Ashton Marra

West Virginia's Senate has followed the House and passed legislation to let industrial plants discharge more pollution into West Virginia waterways.

The bill that passed 20-13 would authorize the Department of Environmental Protection to calculate water pollution limits for cancer-causing and other chemicals using an average-flow figure called the "harmonic mean."

House of Delegates
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photograhy

The West Virginia House has voted to revise the legal requirement to notify parents of an underage daughter's abortion.

Under the current law, a physician other than the doctor performing the procedure can waive the requirement by finding the minor is mature enough to decide independently or that notification wouldn't be in her best interest.

W.Va. State Police
wikimedia / Wikimedia

West Virginia State Police say a trooper was wounded by gunfire after responding to a domestic violence call and a suspect was taken into custody hours later.

The agency said in a statement that Cpl. David Fry was hit in the shoulder and wrist while responding early Tuesday morning to the call at an apartment complex in Lincoln County. The statement says the injuries are serious, but not life-threatening.

Sen. Joe Manchin takes questions from reporters before the town hall meeting.
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia's Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin has announced a Town Hall meeting Friday in the state's southern coal country to meet with miners.

Manchin has been pushing legislation to extend health and pension benefits to retired union miners, saying they were promised by then-President Harry Truman and are about to expire.

Woodburn Hall, West Virginia University
Richinstead / wikimedia Commons

The average cost of tuition at West Virginia's public universities and colleges has doubled in the past 15 years, according to a new report.

The West Virginia Center on Budget Policy released a report Monday showing average tuition has increased by about $4,200 a year at the state's four-year colleges and universities since 2002, media outlets said.

Gary Howell
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Delegates voted on 12 pieces of legislation in the House yesterday, including one that creates a centralized state vehicle inventory system. The bill was the result of both an interim study and a request from Gov. Jim Justice. 

Martin Valent / West Virginia Legislative Photography

West Virginia's Senate has voted to raise the campaign contribution limit from $1,000 to $2,700 to a candidate in a primary or general election and revise other provisions in state election law.

The bill approved 21-12 now goes to the House for consideration.

Greyhound Racing
AngMoKio / wikimedia Commons

The West Virginia Senate has passed a bill that would transfer funding from the greyhound racing industry back into state coffers to help offset the budget crisis.

After significant debate, the bill passed 19-15 Monday and now awaits action in the House of Delegates. Greyhound officials say the bill would cost an estimated 1,700 jobs and doom the industry in the state.

Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Vice President Mike Pence made several stops in West Virginia Saturday, March 25, including the West Virginia state Capitol and Foster Supply Company in Scott Depot, where he spoke to an audience of about 200 small business owners and their families.

Prison Bars
Schavda / wikimedia Commons

West Virginia authorities say the regional jail system has revamped its inmate mail policy so inmates receive photocopies of all mail from family friends and businesses and the originals are shredded.

According to the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, the state's prisons are poised to do the same as the 10 regional jails.

Energy, heat, money, thermostat, heat pump, furnace
Dave Mistich via Tableau Public

 West Virginia's Department of Health and Human Resources says it will accept applications for emergency low-income energy assistance starting Monday until funds are exhausted.

The federally funded program helps eligible residents who have a termination notice in paying home heating bills.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Delegates in the House Finance committee met Saturday afternoon to hear yet another budget proposal from Republican leadership. Earlier this month, House and Senate leaders released their budget framework, but not a budget bill.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A Senate committee has delayed consideration of a bill that some Democratic members challenged as being unconstitutional Saturday.

Senate Bill 609 would cut funding to public education by reducing the state school aid funding formula.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship has been moved to a halfway house as he nears the completion of his federal prison sentence.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that Blankenship has been placed in a halfway house in Phoenix, according to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons website.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the Senate voted 27-6, with one member absent, Saturday to increase the state's gasoline tax and some vehicle fees to increase funding for the state's Road Fund.

Senate Bill 477 was presented to lawmakers on behalf of Gov. Jim Justice.

House of Delegates
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photograhy

The House of Delegates passed a bill that would end the Racetrack Modernization Fund three years early.

The fund was created by the Legislature in 2011 to provide matching dollars for the state’s four racetrack casinos to upgrade video lottery and other digital games.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A Senate committee has advanced a bill to create a medical marijuana program in West Virginia, despite the committee chairman’s vote against it. 

The Senate Health and Human Resources Committee took up Senate Bill 386 Friday morning, the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act. 

House Finance Committee
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the House Finance Committee are expected to get their first look at the chamber’s budget for the 2018 fiscal year in a meeting this Saturday. In order to balance it, lawmakers will have to close an estimated $497 million hole.

Roger Hanshaw
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Thirty percent of West Virginians do not have access to basic broadband services as defined by federal law, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

When you look at just the rural parts of West Virginia, that percent increases to 48.

House Bill 3093 aims to change that.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Update Friday, March 24, 2017: Senators have approved Senate Bill 18, 18-16, with four Republicans joining their Democratic colleagues to vote against it. 

Senators will vote on a bill Friday that will give lawmakers the authority to approve all change to education standards and aligned standardized testing to be required in West Virginia schools after an amendment to a bill on the chamber floor Thursday.