Associated Press Published

Tort Reform, Budget Showdown Among Top Issues for W.Va. GOP


Republicans will lead the West Virginia Legislature’s lawmaking session for the first time since the 1930s.

The 60-day legislative session starts Wednesday.

A national GOP wave this election also ended more than eight decades of Democratic rule in Charleston. Republicans will have a 64-36 edge in the House of Delegates and an 18-16 Senate majority.

Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin can veto bills, but Republicans only need a simple majority to overturn Tomblin’s vetoes. There’s a tougher threshold to overturn budget vetoes.

Republicans are looking at tort reform, deleting a business tax, repealing state renewable energy standards and potentially scaling back a law dealing with chemical spill protections.

Tomblin and Republicans also don’t agree how to fill a $195 million budget shortfall.