House Speaker Tim Miley

Coal Stock Pile

  West Virginia's top legislative leaders don't think clamoring over coal this election helps Appalachia's already-sputtering industry.

A U.S. Senate race and two competitive House contests have hammered on fear of federal regulation further stifling coal.

Republicans lump Democrats in with President Obama, an ever-unpopular figure in West Virginia. Democrats zig-zag to show they don't support his energy policies.

Our premiere episode includes a discussion with House Speaker Tim Miley and Minority Leader Tim Armstead on a possible change in power in the House of Delegates this fall and their top priorities for the upcoming legislative session.  Dr. Robert Rupp of West Virginia Wesleyan College and Dr. Mary Beth Beller discuss the impact 2012’s redistricting could have on this year’s mid-term races. We'll also wrap up of the week’s top political stories during our reporter roundtable. 


West Virginia Legislature

House Speaker Tim Miley announced his appointment Tuesday to a statewide panel that will focus on the quality of public water systems in West Virginia. 

Kanawha County Delegate Nancy Guthrie was appointed to the Public Water System Supply Study Committee on August 21 and will serve as a non-voting member.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  State House and Senate leaders are urging the governor to call a special session to delay part of an aboveground storage tank law.

House Speaker Tim Miley and Senate President Jeff Kessler asked Gov.  Tomblin to call the session during next month's interim meetings. They're slated for Sept. 8-10.

Educating About Electric Shock Drowning: One Mom's Mission

Aug 1, 2014
A wooden dock juts out into a lake
Sarah Lowther Hensley

A new law designed to keep West Virginians safe around boating docks and marinas was originally supposed to go into effect August 1, 2014, but has been delayed until January 1, 2015. The Michael Cunningham Act was passed last year, after a Bridgeport teenager was killed as a result of Electric Shock Drowning. 

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia House Speaker Tim Miley wants Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to limit regulation on small oil and gas operators in a law responding to a January chemical spill.

In a July 9 letter, Miley said small, non-Marcellus Shale wells are in "survival mode" and should be exempt from new aboveground tank inspections and registrations.

He says inspections could cost $2,000 per well annually.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  The West Virginia Legislature is taking a road trip this summer.

House Speaker Tim Miley announced Tuesday lawmakers will convene a three-day interim session at the Bridgeport Conference Center and other area locations in August. He said legislators will also make a number of stops along Interstate 79 and throughout Harrison, Marion and Monongalia counties.

Miley says the interim sessions in north-central West Virginia will provide an opportunity for legislators from around the state to get a better understanding of the region, especially the oil and gas boom.

WV Office of Legislative Services

House Speaker Tim Miley has told members of the West Virginia House of Delegates to prepare for a special session at the end of the week.

Wednesday Governor Tomblin announced an extension of the budget session which would have ended Thursday.

Miley told members they will instead put a compromised budget bill to a vote Friday afternoon and adjourn. Then, he believes, the governor will call the extraordinary session.

Here is a list of bills Miley said will likely be taken up during that session:

WV Office of Legislative Services

A legislative committee is coming to Huntington to hear from small-business owners and entrepreneurs about doing business in West Virginia.
The House Committee on Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development will hold a town hall-style meeting on Monday from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Marshall University's Memorial Student Center.

Senator Ron Stollings discusses potential health and environmental regulations that could come as a reult of last week's chemical spill by Freedom Industries, the House Banking and Insurance Committee holds their first meeting of the session,  and an interview with the new Speaker of the House of Delegates, Tim Miley.

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West Virginia Legislature

Democratic legislative leaders won't back Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's call for more audits of the West Virginia Legislature, state office holders and agencies.

Aaron Payne

House Speaker Tim Miley announced his intention to create a new committee in his chamber.

The House Committee on Energy is the second committee the speaker will create in his first term as the chamber’s leader.

Chaired by Delegate Kevin Craig of Cabell County, Miley said the industry is one of the most important to West Virginia’s economy and deserves the focus of its own committee.

Delegate Mike Caputo will serve as vice chair and said they already intend to introduce one bill creating a legislative oversight committee on energy worker safety.

Drug Enforcement Agency

West Virginia lawmakers are taking another look at the state's reimbursements to property owners for cleaning up methamphetamine labs.
     Under a 2007 law, the reimbursements are made through the Crime Victims Compensation Fund.

Ashton Marra

Del. Ryan Ferns announced Monday he has switched parties and will run in 2014 for the state Senate as a Republican.

The former Democrat is in his second term in the House of Delegates and first made the announcement in his hometown of Wheeling, W.Va.

Ferns then traveled to Charleston, W.Va., where he, surrounded by Republican members of the state legislature, filed his pre-candidacy papers with the Secretary of State’s Office for the Senate seat.

Ashton Marra

In his first press conference as Speaker of the state House of Delegates, Speaker Tim Miley announced the intended formation of a new committee in his chamber, the committee on small business, entrepreneurship and economic development.

The committee will be separated from the one already in existence in the House which is focused on the energy industry and labor. Miley said this new committee is important because small businesses are the backbone of future economic growth in the state.

Legislative auditors told an interim legislative committee the state's $38 million expansion of a statewide microwave communications network ignored West Virginia purchasing laws. Legislative leaders say they’re committed to reviewing the purchase process to prevent future misconduct.