House Finance Committee

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

With less two days left in the 2016 Legislative Session, members of the Finance Board for the Public Employee’s Insurance Agency, or PEIA, have serious concerns about the changes to the state budget with regards to the agency’s funding.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A House committee has removed a bill from its agenda that would increase Division of Motor Vehicle fees and some taxes to help fund road maintenance and construction projects.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Dr. Rahul Gupta talks about a tax increase on tobacco products that was killed by the finance committee. We also look into a veto from the Governor on a concealed carry bill, a new program aimed at helping children in West Virginia, and we hear a clip from a Johnathan Edwards tune for our Mountain Stage song of the week.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A House committee has advanced a bill that would halt the state-funded updates to casinos and casino games.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The state’s budget is always the final bill approved by lawmakers before they end their legislative work for the year. But even though that vote won’t come until the end of March, members of the House Finance Committee are already looking for ways to deal with declining revenues. On Wednesday, they focused in on lottery funds.

  Speaker Tim Armstead takes over as the first Republican to fill the top role in the House of Delegates for the first time since the Capitol has been in its current location. But what are his and his party's plans?

The Department of Transportation gives a budget presentation in the House Finance Committee and concerns remain over the quality of roads affected by drilling the Marcellus Shale.

That and more on this episode of The Legislature Today.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The House Finance Committee met Wednesday to hear the budget requests from various agencies within the Department of Transportation. But one of the many concerns the Delegates had was the state of roads due to Marcellus Shale drilling.

The House Finance Committee removed several of the sections added by the other House committees in the water resource protection bill.

One of which was related to medical monitoring which the committee determined was a redundancy because Dr. Letitia Tierney from the DHHR explained during the meeting her office plans to pursue testing whether it is in the bill or not.

Aaron Payne

Committee members heard from various offices that make up the department of transportation - the Division of Motor Vehicles, the Division of Highways, the State Rail Authority, the Division of Public Transit, the Public Port Authority, the Aeronautics Commission and the Office of Administrative Hearings.

Like in many other budget hearings, officials from each office laid out how they will handle their finances to deal with the upcoming tight fiscal years.

Aaron Payne

Cabinet Secretary of the West Virginia DEP Randy Huffman presented the proposed budget to the committee, relating how the organization would deal with the governor’s 7.5 percent cut.

Huffman assured there would be no loss in personnel. However, paying the personnel a fair and competitive wage was a challenge.

Delegate Ron Walters asked how proposed water protection legislation would affect the DEP financially.

“We’re doing an inventory, right now,” Huffman said.

“We’re going to try in the next few days to get an estimate.”

Aaron Payne

With the challenges of a tight budget year ahead, the first goal was immediately understood because balancing the state budget is mandated by the constitution.