House of Delegates

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The House of Delegates has passed a bill to aid the state’s struggling Schools for the Deaf and Blind in Romney, West Virginia.

House Bill 4147 would make the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind eligible for funding from the West Virginia School Building Authority or SBA. The SBA awards some $50 million dollars in additional funds each year to county school systems for building or renovation projects.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the House of Delegates are considering a bill to change voting requirements in West Virginia. The House Judiciary Committee discussed the bill at length Wednesday that would require voters to show a photo ID before casting a ballot.

For two hours Wednesday morning, the House Judiciary Committee discussed House Bill 4013, which would require a person in West Virginia who desires to vote to present a valid photo ID at the polls.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A small conference center and campground in Jackson County has stirred up plenty of controversy at the statehouse over the past few years.

Members of the West Virginia Board of Education want to get rid of their authority of the Cedar Lakes Conference Center, but state officials aren’t willing to pay the cost to let it go.

This year, lawmakers believe they’ve found a compromise that let’s the board off the hook while keeping Cedar Lakes open for the thousands of kids who attend camps there each year.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the House of Delegates once again held a marathon floor session debating a bill supporters say protects the constitutional rights of their constituents. The bill would allow West Virginians of a certain age to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. Many Democrats expressed safety concerns over the measure, and attempted to amend the bill on its third reading Monday.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Lawmakers continue to move forward with legislation to balance this year’s budget, and three of those bills will be up for a vote in the House of Delegates on Monday.

Senate Bills 342, 357, and 360 are all aimed at balancing the 2016 budget.

Governor Tomblin’s budget officials say the state will end the fiscal year in June with a nearly $400 million budget gap and West Virginia lawmakers are constitutionally required to balance the budget each fiscal year.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

In the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday morning, members took up House Bill 4012, the West Virginia Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

In its introduced version, this bill would ensure that, in all cases where state action substantially burdens the practice of a person’s religion, judges would be directed to apply strict scrutiny  in court procedures. The bill also provides a claim or defense to the person who felt they were wronged.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

In the House Wednesday, Delegates made changes to the Right-to-Work bill, which will be up for a vote in the chamber Thursday.

Senate Bill 1 was on second reading in the House. This is the West Virginia Workplace Freedom Act, or more commonly known as Right-to-Work.

AP Photo/Sergii Ryzhkov

Lawmakers are considering a change to the way natural gas accidents are reported at the state level.

The House Industry and Labor Committee took up a bill Tuesday that clarifies who is alerted in the event of an accident on a natural gas well site or pipeline.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the House of Delegates are still debating a bill that would take money from the Rainy Day Fund to balance the 2016 budget, but it’s a fight over PEIA, the public employee’s health insurance program, that’s stalling the crucial legislation.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

On the House floor Friday, Delegates were set to consider a bill recently approved by the Senate - a bill to help balance the 2016 budget. Senate Bill 364 was on second reading until members of the GOP majority made a tactical move to block a Democratic amendment.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is facing some criticism after the Charleston Gazette-Mail ran an article saying he paid an outside law firm $600,000 more than his policy on paying legal fees dictates.

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.

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.