Budget Policy Talks – Two Different Philosophies, One Conversation


On The Legislature Today, we hear two very different perspectives on budget policy. As lawmakers continue holding budget presentations for state agencies and continue to grapple with how and where to spend state dollars, we’ve asked the directors of two West Virginia policy research organizations – with very different philosophies – to join host Andrea Lannom and offer us all something to think about. Garrett Ballengee is the Executive Director of the Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy and Ted Boettner is the Executive Director of the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy.

Questions for Ballengee & Boettner:

  • Level of confidence in West Virginia economy?
  • Genuine Progress Indicator?
  • Cuts this session?
  • Bills your agencies are following?
  • Shrinking population impacting economy?
  • Economic diversification?

We also look at a bill that would remove Medicaid funding for medically necessary abortions. The bill has drawn a lot of attention in the House since passing through the House Health Committee last week. Senior Reporter Dave Mistich brings us the story.

Also in this episode, we look at a bill that would eliminate the cabinet position of the Secretary of Education and the Arts and disburse the department’s agencies. It was on first reading in the House chamber. Supporters say it’s following the recommendation of a 2012 audit that suggested moving the Center for Professional Development under the West Virginia Department of Education. Currently, the Center is an agency under the Department of Education and the Arts. But as Rebecca Turnbull reports, patrons of the arts are voicing their opposition, fearful that losing an advocate within the Cabinet may irreversibly damage the status and strength of arts and cultural programs throughout the state. West Virginia Public Broadcasting is an agency within the Department of Education and the Arts.

We also bring you another question from one of our viewers in our “I’d Like to Know” segment. Here’s a concern about broadband and internet access – and an answer provided by Sen. Greg Boso, R – Nicholas County.

We’d like to hear from more of our viewers. Post your video questions to our Twitter or Facebook accounts with the hashtag, #WVIdLikeToKnow, or send an email to

The Legislature Today is West Virginia’s source for daily legislative news and information. The only live television program covering the West Virginia Legislature, the broadcast features reports from the Senate, House and committee meetings with in-depth interviews and analysis of the legislative process in West Virginia.

The Legislature Today can be seen weeknights on:

  • 6 and 11 p.m. – WVPB (main channel)
  • 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. – The West Virginia Channel

The Legislature Today can also be heard at 6 p.m. weeknights on WVPB’s statewide radio network.
Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.