On The Legislature Today, House Speaker Tim Armstead has announced he will step down from the West Virginia House of Delegates in 2019, and is considering a run for the state Supreme Court in 2020.

We also bring you another reporter roundtable with host Andrea Lannom, Brad McElhinny of MetroNews, and Jake Zuckerman of the Charleston Gazette-Mail to chat about what’s happened at the statehouse this week and what’s to come.

Steve Williams
City of Huntington, W.Va.

Huntington Mayor Steve Williams says he's ending his run for the U.S. House in West Virginia's 3rd District.

Williams tells the Huntington Herald-Dispatch there are problems in the city that need his attention, including a drug epidemic and growing violence.

Tim Armstead
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

West Virginia House Speaker Tim Armstead announced he will step down from his work in the Legislature in 2019 and could be looking to sit on the West Virginia Supreme Court.

In a statement from the West Virginia Republican Party, chairwoman Melody Potter said Armstead has been a leader for the Republican party as both the speaker of the House and as the former-minority leader.

Capitol, West Virginia State Capitol
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

West Virginia lawmakers have begun advancing proposals for redistricting House of Delegates seats and providing free community and technical college during their first full week of their 2018 session.

Hundreds of other bills have been freshly introduced, several at the request of the Justice administration.

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

A second man has been sentenced to life in prison with the chance of parole after 15 years in the fatal shooting of a coal executive at a West Virginia cemetery.

News outlets report Mingo Circuit Judge Miki Thompson handed down the sentence Thursday for 20-year-old Brandon Lee Fitzpatrick, of Louisa, Kentucky. Fitzpatrick pleaded guilty last month in the killing of Bennett K. Hatfield, who was shot while visiting his wife's gravesite in May 2016.

The new U.S. attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia has announced the leadership team of federal prosecutors and civil litigators, saying they bring more than a century of combined experience there.

Prescriptions, Pills, Drugs, Prescription
U.S. Air Force

Jim Johnson, director of the West Virginia's new Office of Drug Control Policy, has announced his retirement after almost five months in the position.

The office within the Department of Health and Human Resources was established by lawmakers to coordinate and expand state measures against drug abuse.

Former Massey CEO and West Virginia Republican Senatorial candidate, Don Blankenship, speaks during a town hall to kick off his campaign in Logan, W.Va., Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018.
Steve Helber / Associated Press

A former coal company CEO who went to prison on charges stemming from the deadliest U.S. mine disaster in decades kicked off his U.S. Senate campaign by trying to persuade a largely working class audience that he identifies with them.

On The Legislature Today, we chat with state Department of Health and Human Resources Cabinet Secretary Bill Crouch about a massive reorganization bill that was introduced in the House of Delegates. The bill would divide DHHR into four separate agencies.

Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press

A former coal company CEO who served a one-year prison term on charges related to the deadliest U.S. mine disaster in four decades is kicking off his U.S. Senate campaign with a town hall meeting for voters.

Ex-Massey Energy boss Don Blankenship is scheduled to attend the meeting Thursday night at the Chief Logan Lodge, Hotel and Conference Center in Logan. Blankenship has said he wants to tell voters why he's the best candidate. A news conference is planned afterward.

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Dollar Photo Club

West Virginia Health and Human Resources Secretary Bill Crouch says $160 million in savings from the state's Medicaid program will be applied to other programs.

Matthew Woitunski / Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia's U.S. senators say more than $8.3 million in federal funding has been approved for 63 programs across the state that help homeless people.

On The Legislature Today, we bring you a special focus on West Virginia’s opioid epidemic. First, we take you to the small town of Kermit where the tragic toll of the epidemic has weighed heavily on residents, and then, host Andrea Lannom chats with two lawmakers who outline legislation addressing the issue on multiple fronts.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia House Education Committee has advanced a resolution that could amend the state constitution. The amendment would reduce the number of state Board of Education members and call for the election of some members.

Tomwsulcer / Wikimedia Commons

A West Virginia public library system will soon limit the number of personal items patrons can bring into facilities.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that starting Feb. 1, the Kanawha County Public Library system will limit patrons to three bags and will ban wheeled devices with some exceptions, including wheelchairs and strollers.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear about organic chicken eggs, a major pipeline project in Pennsylvania, and we take a tour of one of the most successful furniture manufacturers in West Virginia.

Spotted Lanternfly, Lanternfly, Lantern Fly, Fly, Lantern
Sam Droege / USGS

West Virginia's Department of Agriculture has established an email where the state's residents can send pictures and descriptions of a suspected invasive pest, as well as their locations and any related damage to buildings or plants.

On The Legislature Today, host Andrea Lannom talks with House Finance Committee Chairman Delegate Eric Nelson and Senate Majority Leader Ryan Ferns on the current budget situation in West Virginia – where we are now and where we’re headed.

Jim Justice
Scott Halleran / Getty Images

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has ordered state agencies to stop issuing new regulations and review old ones to determine if they're outmoded or excessive and should be continued, modified or repealed.

He called for reviews of current regulations by Nov. 1.

Logs Logging
GeographBot / wikimedia commons

Gov. Jim Justice's administration has proposed opening West Virginia's state parks to logging.

Legislation introduced by the Senate's Republican and Democratic leaders at Justice's request would authorize the Division of Natural Resources to implement "a sound silvicultural management plan."

Alokrohith / wikimedia commons

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection says 21 organizations around the state are receiving grants to help protect the quality of the state's rivers and streams.

Greenland Gap
Nature Conservancy / WV Humanities Council

The West Virginia Outdoor Heritage Conservation Fund says it's accepting grant applications for land-protection projects with up to $1.2 million that may be awarded.

On the Legislature Today, Senate President Mitch Carmichael and House Speaker Tim Armstead join host Andrea Lannom to discuss some of the biggest issues so far this session:

West Virginia Legislature

A bill that would create 100 single-member districts after the 2020 U.S. Census is headed to the floor of the West Virginia House of Delegates.


The House Judiciary Committee passed House Bill 4002 during a Monday afternoon meeting.

The hubbub over the Republican tax plan has died down some since it passed, but the bill isn't forgotten — not by a long shot.

On The Legislature Today, some noteworthy action has already taken place, and it's only day three of the 2018 state Legislative session.

From chocolate kisses replacing last year's platter of manure, to a senator’s resignation, to the Chief Justice's appearance before lawmakers – we’ll break it all down.

child, depression, behavioral health, mental health, anxiety, agression, bullying, loneliness, alone, tears, sadness, boy
Dollar Photo Club

Some West Virginia lawmakers say they'll introduce legislation intended to better protect children from sex abuse following a task force report indicating one in 10 are victims before they turn 18.

The group's recommendations include training all public school personnel to recognize and respond to suspected abuse and clarifying the state's mandatory reporting laws.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

With the Legislature paying more attention to the West Virginia Supreme Court’s spending, conversations continue about how lawmakers might have a hand in overseeing the budget of the judicial branch.

Chief Justice Allen Loughry gave a presentation to the House Finance Committee Friday morning where he tried to explain spending that has been criticized in recent months.  

Opioids, opioid, painkillers, perscription, narcotics, doctors
Dollar Photo Club

Updated Friday January 12 at 4:18 p.m.

State health officials are proposing a multifaceted plan for confronting the drug crisis killing hundreds of West Virginians each year, one that would require action by everyone from lawmakers to doctors to judges to emergency responders to the general public.

On the first episode of this season's The Legislature Today, new host Andrea Lannom discusses Governor Jim Justice’s second State of the State address, followed by the Democratic Response, given by Sen. Minority Leader Roman Prezioso and House Minority Leader Tim Miley.