2016 Legislative Session

Sarah Lowther Hensley / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A bill passed in the House today that gives more local control to counties when it comes to fixing their roads. It received over an hour’s worth of debate on the floor.

House Bill 4009 allows counties to propose and fund road projects by imposing a sales tax that would not exceed 1 percent. That tax would first have to be approved by 60 percent of the voters in the county in a referendum. The road plans would then have to be approved by the Division of Highways.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Kara Lofton brings us the story on a service called “Help 4 WV”, which connects those who struggle with substance abuse or behavioral problems to already-existing programs for help and Ashton Marra brings us a story about Sen. John Unger dropping his lawsuit against Senate President Bill Cole.

Also, Liz McCormick reports on a debate among the Delegates over science standards, we hear a clip from this week's Inside Appalachia about Gary Bentley, who writes a blog about the life of a coal minor, and Drive-By Truckers bring us "Pauline Hawkins" for the Mountain Stage song of the week.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the House debated amendments to a bill Thursday that would repeal the state’s Common Core based education standards and require new assessments for the public education system. Common Core was repealed by the West Virginia Board of Education in December, but some Delegates believe the state board still hasn’t gone far enough.

Martin Valent / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Berkeley County Democrat Sen. John Unger has dropped his lawsuit against Senate President Bill Cole after "reaching an agreement" with Senate Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael Thursday.

Unger filed a lawsuit in Kanawha County Circuit Court after Senate leadership announced they would hold floor sessions, including votes on bills, both Saturday and Sunday this week.

The Legislature Today
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Several bills being considered at the statehouse would give gas companies an option when a mineral rights owner refuses to sell. The bill negotiated over several months by the House Energy Committee Chair has stalled in the chamber though.

Tom Huber, Vice President of the West Virginia Royalty Owners Association, discusses the failed bill and the others lawmakers may still put to a vote this session.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, we take a look at the house of delegates and their plans to close the budget gap for the 2016 and 2017 fiscal year.

Martin Valent / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A proposal by Governor Tomblin to recalculate the state school aid funding formula and cut public education funding by nearly $15 million in the 2017 budget year was killed in the Senate Wednesday when lawmakers rejected the bill as it moved out of the chamber’s Education Committee.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the House will have to agree to a plan that closes the 2016 budget gap. On Wednesday, the chamber’s floor session largely focused on what that plan may look like for both the 2016 and 2017 fiscal years.

Martin Valent / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A senator who is a pastor has filed a lawsuit to prevent the West Virginia Senate from working this Sunday.

Sen. John Unger filed the lawsuit Wednesday against Senate President Bill Cole in Kanawha County Circuit Court.

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.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of both the House and Senate approved the final version of a bill Wednesday to remove the permitting and safety training requirements for anyone over the age of 21 to carry a concealed weapon in West Virginia.

House Bill 4145 now heads to Gov. Tomblin's desk. It includes a compromised tax credit of $50 for completing the optional permitting and safety training that will remain in place. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning: It’s been just over a week since the Legislature voted to make West Virginia a right-to-work state, and business owners are speaking out.


Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Governor Tomblin was hesitant to say Tuesday whether he’d sign a Senate-approved bill that removes the permitting and safety training requirements to carry a concealed weapon in West Virginia.

The bill was approved by the upper chamber Monday and was expected to be reconsidered by the House of Delegates Tuesday; however the bill did not come up on the floor.

The Legislature Today
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Senators want to raise the state’s tobacco tax by $1, but Governor Tomblin says that could cause a loss of business in the border counties. Still, Tomblin says if the measure is approved by the House of Delegates he "probably could" sign it.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

After a veto from Governor Tomblin last year, members of the Senate and the House have both taken up a bill that would allow West Virginians to consume raw milk. Members of the Senate passed the bill earlier this month on a vote of 22 to 12, and yesterday, Delegates cast their final votes.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the House of Delegates is beginning work on a bill that would ban a common abortion method.


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.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The House of Delegates is just beginning its work on a bill that would ban one of the nation’s most commonly used second-trimester abortion methods.

As approved in the Senate, Senate Bill 10 would ban what are commonly referred to as dismemberment abortions. That ban is only when the abortion is elective, not in cases of medical emergencies. Discussion over the bill began with a public hearing Monday morning.

Martin Valent / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the West Virginia Senate voted  24 to 9 Monday to approve a bill allowing West Virginians over the age of 21 to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. 

The bill has already been approved by the House of Delegates, but Senators included changes that will now need to be reconsidered by the lower chamber before it heads to Governor Tomblin for a signature. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we learn about one county in West Virginia that is not yet satisfied with West Virginia’s current version of the online voting registration process. Also, Kara Lofton Brings us a report on the opportunities residents of West Virginia have for their end-of-life stages.

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