The Legislature Today

On The Legislature Today, Gov. Jim Justice has extended the regular session by one day to allow lawmakers more time to work on a budget bill, but he says its unlikely the House and Senate will be able to complete a budget in that time that he would actually sign. 

The governor discusses a likely special budget session, the bills he'll present lawmakers on a session call, and his gasoline tax increase that Justice says has been "childishly" pulled from consideration in the House.

On The Legislature Today, Gov. Jim Justice has signed a proclamation to extend the regular session by one day, allowing lawmakers more time to come to a budget agreement.

During a press conference at the Capitol today, Justice said he was disappointed that a budget compromise hadn’t already been reached.

On The Legislature Today, medical  marijuana is one step closer to becoming legal in West Virginia after a vote in the House, but the latest version of the bill delays the program until 2019.

In the Senate, members vote unanimously to add an abortion restriction to the state’s telemedicine law.

On The Legislature Today, members of the House and Senate are being presented with their budget bills which the Senate Finance Chairs says look almost nothing alike.

Still, he maintains the Legislature could pass a budget by Day 60.

On The Legislature Today, a bill to legalize medical marijuana in the state is bypassing the committee process, putting it on the fast track for a vote in the House.

The vote Thursday night has been called historic in the chamber, but several delegates argued pulling the bill out of the committee process was the only way members would get to vote in a medical marijuana bill this session.

On The Legislature Today, Governor Jim Justice says budget negotiations have broken down between Democrats and House leadership after talks this week.

Justice said they were near a deal when House Republicans refused to put about $45 million in tax increases to a vote in the chamber.

On The Legislature Today, there are several bills making their way through the legislative process that lawmakers are counting on to balance their respective budgets.

Meanwhile, many of those same lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are in talks with Gov. Jim Justice about how to close a budget gap millions of dollars wide. Jason Pizatella, Gov. Justice’s Deputy Chief of Staff, discusses how those negotiations are going so far.

On The Legislature Today, Republican House leadership's budget plan, according to Finance Chair Eric Nelson, aims to protect higher education from additional budget cuts after lawmakers initially announced they’d reduce funding to the system by $50 million.

West Virginia University President Gordon Gee sat down with me earlier today to discuss the potential budget implications for his university.

On The Legislature Today, both the House and Senate are working on their own tax reform measures that rely on changes to the sales and personal income taxes. 

On the Legislature Today, members of the House Finance Committee consider two bills that would help balance the 2018 budget, one to lower the overall sales tax rate while getting rid of some exemptions, the other to capture some dollars from the state's Road Fund and increase the beer barrel tax.

Across the rotunda in a Senate committee, members have advanced a bill to create a medical marijuana program in West Virginia, allowing doctors to prescribe the illegal drug for medicinal use.

On The Legislature Today, there are several pieces of legislation making their way through the statehouse to expand broadband internet access in West Virginia.

According to the Federal Communications Commission, 30 percent of West Virginians do not have access to federally defined broadband internet. That's why two West Virginia groups have joined together to promote expansion in any way possible.


On The Legislature Today, Gov. Jim Justice says he or members of his staff will be in his “war room” every morning through the end of the legislative session, inviting lawmakers from both parties to join him to work on a budget.

 

This morning was the first of those meetings and while some lawmakers did attend, they were all members of the Democratic Party.

On The Legislature Today, Governor Jim Justice is declaring a symbolic State of Emergency in West Virginia due to Republican plans to cut Medicaid dollars.

Legislative leaders released their budget framework last week that would cut the program by $50 million, they say. Justice say the cuts will result in a healthcare crisis in the state.

On The Legislature Today, during his State of the State Address, Gov. Jim Justice presented lawmakers with two plans.

The first was a way to balance the 2018 budget. The second, was a plan to raise more than $1 billion for road construction in the state through a road bond. Since, Justice has been traveling the state promoting that bond plan, but lawmakers have taken little action.

Secretary of the Department of Transportation Tom Smith discusses the proposal and whether Justice has given up on the push for new road funding.

On The Legislature Today, Republican leaders this week released their 2018 budget framework and progressed a bill to reform the state's tax system, while Gov. Jim Justice made changes to his budget bill that he says will result in a $54 million surplus next year. 

Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy Executive Director Garrett Ballengee and Senior Policy Analyst for the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy Sean O'Leary discuss the plans.

On The Legislature Today, education is once again debated on the Senate floor, but this time the education chair shares concerns over a bill he’s sponsoring.

In the House, delegates progress a Right-to-Work bill one that makes changes to the current law being challenged in the state’s court system.

And advocates are pushing second chance laws that they say will help felons reintegrate into their communities and keep them out of prison in the future.

Those stories and more on The Legislature Today.

On The Legislature Today, education takes the spotlight in both the House and Senate as lawmakers debate bills making major changes in the state’s Pre-K through 12 system.

Senators are set to debate a Common Core repeal on the floor this week, which a Democratic member says is redundant and unnecessary. In the House, members focus on ways to give county school systems more flexibility in light of coming funding cuts.

On The Legislature Today, Republican Legislative leaders have expressed no intention to increase funding for the state's Public Employee's Health Insurance Agency, the healthcare coverage for government employees. That means potential increases in premiums and costs for those covered under the plan.

Dept. of Administration Sec. John Myers and PEIA Director Ted Cheatham discuss the funding for PEIA.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Republican leaders at the statehouse have unveiled a draft of their proposed state spending plan and Ashton Marra talks with two GOP delegates about their own budget proposal.

That’s on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

On The Legislature Today, days before Republican Legislative leaders previewed their plan to balance the 2018 budget, members of the House Liberty Caucus came up with a solution of their own.

Delegates Pat McGeehan and Michael Folk introduced their budget bill Thursday in the House of Delegates. It makes cuts to "government bureaucracy" in Charleston, smooths payments to the teacher's retirement system, and cuts Gov. Jim Justice's $105 million "SOS Fund" to not just find a balance, but include a 2 percent pay raise for teachers. 

The delegates discuss their plan and why it should be considered a "blueprint" for their fellow Republicans.

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