Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

It was Tobacco Free Day at the Legislature, Friday. Coincidentally, the Government Organization Committee held a public hearing about smoking. Currently, a county board of public health passes smoking regulations. House Bill 2208, in its introduced version, would make it so only members of the county commission elected by voters have the power to regulate public smoking.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Senate Bill 361 made its way into the House Thursday. What had been a full repeal of the prevailing wage all together is now just a scale back. And this compromise received an endorsement from U. S. Senator Joe Manchin.

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Owning a business is a dream many people have, but it’s not always easy to start it up and keep it going. Delegates met last week to discuss the future of small businesses in the state.

West Virginia Legislature

January 14th marked the first day of the 82nd Legislative Session. For the first time in 80 years, Republicans took majority in the House, but on that first day, the Democrats, now in the minority, came out swinging.

West Virginia Legislature

The West Virginia Attorney General's Office has lost three top staff members to the Legislature.

The Charleston Gazette reports that senior deputy attorney general Marty Wright has accepted a job as the House Judiciary Committee's head lawyer.

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On Election Day last week, Republican Jill Upson defeated Democrat Tiffany Lawrence for the House of Delegates in the 65th District.

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West Virginia's Broadband Deployment Council plans to disband at the end of year.

state capitol
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More than 20 West Virginia cities are seeking to participate in a program that would give them a larger say in how they govern.

The legislature passed seven bills in their special session that ended yesterday but, one senator questions whether one of those bills they passed is legal. Wheeling Catholic Central High School is making bold moves to deal with their aging library by instituting a learning lab based on a concept from MIT. Also, we take a visit to Matewan, whose rich history might play a part in how they 'Turn This Town Around.'

  Lawmakers decide to take more time to review bills, as they get called in for a special session. The Environmental Protection Agency's new regulations on carbon emissions from coal fired power plants will be released next week, leaving concerns for many in the industry. Also, a couple from Elkins who specialize in oral histories are taking a look at all sides of fracking. 

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  Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has called the Legislature back into session to deal with funding and other measures.

The special session begins Monday.

Tomblin's agenda includes a supplemental appropriations bill that would allocate up to $4.7 million to the Courtesy Patrol. The funding would come from the Tourism Promotion Fund.

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  Child advocates throughout the state are stepping up their campaign to convince Governor Tomblin to restore the budget cuts he made to social services.  

Members of the Our Children, Our Future Campaign have asked to meet with the governor multiple times. Jamie Gudiel who volunteers at a family resource center in Morgantown would like to know why the governor vetoed the funding in the first place.

West Virginia Legislature

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed about 200 bills and vetoed eight this year, leaving teachers and abortion opponents unsatisfied.
Tomblin vetoed a bill to keep school administrators from scheduling tasks for teachers during planning periods. Tomblin said the bill would have blocked collaborative planning among teachers and principals.
Pro-life groups opposed Tomblin's decision to veto a ban on abortions after 20 weeks gestation.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has vetoed a bill that would have banned abortion in West Virginia after 20 weeks.

The Democratic governor said he vetoed the legislation because of constitutionality issues raised by his legal team and attorneys for the Legislature.

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Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has signed a bill that makes municipal gun ordinances uniform around the state. The legislation was met with harsh opposition by Charleston Mayor Danny Jones, who expressed concerns over some of the bill's provisions.

The law allows those with concealed-carry permits to bring guns into municipally-owned recreational facilities, but requires them to store guns securely out of view and access to others. However, guns could be brought to venues where children might be present, such as some after-school programs.

The West Virginia Legislature clears ten bills in a one-day special session after finishing budget negotiations on Friday. With a rich history in the state behind them, a group of students from north central West Virginia is hoping a rocket will also launch them to the very top. And, lastly, does the History Channel's Appalachian Outlaws accurately depict the practice of ginseng hunting in West Virginia?

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.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The House and Senate have come to an agreement on the state's budget for the next fiscal year. The process was stalled earlier in the week.

Negotiations between legislative leadership and the governor centered on two issues: how much money to pull from the state Attorney General's Consumer Protection Fund and how much money they could use to expand the Aged and Disabled Waiver Program for seniors.

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

The staff of The Legislature Today--news director and anchor Beth Vorhees, Senate reporter Ashton Marra, and House reporter Aaron Payne--give a recap of the final hours the West Virginia Legislature's final hours on Saturday.  And hear from researcher at West Liberty University who discovering new species of crayfish in West Virginia.