2016 Legislative Session

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.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A West Virginia religious-exemptions bill that opponents say would allow for discrimination has cleared the Republican-led House of Delegates.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we take a look at our changing school system in West Virginia that has had to endure cuts and layoffs in part because of a declining population of students.

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.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the Obama Administration has released its budget for 2016 and $120 million has been designated for programs in Appalachia to help revitalize areas affected by the sharp decline in the coal industry.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A small conference center and campground in Jackson County has stirred up plenty of controversy at the statehouse over the past few years.

Members of the West Virginia Board of Education want to get rid of their authority of the Cedar Lakes Conference Center, but state officials aren’t willing to pay the cost to let it go.

This year, lawmakers believe they’ve found a compromise that let’s the board off the hook while keeping Cedar Lakes open for the thousands of kids who attend camps there each year.

Martin Valent / West Virginia Legislative Photography

West Virginia Senators voted 32 to 2 to create a three-year pilot program to drug test welfare recipients. Two Democratic senators voted against the provision. 

The bill requires the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources seek federal approval to create such a program and sets forth the requirements for it, including the "reasonable suspicion" a DHHR employee must find before testing a TANF recipient. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, We look into the new debate over concealed carry permits and drug testing some West Virginians who receive public assistance.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the House of Delegates once again held a marathon floor session debating a bill supporters say protects the constitutional rights of their constituents. The bill would allow West Virginians of a certain age to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. Many Democrats expressed safety concerns over the measure, and attempted to amend the bill on its third reading Monday.

Martin Valent / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Updated 2/9/2016: The West Virginia Senate approved a three-year pilot drug testing program, 32-2. For more, click here.

Original story:

 Members of the West Virginia Senate are set to vote on a bill to drug test the recipients of public assistance. 

Senate Bill 6 creates a three-year pilot program to drug test recipients of TANF benefits. TANF stands for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Lawmakers continue to move forward with legislation to balance this year’s budget, and three of those bills will be up for a vote in the House of Delegates on Monday.

Senate Bills 342, 357, and 360 are all aimed at balancing the 2016 budget.

Governor Tomblin’s budget officials say the state will end the fiscal year in June with a nearly $400 million budget gap and West Virginia lawmakers are constitutionally required to balance the budget each fiscal year.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we’ll take a close look at the prevailing wage repeal which has now passed through the senate with 18 republicans in favor and 16 democrats against.

Martin Valent / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia Senate has approved a bill to repeal the state’s prevailing wage on a party line vote. The bill now heads to Governor Tomblin for a signature.

Lawmakers voted 18-16 Thursday with only Republicans supporting the legislation.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we’ll hear from Governor Tomblin about what he thinks of the 2016 legislative session so far and we’ll take a look at possible causes of a sharp increase of Lyme disease in West Virginia.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

In the House Wednesday, Delegates made changes to the Right-to-Work bill, which will be up for a vote in the chamber Thursday.

Senate Bill 1 was on second reading in the House. This is the West Virginia Workplace Freedom Act, or more commonly known as Right-to-Work.

As the vote to repeal the state’s prevailing wage draws closer in the West Virginia Senate, Democratic members of the chamber are not being silent about their opposition. Wednesday, two Senators attempted to amend the legislation on the floor.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the chairs of the House and Senate are attempting to take on one of West Virginia's biggest problems- substance abuse.

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.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning we’ll hear some of the debate over the prevailing wage repeal including senator Craig Blair’s take as well as delegate Gary Howell.

Martin Valent / West Virginia Legislative Photography

On a party-line vote Monday, members of the Senate Committee on Government Organization approved a bill to repeal the state's prevailing wage. It was reported to the floor Monday as well, setting it up for a vote Thursday. 

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