West Virginia Legislature 2018

John Raby / AP Photo

Governor Jim Justice has signed a bill to impose the federal 20-hour weekly work requirement for many food stamp recipients statewide. The work requirement applies to people ages 18 to 49 without dependents.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Gov. Jim Justice says a bill will become law to permit sports betting at the state's five casinos in the event that a U.S. Supreme Court case leads to the repeal of a nationwide ban.

It would allow sports betting at West Virginia licensed casinos and on Lottery Commission-approved mobile device applications.

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.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia Legislature is set to vote on a 2018-19 state budget on the final day of the 2018 regular session. The $4.38 billion spending plan accounts for an across-the-board average 5-percent pay raise for all public employees and makes cuts to programs that had earlier seen proposed increases by Gov. Jim Justice. The budget will allow for $156 million in spending as compared to the previous fiscal year.

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.

Teachers and other state workers rally at the Capitol, Mar. 6, 2018.
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Steven Paine told reporters Thursday afternoon that all nine days of the recent teacher and school employee work stoppage would need to be made up by each county school district. However, counties will have control and flexibility on how they do it.

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.

Kara Lofton/ West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Updated on Mar. 6, 2018 at 8:30 p.m.

After nine long days of a teacher and service personnel work stoppage, it looks like it’s come to an end. Lawmakers have agreed to a five percent pay raise for teachers as well as a five percent pay increase for all public workers.

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.

Gloria Triplett, a reading specialist at East Chapmanville Elementary School, holds signs Friday, Feb. 2, 2018, during a teacher rally at the West Virginia Capitol in Charleston, W.Va.
John Raby / Associated Press

West Virginia teachers spent a sixth day on strike on March 1 after negotiations were insufficient to end the walkout. But is their strike legal?

Shortly before the strike began, state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (and U.S. Senate candidate) said it wasn’t.

John Raby / AP Photo

 

 

What was supposed to be a “cooling off” day Wednesday was anything but under the gold dome in Charleston. After Gov. Jim Justice and union leaders announced a deal had been made Tuesday to end the teacher strike and send educators and service personnel back to the classroom Thursday, uncertainty around the Capitol all West Virginia counties called off school Thursday, March 1.

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.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Updated: Feb. 27, 2018 at 10:00 p.m.

After meetings Tuesday with Gov. Jim Justice, leaders of teacher and service personnel unions say the work stoppage will end Thursday. The announcement came at a news conference where Justice announced 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. However, it remains unknown if leaders of the House and Senate will go along with the deal.

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.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

This is a developing story and will be updated.

 

Teachers, school service personnel other supporters will return to the West Virginia Capitol Tuesday to protest low wages and rising health care costs.

 

Christine Campbell, president of the American Federation of Teachers-West Virginia, Dale Lee, president of the West Virginia Education Association and Joe White, of the West Virginia School Service Personnel Association, made the announcement at a 2 p.m. rally on the Capitol steps.

John Raby / AP Photo

Updated: Monday, Feb. 26, 2018 at 9:00 a.m.

 

Monday is set to be a pivotal day in the ongoing work stoppage for teachers and school service personnel across West Virginia. With the continued approach of county school officials remaining in question, the potential of legal action to be decided by the state board of education and legislative deadlines looming, educators and school workers yet again plan to head to the Capitol in Charleston to rally lawmakers for better pay and healthcare benefits.

Gloria Triplett, a reading specialist at East Chapmanville Elementary School, holds signs Friday, Feb. 2, 2018, during a teacher rally at the West Virginia Capitol in Charleston, W.Va.
John Raby / Associated Press

West Virginia teachers will continue their strike into next week, the latest response to what’s quickly becoming a deepening rift with the governor and Legislature over pay and health benefits.

Thousands of teachers and school service workers in all 55 counties will remain off the job Monday, union leaders announced at a news conference Friday afternoon.

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.

Walter Scriptunas II / AP Photo

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has signed legislation that will provide teachers, school service personnel and state police with a 2 percent pay increase starting in July. The signing of the bill comes on the eve of a two-day statewide work stoppage planned by teachers and service personnel amid growing frustrations over salaries, healthcare and other issues.

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.

Gloria Triplett, a reading specialist at East Chapmanville Elementary School, holds signs Friday, Feb. 2, 2018, during a teacher rally at the West Virginia Capitol in Charleston, W.Va.
John Raby / Associated Press

Updated: Feb. 21, 2018 at 6:18 p.m.

 

As lawmakers readied themselves Tuesday night to complete action on a bill calling for pay raises for teachers, school service personnel and state police, Gov. Jim Justice released a statement criticizing state leaders of teacher unions as well as Democrats for grandstanding in an election year. With leaders of two of the state’s teacher unions still unsatisfied, a two-day work stoppage looms -- and questions remain if recent legislative actions might push educators to extend their time off the job.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

With a statewide teacher walkout looming for Thursday and Friday, the West Virginia Legislature is sending a pay raise bill to the governor that awaits his signature.

After the Senate approved an amendment from the body’s Rules Committee, the House debated the latest version of Senate Bill 267 for nearly two hours before deciding to concur with the Senate’s amendment.

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.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia House of Delegates has passed a bill that would expand a work requirement for some people who receive federal food assistance.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

As the insurance program for public employees continues to be a large part of the conversation this legislative session, the West Virginia House and Senate each proposed mechanisms Monday, Feb. 19, to provide some long-term relief. While the House of Delegates Finance Committee originated a bill to put budget surpluses toward the Public Employees Insurance Agency (PEIA), the Senate amended a bill that would send some revenue from sports betting to the insurance program.

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.

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