Government

Teachers and other state workers rally at the Capitol, Mar. 6, 2018.
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Steven Paine told reporters Thursday afternoon that all nine days of the recent teacher and school employee work stoppage would need to be made up by each county school district. However, counties will have control and flexibility on how they do it.

West Virginia Legislative Services

A longtime West Virginia lawmaker has resigned in the final week of the 2018 legislative session.

The 39th District seat in the House of Delegates held by 67-year-old Ron Walters is vacant following the Republican insurance agent's resignation Wednesday after more than 20 years.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the teacher work stoppage is over and schools are back in operation, so now attention at the Capitol has shifted to the state’s budget.

On The Legislature Today, the teachers strike is over and schools are back in operation, so now the story at the Capitol is the budget. Both the House and Senate are considering their versions during these last few days of the session. Host Andrea Lannom is joined by Senate Finance Vice Chairman Greg Boso, R-Nicholas, and House Finance Minority Vice Chairman Mick Bates, D-Raleigh, to discuss some differences and some areas where the two chambers can agree.

Teachers and supporters fill the Capitol Building March 5, 2018, in Charleston, W.Va.
Molly Born / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Now that teachers and other school employees across West Virginia have returned to the classroom, lawmakers are turning their attention to the budget to pay for 5 percent raises for educators, service personnel – and the salary hike promised for all public employees.

Students have breakfast at Stonewall Jackson Middle School on Wednesday, March 7, 2018, in Charleston, W.Va.
Robert Ray / Associated Press

Schools across West Virginia reopened Wednesday as families got back into their daily routines following a nine-day teacher strike.

The strike was declared over Tuesday, March 6, after the Legislature passed and the governor signed a 5 percent pay raise to end what’s believed to be the longest strike in state history. The last major strike, in 1990, lasted eight days.

On The Legislature Today, an agreement among House and Senate conferees for a five percent pay raise for all of West Virginia’s public employees was announced Tuesday morning. Later that afternoon, both the House and Senate bodies approved HB 4145, giving teachers, school service personnel, and state troopers a five percent raise. Shortly after that, the bill was signed by Governor Jim Justice and will go into effect on July 1, 2018. Teachers erupted over the news that effectively began the end of a 9-day statewide teacher and school personnel work stoppage. Host Andrea Lannom speaks with Senate President Mitch Carmichael to hear the latest.

Kara Lofton/ West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Updated on Mar. 6, 2018 at 8:30 p.m.

After nine long days of a teacher and service personnel work stoppage, it looks like it’s come to an end. Lawmakers have agreed to a five percent pay raise for teachers as well as a five percent pay increase for all public workers.

Teachers hold a rally outside the Senate Chambers in the West Virginia Capitol Monday, March. 5, 2018 in Charleston, W.V. Hundreds of teachers from 55 counties were on strike for pay raises and better health benefits.
Tyler Evert / Associated Press

Gov. Jim Justice and West Virginia’s Republican leaders tentatively agreed Tuesday to end the state’s nine-day teachers’ walkout by giving 5 percent raises to not just teachers, but all state workers.

To pay for it, lawmakers will seek to cut state spending by $20 million, taking funds from general services and Medicaid, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Craig Blair said.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislature Photography

The West Virginia teacher strike entered its ninth day Tuesday. A bill that provides salary increases for teachers, school employees and other state workers was again the focus of lawmakers and teachers at the Capitol on Monday.

On The Legislature Today, conferees from the Senate and House met for the first time Monday afternoon, following their appointment Saturday night to work out their differences in a salary bill for teachers, school personnel, and other state employees. We bring you an update from the eighth day of the work stoppage, the latest action from the House and Senate floors, and host Andrea Lannom chats with Bob Brown, a representative from the American Federation of Teachers – West Virginia chapter.

West Virginia Legislative Services

Voters in November will decide on a resolution that would effectively strip the constitutional right to have an abortion in West Virginia.

Teachers and supporters fill the Capitol Building March 5, 2018, in Charleston, W.Va.
Molly Born / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On the eighth day of a statewide teacher strike, a special committee of lawmakers is set to begin sorting out what kind of pay raise teachers in West Virginia will ultimately receive.

The union representing West Virginia teachers says their strike — begun Feb. 22 — will extend at least through Monday, if not longer, after the state Senate failed to pass the raise teachers are holding out for.

Senators voted for a 4 percent raise for teachers, service personnel and state troopers.

Teachers rally outside the state Senate chambers at the Capitol in Charleston, W.Va., on Thursday, March 1, 2018.
John Raby / AP Photo

Update: 10:15 p.m. 03/03/18

The question of whether striking West Virginia teachers would return to the classroom Monday was temporarily dwarfed by another Saturday night: What just happened here?

The state Senate passed a bill that they thought would give teachers a 4 percent raise, less than the 5 percent they asked for. But, according to a House of Delegates clerk, the version Senate lawmakers passed had some of the same key language as the original.

On The Legislature Today, there’s only one full week left of the 2018 West Virginia Legislative session. In these final days, tensions continue to run high over the teacher work stoppage and the legislative process addressing the issues of PEIA and teacher salaries. Host Andrea Lannom is joined by fellow statehouse reporter Jake Zuckerman of the Charleston Gazette-Mail to breakdown all the action of the week and what’s to come as we near the final hours.

Patrick Morrisey, W. Va. Attorney General
Janet Kunicki / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia's attorney general says his December lawsuit against the federal Drug Enforcement Administration will lead to fewer opioid prescriptions in the U.S.

Teacher Strike Reaches 7 Days Without Classes

Mar 2, 2018
Jacob Staggers, a sixth-grade English teacher at South Middle School in Morgantown, W.Va., holds up a sign outside the state Senate chambers at the Capitol in Charleston, W.Va., on Thursday, March 1, 2018.
John Raby / Associated Press

Many West Virginia public school students were at loose ends again Friday, with their classrooms closed for a seventh straight class day as teachers fought for pay raises.

Last year, according to government figures, there were 16 "climate disaster events" with losses exceeding $1 billion each in the U.S.

So the weather is something to keep an eye on, and since 1870 what's now known as the National Weather Service has been doing that. But for the last several years, it's been doing so with serious staff shortages.

Now, it faces the prospect of permanent job losses.

The Trump administration wants to eliminate 355 jobs, and $75 million from the weather service budget.

On The Legislature Today, protesting teachers returned to the Capitol, ignoring their union leadership and extending a work stoppage for a fifth day statewide. Acting on a revised revenue forecast from Gov. Jim Justice, the House of Delegates moved swiftly Wednesday night to pass a new 5 percent pay raise package for teachers, service personnel and state police, with raises for additional state employees to be addressed in the budget bill. But a fix for PEIA is still the issue.

Gloria Triplett, a reading specialist at East Chapmanville Elementary School, holds signs Friday, Feb. 2, 2018, during a teacher rally at the West Virginia Capitol in Charleston, W.Va.
John Raby / Associated Press

West Virginia teachers spent a sixth day on strike on March 1 after negotiations were insufficient to end the walkout. But is their strike legal?

Shortly before the strike began, state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (and U.S. Senate candidate) said it wasn’t.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Gov. Jim Justice revised his revenue estimates for next year, which allows for a 5 percent pay raise for teachers and state service personnel. But schools remain closed Thursday, with thousands of state employees still concerned about ballooning insurance rates. On last night’s episode of The Legislature Today, host Andrea Lannom spoke with Senate Finance Chairman Craig Blair about these issues. We have an excerpt from that interview.

John Raby / AP Photo

 

 

What was supposed to be a “cooling off” day Wednesday was anything but under the gold dome in Charleston. After Gov. Jim Justice and union leaders announced a deal had been made Tuesday to end the teacher strike and send educators and service personnel back to the classroom Thursday, uncertainty around the Capitol all West Virginia counties called off school Thursday, March 1.

On The Legislature Today, Gov. Jim Justice held a press conference Tuesday evening announcing a 5 percent pay increase for teachers and state service personnel as well as an end to the work stoppage – however, the stoppage looked far from over Wednesday. We bring you the latest from the Capitol. Also, in this episode, host Andrea Lannom is joined by Senate Finance Chairman Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, to talk about the budgetary issues facing lawmakers.

Appalachian Regional Commission

The Appalachian Regional Commission reports supporting 55 projects in West Virginia with nearly $19 million in the 2017 fiscal year.

Mixed Response To Plan To End West Virginia Teacher Strike

Feb 28, 2018
Teachers John and Kerry Guerini of Fayetteville, West Virginia, hold signs at a rally at the state Capitol in Charleston, W.Va., Monday, Feb. 26, 2018.
John Raby / Associated Press

This story is developing and will be updated.

Gov. Jim Justice’s proposed 5 percent pay raise to end the walkout by West Virginia teachers quickly received a mixed reception in the Legislature where approval is needed.

Justice’s Tuesday evening announcement followed his meeting with union leaders for teachers in all 55 counties. They planned to return to work Thursday after striking a week earlier over low pay and rising health insurance costs.

Gideon and the Governor

Feb 28, 2018
Ann Coleman, principal at Triadelphia Middle School, and Ohio County Schools Superintendent Dr. Kim Miller, met with Gideon and his parents following Gov. Justice’s press conference.
Gabe Wells, Ohio County Schools

This article was originally published by Weelunk.

“If you put money in schools, you’re making smart people. And if you have smart people then you can make more smart investments.”

That’s what Gideon Titus-Glover said to Gov. Jim Justice during a town hall meeting at Wheeling Park High School on Monday. It left the state’s CEO speechless.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, after meetings Tuesday with Gov. Jim Justice, leaders of teacher and service personnel unions say the work stoppage will end Thursday. Dave Mistich reports on how the news was delivered and reaction from lawmakers.

The work stoppage that has closed public schools in West Virginia will end Thursday, leaders of teacher and service personnel unions said after meeting with the governor.

On The Legislature Today, leadership of the West Virginia Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers – West Virginia Chapter, and the West Virginia School Service Personnel Association met with Gov. Jim Justice on the fourth day of a statewide teacher and school personnel work stoppage over salaries and health care benefits.

Shortly after the live taping of our broadcast, Gov. Justice held a press conference announcing the work stoppage would end Thursday and called for a 3 percent pay increase for all state employees this year with an additional 2 percent hike for those who work in education, including teachers and service personnel. Follow our story here for the latest.

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