Government

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear from Major General James Hoyer about rebuilding efforts in parts of the state affected by last year's flooding. Inside Appalachia host Jessica also speaks with Hoyer about what the National Guard learned from the flood.

We also hear more about our Struggle to Stay series.

A West Virginia House of Delegates leader has asked state agencies to review the licenses of four men who have admitted to taking part in a kickback scheme involving the Division of Highways.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports House Government Organization Chairman Gary Howell sent letters last week to the Board of Registration for Professional Engineers, the Contractors Licensing Board and the state Purchasing Division.

Perry Bennet / WV Legislative Photography

On this West Virginia Morning, lawmakers in Charleston have agreed on a budget deal and sent a bill to Gov. Jim Justice. Ashton Marra speaks with Jesse Wright about what is and isn't in the budget.

We also begin a series stories in recognition of the one-year anniversary of the devastating flooding that killed 23 people in West Virginia. Roxy Todd visited reverend and musician John Wyatt to see how Rainelle has been faring in the year since the flood.

Steve Helber / Associated Press

Rain falling like it would never end has changed the meaning of summer in this tiny corner of Appalachia.

When the downpour finally stopped in White Sulphur Springs on June 23, 2016, five lives had been lost along one road alone — Mill Hill Drive. And 23 people were dead statewide in West Virginia’s worst flooding since 1985.

Speaker: House Isn't Budging on Tax Reform

Jun 16, 2017
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the House are not budging on reforming the state’s tax code the way Gov. Jim Justice and now Senators on both sides of the aisle want to.

School Lunch Line
Slick-o-bot / Wikimedia Commons

The West Virginia Board of Education has voted for a 30-day public comment period for proposed policy changes that would tie the state's standard for school meals and snacks with federal minimum requirements.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the public comment period for proposed changes to Policy 4321.1 received no dissenting votes on Wednesday.

Greenbrier Resort
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has ordered a state agency to remove its sponsorship of this year's Greenbrier Classic.

Justice said in a news release Thursday he didn't feel comfortable with the Department of Commerce's participation in the PGA Tour event at The Greenbrier resort he owns.

Broadband Lawsuit
Bidgee / wikimedia commons

Federal authorities say Frontier Communications overcharged West Virginia for $4.7 million of federal grant money in the $126 million project to extend broadband internet to underserved regions of the state.

The Office of Inspector General cites reimbursements for $465,000 for invoice processing fees as "unreasonable" and at least $4.24 million in "unallowable" indirect charges for overhead and administrative expenses.

Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia

Two justices on West Virginia's highest court have published strongly worded dissents criticizing the Supreme Court majority for dismissing medical malpractice lawyers' lawsuit claiming they paid too much for their client's medical records.

HealthPort Technologies on behalf of Charleston Area Medical Center charged them $4,463 or 55 cents per page copied, plus sales tax and shipping.

Nicholas County
David Benbennick / Wikimedia Commons

School board members in a West Virginia county ravaged by the 2016 floods have voted to take legal action to contest the state board's rejection of a plan to consolidate five schools onto one campus.

The Nicholas County Board of Education made the decision Wednesday after the state Board of Education voted 7-1 Tuesday to reject the county's proposed consolidation plan.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the battle over the state's budget continues at the Capitol. Ashton Marra brings us the latest from Thursday's late-night legislative session.

Senate Approves Tax Reform and Budget, Again

Jun 16, 2017
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the Senate have approved a budget for the upcoming fiscal year -- for a second time this week.

 

The bill they approved Tuesday contains no new revenue for 2018 and makes major cuts to both higher education and Medicaid in order to find a balance, but the new version of the budget bill approved Thursday night is accompanied by yet another tax reform bill that now has bi-partisan support in the state’s upper chamber.

The West Virginia Department of Education plans a series of public meetings starting next week as it develops a state replacement plan for the No Child Left Behind Act.

States must submit their plans this year to the U.S. Department of Education on the Every Student Succeeds Act, which was signed into law in December 2015 and replaces No Child Left Behind. The state Department of Education's plan will be submitted in September.

Nicholas County
David Benbennick / Wikimedia Commons

School board members in a West Virginia county ravaged by the 2016 floods have voted to take legal action to contest the state board's rejection of a plan to consolidate five schools onto one campus.

The Register-Herald reports the West Virginia Board of Education voted 7-1 on Tuesday to reject Nicholas County's proposed change to the Comprehensive Education Facilities Plan.

Flickr / davidwilson1949

West Virginia has restricted a union at hospitals after it called for the ousting of the state health and human resources department secretary.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the state bureau for behavioral health and facilities informed the West Virginia Public Workers Union, UE Local 170, on June 8 that out of respect for patients, residents and visitors' privacy, it would no longer be allowed to set up tables at certain facilities. Since 2008, the union has organized in front lobbies and break rooms of public hospitals and health care facilities to sign up employees, distribute information and address grievances.

West Virginia's U.S. senators say the state will get $11.6 million in federal funding for its wildlife programs.

According to Sens. Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito, the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources will receive $8.1 million for wildlife restoration and $3.5 million for sport fish restoration from the U.S. Department of the Interior.

cityofhuntington.com

West Virginia's U.S. senators say the state's housing programs will get more than $28 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Sens. Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito say the money will enable communities to improve public housing and help some of the state's most vulnerable people get access to safe and stable living conditions.

West Virginia Governor's Office

Gov. Jim Justice said Wednesday the budget proposals being considered in both the House and Senate are wrong for West Virginia and will result in major cuts that hurt vulnerable citizens, but with a deadline to approve a budget in time to avoid a government shutdown quickly approaching, Justice said he would consider signing the budget sent to him. 

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Wednesday, members of the House of Delegates approved their own version of a budget for the upcoming 2018 fiscal year—a budget that, much like the one approved earlier in the week in the Senate, does not include any new revenue from various tax reform measures debated between the two chambers for weeks.

Instead, the House used the increased revenue estimate sent this week by Gov. Jim Justice’s Office to members of the Senate as the base for its $4.225 billion budget.

gavel
wikimedia / Wikimedia

A pharmaceuticals distributor has asked a federal judge to dismiss lawsuits filed by six West Virginia counties over the opioid crisis, arguing that they were filed too late and the matter was already addressed in a state suit.

Cardinal Health says the counties were on notice in 2012, when then-Attorney General Darrell McGraw sued the company, alleging it flooded the state with painkillers.

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