House of Delegates

Perry Bennett / Perry Bennett Photography

The West Virginia Legislature sent its members home early Friday because of the inclement weather in the Kanawha Valley.

Both the House and Senate chambers met earlier than usual Friday morning. The House at 9:00 a.m. and the Senate at 10:00 a.m. Normally, both chambers would meet for a floor session at 11:00 a.m., but this weekend’s storm has all members taking extra precautionary measures.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The House Government Organization Committee approved a bill Wednesday that would repeal the state’s prevailing wage - the hourly wage rate and benefits workers are paid on state construction projects. The bill hasn’t had its first reading on the floor yet, but House Democrats are still trying to slow it down.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

West Virginia families have been struggling with issues like substance abuse and poverty for decades.

This year, lawmakers are taking a hard look at ways they can combat these issues, and members of the House of Delegates are wasting no time at all.

Mingo County
David Benbennick / wikimedia commons

The wife of former Mingo County Delegate Harry Keith White has been appointed to replace him in the House of Delegates.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced the appointment of Phyllis White on Tuesday.

Cigarette, tobacco
nikkytok / Dollar Photo Club

Democratic members of the House of Delegates met Tuesday to discuss their priorities for the 2016 legislative session.

House Minority Leader, Tim Miley of Harrison County shared a handful of the issues he says his party will propose during the 2016 session, but also made clear which Republican backed bills Democrats will oppose.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Interim meetings at the state capitol are usually laid back. Lawmakers attend their meetings and sometimes meet with a spare group of lobbyists and constituents.

Sunday, however, the House Government Organization Committee Room was overflowing. Men and women in union t-shirts filled the audience seats, the hallway and even the stairwells outside. What drew the crowd? A proposed piece of legislation that would make West Virginia a Right to Work state.

June 8, 2004: Judge Elizabeth Hallanan Dies at 79

Jun 8, 2015
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

Judge Elizabeth Hallanan died on June 8, 2004. She was 79 years old.

Hallanan was born in Charleston in 1925. After attending Morris Harvey College—now the University of Charleston—she earned a law degree from West Virginia University. In the mid-1950s, she served on the State Board of Education and in the House of Delegates before being appointed assistant commissioner of public institutions by Governor Cecil Underwood. In 1959, she became judge of the first full-time juvenile court in Kanawha County, making her the first woman judge of a court of record in West Virginia history.

Office of the Governor

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has appointed Steven Shaffer, the former mayor of Tunnelton, to fill a vacancy in the state House of Delegates.

The vacancy in the 52nd District was created when long time Delegate Larry Williams resigned. Williams took a new position at the state Department of Agriculture overseeing deer and elk farming in northern West Virginia.

Joshuashearn / wikimedia Commons

Thursday in the House, among the multitude of bills passed, the Firearms Act of 2015 was also up for a vote. Senate Bill 347 has received an overwhelming amount of controversy among legislators, their constituents, law enforcement, and others, and no less was seen on the House floor.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Courtesy Patrol is a free roadside assistance service offered to those traveling through West Virginia. The program is within the Division of Tourism, as the patrol often helps visitors as they travel. It has a budget of four million dollars. In the House Wednesday, Delegates considered a senate passed bill that transfers the patrol to the Division of Highways, but allows Tourism to keep the money for state marketing campaigns. But the debate took a turn, as Republicans debated whether the courtesy patrol should even exist.

West Virginia Legislature

Senate Bill 30 permits a shared animal ownership agreement to consume raw milk. Currently in the state, it is illegal to purchase or sell raw milk. And just like when it was debated in the Senate, some members of the House also questioned the health effects of drinking raw milk, while others maintained it allows for personal freedom.

Over the weekend the House Judiciary Committee met to discuss a handful of bills, but most notably the bill to amend the concealed carry law and a bill that reforms political spending in the state.

Perry Bennett / WV Legislative Photography

A special joint-session of the legislature was held in the House chamber Friday in response to the recent crises caused from this week’s storm. Officials wanted to explain Governor Tomblin’s State of Emergency declaration and to update lawmakers about current conditions and what they can tell their constituents affected by the storm.

Perry Bennett / WV Legislative Photography

The Charter Schools bill made its way into the House Wednesday. The House Education Committee debated the bill until almost midnight that night. It ultimately passed and will soon be on first reading in the full House.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

After a session that lasted almost until midnight Tuesday night, members of the House got an early start Wednesday morning to pass a flurry of bills. Here's a look at three of those bills, but first a look at a proposed constitutional amendment that passed protecting homeowners from creditors after the passing of a spouse.

CommonsHelper2 Bot / wikimedia commons

In the House Tuesday, a bill to reintroduce elk to the state was passed and a bill allowing non-profit organizations a one-day permit to sell alcoholic beverages to fundraising events.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

As we enter the last two weeks of this legislative session, both chambers are pushing though large quantities of bills before time runs out. And Monday in the House, fourteen bills were passed. Of those, lawmakers approved a piece of legislation that attempts to tackle the issue of truancy in West Virginia schools. It would extend the number of unexcused absences a student can have before the court system intervenes. But first, here are two other bills Delegates approved Monday.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

As it’s made its way through the legislative process, Senate Bill 361 has incited just as much passionate debate as any other issue on the House floor. On Saturday, Delegates approved the bill that drastically changes the way the state will calculate the prevailing wage.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The House passed Senate Bill 357 Friday, the Coal Jobs and Safety Act of 2015. This bill has caused a lot of controversy, so it was no surprise when the House debated the bill for two hours. Republicans feel like the bill is an update to previous safety laws, while some Democrats feel like it’s a scale back.

Members of the House Judiciary Committee are revisiting the state's mandatory reporting law after an incident at Capital High School in Charleston. The school's principal, Clinton Giles, resigned from his post after reports that he failed to notify law enforcement of a sexual assault on the high school's campus. Giles was reportedly notified of the January 26th incident by a counselor, and he now faces misdemeanor charges in Kanawha County Circuit Court. The incident now has lawmakers looking to update a forty year old law dealing with sexual assaults. But first, the committee considered a bill that aims to reign in the receptions lawmakers are invited to while in Charleston for legislative meetings.

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