WV Senate

TV
10:46 am
Fri May 30, 2014

The Law Works - State Budget

The only weekly television series that deals with legal issues of concern to citizens across West Virginia.

Do you have a budget? How do you create it? Is it easy to follow? The State of West Virginia has a budget. It is not easy to create, and it is not easy to follow.  Dan Ringer and guest State Senator Roman Prezioso, Chair of the West Virginia State Senate Finance Committee will talk about the West Virginia State Budget on this episode of The Law Works.

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Statehouse
9:37 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

W.Va. Senate Confirms Gubernatorial Nominations

The state Senate Monday confirmed Gov. Tomblin's nominees for various position within the administration. There were nine in total including:

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Statehouse
9:26 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Lawmakers Take More Time to Complete Special Session Work

Credit Martin Valent / WV Legislative Photography

Lawmakers will return for a second day in an extraordinary session after some called for more time to consider last minute legislation.

Senators considered and passed two bills Monday, one appropriating excess lottery funds to several state programs and a second modifying the funding mechanism for the state Courtesy Patrol, but stopped short of passing the four additional bills on the call.

Senate President Jeff Kessler attributed that to uncertainty from Republicans members of the House.

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W.Va. Politics
4:20 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Miley to House: Prepare for Special Session

Speaker Tim Miley
Credit WV Office of Legislative Services

House Speaker Tim Miley has told members of the West Virginia House of Delegates to prepare for a special session at the end of the week.

Wednesday Governor Tomblin announced an extension of the budget session which would have ended Thursday.

Miley told members they will instead put a compromised budget bill to a vote Friday afternoon and adjourn. Then, he believes, the governor will call the extraordinary session.

Here is a list of bills Miley said will likely be taken up during that session:

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Budget Woes
12:02 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

The Three Bills Lawmakers Need to Balance the Budget

Throughout the final night of the session, Delegates and Senators could both be seen on the floors of the opposite chambers advocating for issues they support.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Members of the legislature are feeling the backlash of bills that failed on the final night of the session. There are three specific bills that are putting not only this year’s, but also next year’s budgets in jeopardy. Jeopardy of a lowered bond rating, something lawmakers do not want to let happen.

On the final night of the legislative session there were two bills that needed to pass—Senate Bill 344 and 345—in order to supplement the finances of some pretty important programs.

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W.Va. Politics
11:20 am
Tue March 11, 2014

The Bills that Failed: What Happens Now?

Members of the conference committee on Senate Bill 6 meet in the back of the House chamber surrounded by a crowd.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Senators and Delegates worked late into the night, as usual, on the final day of the session voting on bills. The frenzy, however, was too much for some issues. Here are a few of the bills that got lost in the mix and didn’t pass before the midnight deadline.

SB 6

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W.Va. Politics
3:25 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

The Final Hours: What You Didn't See

Sen. Brooks McCabe takes the podium to preside as President on his final night of regular session as a member of the Senate. The senator is not seeking re-election.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

While most of the night is strictly business, the final hours of the legislative session often have some light-hearted moments scattered throughout. Here are a few things you didn’t see in the news.

Sen. Sam Cann rose to speak to House Bill 4343, the West Virginia Launch Pad Act, but maybe he forgot he’d been appointed to a new chamber:

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Wage Increase
5:00 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Senate Passes Minimum Wage Hike

Credit Martin Valent / WV Legislative Photography

The West Virginia Senate has passed a bill to raise the minimum wage by $1.50 over three years.

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Drilling Waste
4:39 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Senate Approves Bill for Frack Waste

Sen. Ron Stollings discuss a bill with Senators David Nohe, Chris Walters and Bill Cole.
Credit Ashton Marra

Members of the state Senate unanimously passed a bill Friday allowing for the drill cuttings from natural gas fracking sites to be disposed of in county or privately owned landfills.

Currently, the drill cuttings can either be disposed of by burying them on site or deposited in landfills, but Senator Herb Snyder said landfills are the most environmentally friendly option.

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Budget Woes
4:39 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Senate Budget Uses $125 Million from Rainy Day Fund

Senate President Jeff Kessler meets with leadership during a floor session.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Senators voted on their version of the budget bill Thursday.

It included the governor’s recommended pay raises for school service personnel and State Police forensic lab technicians, but Senate Bill 306 only accounts for the $837 teacher pay raise passed by the upper chamber. The House has changed that bill to include a $1,000 across the board raise.

But Finance Chair Senator Roman Prezioso explained the Senate has not yet voted on House Bill 4333, known as the Haircut Bill for short. The bill adjusts lottery appropriations of about $40 million to balance the budget.

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Senate
6:10 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Senators Bring Local Issues to Senate Floor

Senators Bob Williams and Bill Cole on the Senate floor.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Two senators rose to speak on the floor Wednesday about local issues they feel could have larger state impacts.

Senator Bill Laird brought to the chambers attention the possible closure of the Hawk’s Nest Golf Course in Fayette County.

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Deer Farming
4:03 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Senator Supports Legislation Promoting Deer Farms

Sen. Daniel Hall
Credit WV Office of Legislative Services

A Senate Committee saw controversy as House Bill 4286 was discussed.

The bill pulls the state deer farming program from the oversight of the Division of Natural Resources and puts it under the Department of Agriculture.

“The DNR has been doing everything in their power in recent years to squash that entire industry. They will not promote it, they’re trying to kill it,” said Sen. Daniel Hall in support of the legislation.

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Abortion Legislation
4:15 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Senate Committee Amends House Abortion Bill

Women's organization West Virgina Free and supporters protest House Bill 4588 outside of the Senate Chamber.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The women’s organization West Virginia Free gathered more than 50 supporters outside the state Senate Chambers to protest House Bill 4588, the pain capable unborn child protection act.

The bill was taken up in the Senate Health and Human Resources Committee and amended Tuesday, changing the felony charge for performing an abortion to a misdemeanor with a possible fine of up to $4,000.

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Senate
4:31 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

State Treasurer Backs Retirement Program for Private, Small Businesses

State Treasurer John Perdue speaks to the Senate Pension Committee Friday.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Senate Pensions Committee took up House Bill 4375 creating the West Virginia Voluntary Employee Retirement Accounts Program.

The program would be available to businesses with up to 100 employees who do not have a current retirement system.

Employers or employees could voluntarily opt into the program, automatically deducting a retirement contribution from their paycheck each month, but employers would not be required to contribute to those plans.

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Senate
5:33 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Abortion, Drilling Waste, Attorney General: Where Does the Senate Stand?

Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Bills that were hotly debated in the House are expected to receive just as much attention in the Senate as members of the Legislature near their final week of the session.

One of those includes a bill allowing commercial solid waste authorities to dispose of solid waste and drill cuttings from the Marcellus shale industry.

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Senate
5:21 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Constitutional Amendments Make it One Step Closer to Nov. Ballot

Credit Martin Valent / WV Legislative Photography

In a rare occurrence at the statehouse, Senators debated three possible Constitutional Amendments on the floor, changes that will ultimately be sent to the people for their approval.     

Senate Joint Resolution 10 proposes a Constitutional Amendment designating the right to hunt and fish for West Virginians.

Sen. Corey Palumbo amended the resolution on the floor Wednesday, clarifying that the people of West Virginia have the right to hunt and fish the state’s game, but the state still maintains the ability to regulate those activities.

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Public Education
2:56 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Senators Compromise on Teacher Pay, Union Wants More

Credit Flickr / davidwilson1949

In a last minute compromise, the Senate Education and Finance Committee Chairs agreed to an across the board pay raise for teachers that differs from what was promised by Governor Tomblin during his State of the State Address.

The amended version of Senate Bill 391 passed by the upper chamber today calls for an $837 across the board increase.

The bill was originally presented by the governor and authorized a two percent across the board pay increase for teachers and school service personnel.

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Crime Victim's Compensation
3:54 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Senators Debate State Money for Meth Lab Clean-up

Members of the Senate listen to introductions during a floor session.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A proposed amendment to the Crime Victim’s Compensation Fund divided the Senate Tuesday, but not necessarily on party lines.

The fund is used to reimburse innocent victims of crime who have suffered personal injury and who have incurred out-of-pocket losses as a result of a criminal act.

Currently, the state is compensating property owners from the fund who have to clean up illegal meth labs after renting or leasing their space.

Republican Senator Mitch Carmichael said the account is suffering because of the lab clean up costs.

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Senate
3:51 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Senate Ramps Up Voting as Session Winds Down

Senate President Jeff Kessler oversees a floor session Monday, Feb. 24, 2014.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Members of the state Senate had 25 bills on their morning calendar Monday, passing almost all unanimously. Those bills included:

Senate Bill 623

The bill requires employers in the mining industry to report all positive drug and alcohol tests to the Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training. Currently, notification is only required if a miner is discharged.

Senate Bill 476

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County Pay Raises
4:15 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Committee Moves Bill to Allow County Employee Pay Increases

Senators Donna Boley and Greg Tucker on the Senate floor.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A Senate committee Friday approved Senate Bill 379 to remove a salary cap for county employees, if the county finds they have the funds.

Originally the bill required a 12 percent pay raise, but it was amended to ensure lawmakers weren’t passing an unfunded mandate.

“We are not voting for an increase for elected officials. We are lifting a cap in which they can work with their own money. So, this is no state money,” Sen. John Unger said during the meeting.

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