon became only a partial repeal as lawmakers’ attempted to leave in place current net metering standards.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

 Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has signed a bill expanding some access of public records, while eliminating public disclosure of who owns concealed carry permits.

The Democrat approved the legislation Wednesday.

West Virginia Legislative Services

It looks unlikely that Uber is coming to West Virginia this year.

With debate closed, the Republican-led House of Delegates voted Friday against reviving an Uber bill that was idled. The bill would have allowed Uber and other ridesharing companies, while adjusting taxi cab regulations.

Republican House Speaker Tim Armstead tells The Associated Press there are higher priorities the last two days of session.

Joshuashearn / wikimedia Commons

Thursday in the House, among the multitude of bills passed, the Firearms Act of 2015 was also up for a vote. Senate Bill 347 has received an overwhelming amount of controversy among legislators, their constituents, law enforcement, and others, and no less was seen on the House floor.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is calling for the Republican-led Legislature to stay for an extended budget session.

State lawmakers received the message Thursday for the budget session, which has been standard practice. The Legislature's 60-day regular session ends Saturday.

Tomblin has called for the budget session to conclude Wednesday at the latest.

Tomblin's proposed budget anticipates using $15.5 million from the state's Rainy Day Fund. It doesn't include tax increases.

Rollbacks for Storage Tanks Move Through Legislature

Mar 12, 2015
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, We bring you the latest developments from the House as well as an update on the rollback of regulations for above-ground storage tanks that were a result of the chemical spill last year.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Courtesy Patrol is a free roadside assistance service offered to those traveling through West Virginia. The program is within the Division of Tourism, as the patrol often helps visitors as they travel. It has a budget of four million dollars. In the House Wednesday, Delegates considered a senate passed bill that transfers the patrol to the Division of Highways, but allows Tourism to keep the money for state marketing campaigns. But the debate took a turn, as Republicans debated whether the courtesy patrol should even exist.

West Virginia Legislature

State Republican legislative leaders are asking for additional study into the economic impact of a potential right-to-work law in West Virginia.

A news release Wednesday says Senate President Bill Cole and House Speaker Tim Armstead requested the research on March 6. It will be completed by the West Virginia University Bureau of Business and Economic Research later this year.

This year's right-to-work proposal would have made it a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a $5,000 fine, to require workers to pay dues to a union. It wouldn't have applied to federal workers.

Public Hearing Held on Charter Schools

Mar 11, 2015
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we’ll bring you the latest developments in the Senate and the House, including a public hearing that was held yesterday on Charter Schools

West Virginia Legislative Services

Senate Bill 30 permits a shared animal ownership agreement to consume raw milk. Currently in the state, it is illegal to purchase or sell raw milk. And just like when it was debated in the Senate, some members of the House also questioned the health effects of drinking raw milk, while others maintained it allows for personal freedom.

Over the weekend the House Judiciary Committee met to discuss a handful of bills, but most notably the bill to amend the concealed carry law and a bill that reforms political spending in the state.

Thousands Rally for Union Workers at the Capitol

Mar 9, 2015
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, We’ll bring you information on a large pro-union rally that took place over the weekend at the capital, and Catherine Moore brings us the story of a community organization from Clay County that is fighting for a better future.

Catherine Moore

Early one morning this past January, two Clay County school busses pulled up at the state capitol complex in Charleston. Inside were members of the group “What’s Next, Clay County?”, one of twenty-five communities across the state that is organizing to strengthen their local economy as a part of the “What’s Next, WV?” initiative. 

Over seventy people attended their first community meeting last fall—not a small feat in a community of their size. They chose five areas to focus their work: youth and education; infrastructure; small business; drugs; and cleaning up trash and dilapidated properties.

Perry Bennett / WV Legislative Photography

A special joint-session of the legislature was held in the House chamber Friday in response to the recent crises caused from this week’s storm. Officials wanted to explain Governor Tomblin’s State of Emergency declaration and to update lawmakers about current conditions and what they can tell their constituents affected by the storm.

Public Hearing on WV Firearms Act Stirs Both Sides

Mar 6, 2015
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we bring you the latest on developments in the House and a public hearing that took place yesterday about Senate Bill 347, the West Virginia Firearms Act of 2015, which would allow adults to carry a concealed firearm without a permit.

Perry Bennett / WV Legislative Photography

The Charter Schools bill made its way into the House Wednesday. The House Education Committee debated the bill until almost midnight that night. It ultimately passed and will soon be on first reading in the full House.

Lawmakers Move to Overturn Abortion Veto

Mar 5, 2015
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we bring you the latest from the House and the Senate including a move by Delegates to overturn Governor Tomblin's veto of the 22-week abortion ban.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

After a session that lasted almost until midnight Tuesday night, members of the House got an early start Wednesday morning to pass a flurry of bills. Here's a look at three of those bills, but first a look at a proposed constitutional amendment that passed protecting homeowners from creditors after the passing of a spouse.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A push to drug test some welfare recipients is dead in the West Virginia Legislature.

On Wednesday, Republican bill sponsor Del. Patrick Lane confirmed the bill was done for the session.

The Republican-led House voted to table the bill Tuesday.

Wednesday is the final day to pass bills out of at least one chamber. The Senate version of the welfare drug testing bill hasn't passed, either.

In the West Virginia bills, drug testing would have been based on reasonable suspicion.