Governor Earl Ray Tomblin

Gov. Tomblin's office (@GovTomblin / Twitter)

Child abuse and poverty prevention advocates are questioning Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s priorities.

Among the $67 million worth of cuts from the budget bill Thursday was about a $1 million reduction in funding for programs meant to prevent child abuse and child poverty.

Governor Tomblin started the 2014 session with a budget that cut funding for programs like In Home Family Education, Family Resource Networks, Child Advocacy Centers and other child abuse prevention programs.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The budget bill signed Thursday by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin makes line item vetoes and cuts totaling nearly $67 million. Programs affected include those for seniors, children, libraries, State Police, higher education workforce development, and the newly formed Sexual Assault Forensic Examination Commission.

In a letter to Secretary of State Natalie Tennant dated Wednesday, March 19, Tomblin outlined 42 objections to the budget that was passed by the legislature last week.

Office of the Governor

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has signed a budget that dips into millions of dollars in state reserves.     

Tomblin approved next year's budget Wednesday with some vetoes and reductions. It's not immediately clear which spending items were deleted or lessened.
 

Flickr / davidwilson1949

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin Friday called for a special session of the state legislature. The proclamation, which follows the passage of the state budget, calls for ten bills to be taken up by the legislature. They are as follows:

1. A supplemental appropriations bill expiring funds to the unappropriated balance in the State Fund, General Revenue.

2. A supplemental appropriations bill expiring funds to the unappropriated surplus in the State Fund, General Fund.

Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

This week, Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin, along with Representatives Nick Rahall, Shelley Moore Capito, and David McKinley, asked President Obama and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator W. Craig Fugate to reconsider a recent decision by FEMA and appealed this week by Governor Earl Ray Tombin, which denied West Virginia’s request for federal assistance and emergency protective measures following the January 9 chemical spill in the Elk River.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia lawmakers are working out kinks in a budget that gives public workers raises and digs into reserves.
 
The House of Delegates and Senate are meeting this week to finalize the state spending plan for next fiscal year.
 House of Delet

An update on Governor Tomblin's legislative agenda and members of the Senate Government Organization Committee discuss a House bill that would reform the state Ethics Commission and reduce the number of members it requires. House committees discuss bills from the Senate, including the Future Fund and pay raises for teachers. Ted Boettner of the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy about various issues, including taxes, the future fund, and the state budget.

RayNata / wikimedia

Federal prosecutors are seeking a plea hearing for the brother of West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin in a drug distribution case.

Assistant U.S. Prosecutor C. Haley Bunn filed the motion Thursday in U.S. District Court in Charleston in the case involving 50-year-old Carl Tomblin of Chapmanville.

Bunn asked the court to schedule a hearing at which Carl Tomblin is expected to plead guilty to a federal information charging him with illegally distributing oxymorphone, a prescription painkiller, in December.

RayNata / wikimedia

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's brother is facing a federal drug distribution charge.
 
A federal information charges 50-year-old Carl Tomblin of Chapmanville with illegally distributing oxymorphone, a prescription painkiller, on Dec. 6, 2013, at or near Chapmanville.
 

Jessica Lilly

The legislative session last year is often referred to as the "year of education reform" as lawmakers looked for ways to improve education quality.

West Virginia is ranked 48th in teacher pay and right around the middle of the road compared to other states for cost of living. Educators say there is a connection to quality.

Although West Virginia teachers get a 1.5 percent pay increase each year until they reach 35 years, teacher salaries are among the lowest paid in the nation.

West Virginia Department of Education

The West Virginia Department of Education said through a news release that they are working with the West Virginia National Guard following a directive from Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin. Tomblin has called for additional water testing to confirm that all schools in the counties impacted by the chemical leak on Jan. 9 are under 2 parts per billion (ppb).

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The House of Delegates and Senate are at odds on how best to balance West Virginia's budget.
 
Senate propositions to raise sales and cigarette taxes were dismissed by the House in a closed meeting Thursday.
 

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

Federal health experts say they'll talk with West Virginia officials about what lab studies are needed on little-known chemicals that spilled into a water system last month.
 
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spokeswoman Bernadette Burden said Wednesday the CDC will reach out to the state about possibly conducting more studies.
 

Chuck Roberts / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and Department of Health and Human Resources Secretary Karen Bowling Tuesday sent a letter to Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to formally request the CDC, or its partners, immediately conduct further epidemiological and/or toxicological studies and address ongoing population surveillance or monitoring as a result of the January 9 Elk River chemical spill.

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin says he's days away from lifting a state of emergency over last month's chemical spill into a public water supply.

Tomblin told reporters Tuesday that "in the next several days" he hopes to end the state of emergency, which has lasted almost 41 days. Tomblin said he let the emergency declaration continue partially because of the chemical's lingering odor from some taps and showers.
 

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin says he's not sure about tapping state reserves to monitor people's long-term health after chemicals spilled into their water supply last month.
 
Senate Majority Leader John Unger has said Tomblin should use $10 million from the state's rainy day fund for 10 years of health monitoring. Unger said lawmakers could approve the money, but it'd be easier with Tomblin's support.
 

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced Tuesday the West Virginia Testing Assessment Project for residents in the nine counties affected by the Jan. 9 chemical spill into Elk River.

The project, which will make use of $650,000 from the state budget according to Tomblin, will be conducted by independent scientific experts under the direction of Dr.  Andrew Whelton, assistant professor of environmental engineering at the University of South Alabama, and Corona Environmental Consulting.

The House passes a bill known as the Pregnant Workers' Fairness Act--but not without fierce debate over an amendment that sought to include "fetus" in the bill's language, The Joint Legislative Oversight Commission on State Water Resources hears from Kanawha-Charleston Health Depart chief Dr. Rahul Gupta and the state Bureau for Public Health's Dr. Letitia Tierney. Also, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin provides an update on the chemical spill and water crisis with officials from the CDC and EPA.

Chuck Roberts / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin was joined Wednesday by state officials as well as officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Environmental Protection Agency to provide an update to the ongoing response to the January 9 chemical spill by Freedom Industries into the Elk River.

Here's what we learned from the briefing:

1. The 1 parts per million threshold for MCHM doesn't declare the water "safe."

Freedom Industries
AP

Officials from the federal agency that helped determine when people could use their water again will be visiting Charleston.
 
     Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin on Wednesday will give officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention an update on last month's chemical spill. Environmental Protection Agency officials will join them.
 

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