The Legislature Today

Saturday, March 10, marked the 60th and final day of the 83rd West Virginia Legislature's Second Regular Session. 

Update: March 11, 2018 at 12:31 a.m.

House Bill 4345, which would expand West Virginia’s medical marijuana law by increasing the number of dispensaries and growers, and providing for banking facilities related to the industry, died in the final minutes of the 2018 state legislative session. House leadership cited procedural delays in not bringing the bill up for a vote on the floor. The Senate had passed HB 4345 at about 6:30 Saturday evening.

On The Legislature Today, we bring you a special hour-long broadcast from the Capitol building in Charleston. Host Andrea Lannom chats with House Finance Chairman Del. Eric Nelson, R-Kanawha, and House Finance Vice Chairman Del. Mick Bates, D-Raleigh, on the status of budget discussions with only one day left in the regular 2018 state Legislative session. We also look back at some of the major issues that unfolded over the last two months in our reporter roundtable.

On The Legislature Today, the West Virginia Senate unanimously passed its version of the budget bill. The Senate's bill did not include the governor's revised revenue estimate of $58 million in its $4.38 billion budget. Both the House and Senate Finance Chairs said they hope to have the budget passed as quickly as possible. Host Andrea Lannom chats with Senate Majority Leader Ryan Ferns, R-Ohio, about the 2019 budget and whether we might see a budget passed before the 60th day.

On The Legislature Today, the teachers strike is over and schools are back in operation, so now the story at the Capitol is the budget. Both the House and Senate are considering their versions during these last few days of the session. Host Andrea Lannom is joined by Senate Finance Vice Chairman Greg Boso, R-Nicholas, and House Finance Minority Vice Chairman Mick Bates, D-Raleigh, to discuss some differences and some areas where the two chambers can agree.

On The Legislature Today, an agreement among House and Senate conferees for a five percent pay raise for all of West Virginia’s public employees was announced Tuesday morning. Later that afternoon, both the House and Senate bodies approved HB 4145, giving teachers, school service personnel, and state troopers a five percent raise. Shortly after that, the bill was signed by Governor Jim Justice and will go into effect on July 1, 2018. Teachers erupted over the news that effectively began the end of a 9-day statewide teacher and school personnel work stoppage. Host Andrea Lannom speaks with Senate President Mitch Carmichael to hear the latest.

On The Legislature Today, conferees from the Senate and House met for the first time Monday afternoon, following their appointment Saturday night to work out their differences in a salary bill for teachers, school personnel, and other state employees. We bring you an update from the eighth day of the work stoppage, the latest action from the House and Senate floors, and host Andrea Lannom chats with Bob Brown, a representative from the American Federation of Teachers – West Virginia chapter.

On The Legislature Today, there’s only one full week left of the 2018 West Virginia Legislative session. In these final days, tensions continue to run high over the teacher work stoppage and the legislative process addressing the issues of PEIA and teacher salaries. Host Andrea Lannom is joined by fellow statehouse reporter Jake Zuckerman of the Charleston Gazette-Mail to breakdown all the action of the week and what’s to come as we near the final hours.

On The Legislature Today, protesting teachers returned to the Capitol, ignoring their union leadership and extending a work stoppage for a fifth day statewide. Acting on a revised revenue forecast from Gov. Jim Justice, the House of Delegates moved swiftly Wednesday night to pass a new 5 percent pay raise package for teachers, service personnel and state police, with raises for additional state employees to be addressed in the budget bill. But a fix for PEIA is still the issue.

On The Legislature Today, Gov. Jim Justice held a press conference Tuesday evening announcing a 5 percent pay increase for teachers and state service personnel as well as an end to the work stoppage – however, the stoppage looked far from over Wednesday. We bring you the latest from the Capitol. Also, in this episode, host Andrea Lannom is joined by Senate Finance Chairman Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, to talk about the budgetary issues facing lawmakers.

On The Legislature Today, leadership of the West Virginia Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers – West Virginia Chapter, and the West Virginia School Service Personnel Association met with Gov. Jim Justice on the fourth day of a statewide teacher and school personnel work stoppage over salaries and health care benefits.

Shortly after the live taping of our broadcast, Gov. Justice held a press conference announcing the work stoppage would end Thursday and called for a 3 percent pay increase for all state employees this year with an additional 2 percent hike for those who work in education, including teachers and service personnel. Follow our story here for the latest.

On The Legislature Today, thousands of teachers and state workers again showed-up at the Capitol to protest low salaries and rising health care costs, as their work stoppage entered a third school day – tomorrow will be the fourth. We bring you the latest on the work stoppage. Also, in this episode, we look at a variety of health-related legislation and chat with Sen. Tom Takubo, R-Kanawha and Sen. Ron Stollings, D-Boone.

On The Legislature Today, teachers, school service personnel and other public employees returned for the second of a two-day work stoppage as frustrations linger over salaries and healthcare. Leaders of the American Federation of Teachers, West Virginia and the West Virginia Education Association announced Friday that the work stoppage will continue Monday. But will it be just that -- a work stoppage -- or a full-on strike? Here’s the latest from the statehouse in this week’s reporter roundtable.

On The Legislature Today, capitol security estimates 2,000 teachers poured into the Capitol Thursday – the first of a 2-day teachers' work stoppage. All 55 West Virginia county school systems were closed because of the work stoppage over teacher salaries and Public Employee Insurance Agency costs. Host Andrea Lannom brings you the latest from the event, and she chats with House Minority Leader Tim Miley, D-Harrison and Del. Ron Walters, R-Kanawha on current action at the statehouse.

On The Legislature Today, we take a closer look at energy legislation moving through this session. Host Andrea Lannom chats with Senate Energy, Industry and Mining Committee Chairman Sen. Randy Smith, R-Tucker, as well as Executive Director of the West Virginia Rivers Coalition Angie Rosser.

On The Legislature Today, the looming statewide teacher work stoppage is scheduled for later this week, and there are several related issues before the Finance and Education Committees. Host Andrea Lannom chats with Del. Paul Espinosa, R-Jefferson, Chairman of the House Education Committee and member of the House Finance committee. Also joining the conversation is Del. Larry Rowe, D-Kanawha, member of both the House Education and Finance Committees.

On The Legislature Today, host Andrea Lannom is joined by Senate President Mitch Carmichael and Senate Minority Leader Roman Prezioso to discuss the latest in the issues over teacher pay and the Public Employee Health Insurance Agency.

On The Legislature Today, hundreds, some estimate thousands, of teachers and service workers filled the West Virginia Capitol building Friday demanding higher wages and a fix to the Public Employees Insurance Agency. Host Andrea Lannom discusses the action and reaction to the rally in this week’s reporter roundtable.

We bring you a special episode of The Legislature Today. West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Executive Producer Suzanne Higgins sits down with Elaine McMillion Sheldon, producer and director of the Oscar nominated documentary film Heroin(e), Huntington Fire Chief Jan Rader, and Family Court and former-longtime Drug Court Judge Patricia Keller.

On The Legislature Today, details about an estimated $84 billion investment by a Chinese energy company have been slim since Governor Jim Justice and Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher made the announcement last fall. In this episode, we'll talk to a lead scientist at West Virginia University who describes a long-time relationship between the university and this energy company.

On The Legislature Today, the West Virginia House of Delegates passed a salary bill providing pay raises for state police, teachers, and school service personnel. But will it be enough to avert a teachers' strike amid growing frustrations over salaries, problems with the state's insurance provider and teacher vacancies? We hear from the presidents of both the West Virginia Education Association and the West Virginia chapter of the American Federation of Teachers to help answer these questions.

On The Legislature Today, the West Virginia House of Delegates spent nearly four hours in session debating amendments to the teacher, school personnel, and police pay raise bill. We also look at clips from an emotional public hearing on a bill that proponents say will crack down on fraud within assistance programs, like SNAP. Host Andrea Lannom also chats with Minority Vice Chair of House Finance, Del. Mick Bates, D-Raleigh, on a handful of issues moving under the Capitol dome.

On The Legislature Today, we bring you another reporter roundtable where we discuss some of the biggest issues from the week. Host Andrea Lannom is joined by reporters Jake Zuckerman of the Charleston Gazette-Mail and Brad McElhinny of West Virginia MetroNews.

On The Legislature Today, Governor Jim Justice held a press conference addressing issues linked to PEIA and teacher pay. In the Senate, lawmakers debated abortion rights, and in the House, tempers flared as the 2018 state Legislative session hit the half-way mark.

On The Legislature Today, host Andrea Lannom chats with West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt on the role agriculture plays in diversifying the state’s economy. We also hear the latest on the debate over Public Employees Insurance Agency issues.

On The Legislature Today, host Andrea Lannom chats with two senators who sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee – Sen. Mark Maynard, R-Wayne, and Sen. Mike Romano, D-Harrison. We explore a handful of issues with these two lawmakers. Also in this episode, we spotlight an entrepreneurial agribusiness – growing lavender on barren strip mines.

On The Legislature Today, we take a closer look at state lawmakers’ efforts toward addressing child sexual abuse in West Virginia. Host Andrea Lannom has an in-depth discussion on the issue with a member of the West Virginia Task Force on Child Sexual Abuse – Emily Chittenden-Laird, Executive Director of the West Virginia Child Advocacy Network.

On The Legislature Today, hundreds of teachers rallied at the Capitol. Teachers from selected counties staged walk-in's and walk-outs, and Governor Jim Justice cancelled a scheduled press conference where it was planned he would talk about education issues. Host Andrea Lannom chats with fellow statehouse reporters Brad McElhinny of West Virginia MetroNews and Ryan Quinn of the Charleston Gazette-Mail in another reporter roundtable.

Samantha Richards (right), Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer for Patient Care Services, Berkeley and Jefferson Medical Centers speaking with a nurse at Berkeley Medical Center in Martinsburg.
John Hale / West Virginia Public Broadcasting


In his State of the State Address, Governor Jim Justice made clear his intention to make West Virginia’s community and technical colleges free for in-state students. A bill to accomplish that was introduced shortly after this year’s state Legislative session began.

 

The main goal of the bill is to cultivate a strong workforce in West Virginia by making education at community and technical colleges more accessible. West Virginia Public Broadcasting took a closer look at CTCs and their focus on workforce training.

On The Legislature Today, we bring you an in-depth look at the West Virginia’s Community and Technical College System and a bill that creates a grant program specifically for its students. That bill, Senate Bill 284, passed the West Virginia Senate unanimously and makes CTCs free for in-state students, if multiple requirements are met. It is now up for consideration in the House.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, President Donald Trump addressed the opioid crisis affecting the Ohio Valley region in his first State of the Union address. The Ohio Valley ReSource's Aaron Payne reports that while Trump mentioned expanding addiction treatment, he and his administration are emphasizing a law-and-order approach to the crisis in the second year of his presidency.

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