West Virginia Senate

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.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia Senate has voted against revising a proposed state constitutional amendment that would authorize lawmakers to restrict abortion rights.

The resolution advanced by the Senate Judiciary Committee would require two-thirds passage by both the Senate and House and a voter referendum to take effect.

Senate Judiciary Committee, May 2017.
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A West Virginia legislative committee has advanced a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would authorize lawmakers to restrict abortion rights.

The resolution, approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee by voice vote, would require two-thirds passage by both the Senate and House and a voter referendum to take effect.

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

Before a gallery packed with teachers, West Virginia's Senate approved a bill Friday to give them annual pay raises of 1 percent over a four-year period, a move that both teachers and many senators said wasn't enough.

The bill passed on a 33-0 vote after a lengthy discussion. One senator was absent.

Jeff Mullins
Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

State Sen. Jeff Mullins, a Republican representing a swath of southern West Virginia, says he's resigning because of business and family obligations.

Mullins, who has held the seat since 2015, chairs the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee.

Ron Miller, Senator Ron Miller
Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Ron Miller has resigned his seat in the West Virginia Senate to work on agriculture issues in the administration of Gov. Jim Justice.

Miller, a Democrat from Greenbrier County, resigned Thursday.

Woodburn Hall, West Virginia University
Richinstead / wikimedia Commons

West Virginia University says two men have been recently appointed to its board of governors.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reported on Wednesday that a university news release says West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice appointed Elmer F. Coppoolse and Tim Bailey to the board. WVU president Gordon Gee says both will be key leaders, continuing their predecessors' momentum.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

House Bill 2620, creating the West Virginia Drug Overdose Monitoring Act, would provide an office to gather data about the drug epidemic in West Virginia. Senate Judiciary Chair Charles Trump called that office a “hub.”

This would be a tool for the state to track concerns over drug abuse and overdoses throughout the state, as well as connect with other states to determine how they deal with similar concerns. Sen. Mike Woelfel said it is time for the Legislature to solve the problem.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Senators have approved a bill that was the subject of intense debate in the House earlier in the session—getting rid of the state’s Women’s Commission-- and once again, the chamber’s female members took a stand supporting the measure. 

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

Attorney and politician William T. Brotherton Jr. died on April 6, 1997, at age 70. During his long career, he’d risen to the top position in two of West Virginia’s three branches of government.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Senators voted 20-14 Wednesday, approving their Senate plan for the 2018 fiscal year. 

The bill, which contains no new revenue or a draw down from the State's Rainy Day Fund according to Senate Finance Chair Mike Hall, relies on about $160 million in cuts to government spending. 

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Senators have approved a House bill that clarifies the state’s telemedicine laws, but also creates a new restriction for certain treatments.

House Bill 2509 makes it clear that doctors can treat certain diseases in minors or adults who are still enrolled in public school. 

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Senators on the chamber's Finance Committee were given their first look at the chamber's proposed budget bill Monday, which the chamber’s finance chair says relies almost solely on cuts to find a balance.

The Senate’s budget largely relies on cutting all state agencies across the board by 4 percent, but zeroing out some programs altogether. 

Mike Caputo
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia House of Delegates has passed a Senate bill that changes the eligibility for unemployment benefits for workers who go on strike.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Senators are considering amendments to a bill that would make it illegal to manufacture and distribute fentanyl in West Virginia, adding it to the state’s list of schedule one drugs.

One Senator, however, thinks the bill may prohibit doctors from prescribing the drug for terminally ill patients, which caused some delay to consideration Friday.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Senators have voted to override Governor Jim Justice’s veto of Senate Bill 330.

The bill was an attempt to clarify some language in the state’s Right to Work law which was approved by lawmakers in the 2016 session.

Motorcycle helmet
Daaviid37 / Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia's Senate has voted against repealing the requirement that motorcyclists wear helmets.

The bill, advanced by two committees, was voted down 19 to 15 after several senators cited data showing more and worse head injuries for riders who crash without helmets with injuries others end up paying for.

West Virginia's Senate has voted to authorize natural gas producers to drill when three-fourths of those with royalty rights agree and a reasonable effort has been made to negotiate with the remaining owners of a gas mineral property.

The bill, approved 19-14, is a priority of the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association. The group says it updates the law to reflect current technology with horizontal drilling and the state poised for major gas development.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Senators have approved a bill to create a medicinal cannabis program in the state. Senate Bill 386 was approved on a 28 to 6 vote Wednesday night in the chamber.

The bill would create a 17-member medical cannabis commission under the West Virginia Department of Health and human Resources that would largely be responsible for creating the rules of the program. 

Ashton Marra

West Virginia's Senate has followed the House and passed legislation to let industrial plants discharge more pollution into West Virginia waterways.

The bill that passed 20-13 would authorize the Department of Environmental Protection to calculate water pollution limits for cancer-causing and other chemicals using an average-flow figure called the "harmonic mean."

Martin Valent / West Virginia Legislative Photography

West Virginia's Senate has voted to raise the campaign contribution limit from $1,000 to $2,700 to a candidate in a primary or general election and revise other provisions in state election law.

The bill approved 21-12 now goes to the House for consideration.

Greyhound Racing
AngMoKio / wikimedia Commons

The West Virginia Senate has passed a bill that would transfer funding from the greyhound racing industry back into state coffers to help offset the budget crisis.

After significant debate, the bill passed 19-15 Monday and now awaits action in the House of Delegates. Greyhound officials say the bill would cost an estimated 1,700 jobs and doom the industry in the state.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A Senate committee has delayed consideration of a bill that some Democratic members challenged as being unconstitutional Saturday.

Senate Bill 609 would cut funding to public education by reducing the state school aid funding formula.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the Senate voted 27-6, with one member absent, Saturday to increase the state's gasoline tax and some vehicle fees to increase funding for the state's Road Fund.

Senate Bill 477 was presented to lawmakers on behalf of Gov. Jim Justice.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A Senate committee has advanced a bill to create a medical marijuana program in West Virginia, despite the committee chairman’s vote against it. 

The Senate Health and Human Resources Committee took up Senate Bill 386 Friday morning, the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act. 

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Update Friday, March 24, 2017: Senators have approved Senate Bill 18, 18-16, with four Republicans joining their Democratic colleagues to vote against it. 

Senators will vote on a bill Friday that will give lawmakers the authority to approve all change to education standards and aligned standardized testing to be required in West Virginia schools after an amendment to a bill on the chamber floor Thursday.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

West Virginia lawmakers have begun advancing revisions in coal mining regulation after removing provisions that would have sharply reduced safety inspections of underground mines.

The Senate Committee on Energy, Industry and Mining approved a substitute bill that would have chopped required annual state safety inspections from four to one.

Martin Valent / WV Legislative Photography

West Virginia's Senate has voted to permit the sale of used cars that cannot even run provided their condition is disclosed.

The bill approved 33-1 on Tuesday would authorize "as is" sales of vehicles without the usually required implied warranties that they are operable and can pass state safety inspections.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Senators have approved a bill that “puts the final nail in the coffin” on Common Core in West Virginia, according to Senate Education Chair Kenny Mann.

The chamber voted 23-8 Saturday in favor of Senate Bill 524.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

West Virginians would pay less in interest on unpaid court judgments under a bill approved by state lawmakers.

The measure, approved 25-8 by the Senate on Friday, would set the rate at 2 percent above an annually set Federal Reserve rate, down from 3 percent.

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