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June 2016

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June 7, 2016

Hoppy's Commentary: West Virginia Budget 3.0
By Hoppy Kercheval, WV MetroNews

Governor Tomblin will pull out his veto pen this week for the budget plan sent to him by the Republican majorities in the Senate and House of Delegates.  Chris Stadelman, Tomblin’s Director of Communications, left no doubt in an interview on Talkline last Friday that Tomblin would trash the document.

“It’s completely unworkable,” said Stadelman.  “It’s an irresponsible plan and...

June 8, 2016

WVEA opposes state Board of Education’s passage of A-F school grading policy 

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- WVEA strongly disagrees with the West Virginia Board of Education’s passage today of its A-F school grading policy (Policy 2320), as this unnecessary program will perpetuate the idea that many of our public schools are failing even though that is not the case.

Beginning this fall, schools will receive an A, B, C, D or F grade based on a scoring system approved by...

June 9, 2016

Tomblin vetoes budget bill, but announces agreement with Senate on plan 
By Jeff Jenkins, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin vetoed the budget bill Wednesday passed last week by the state legislature and announced he’s reached a bipartisan agreement with the state Senate on what the new budget should look like just more than three weeks from a possible government shutdown.

Tomblin struck down the budget bill in its entirety. He opposed...

June 9, 2016

State school board approves revised A-F policy
By Ryan Quinn, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

Against opposition from teachers unions and school administrator groups, the West Virginia Board of Education on Wednesday approved a revised policy that will give entire schools A-F grades based largely on their students’ scores — and growth in scores — on the statewide Smarter Balanced standardized tests.

No nays were heard in the voice vote, for which Gayle...

June 10, 2016

Boone superintendent: Schools still need $2.1 million from state
By Matt Maccaro, WV MetroNews

MADISON, W.Va. — Trying to figure out a balanced budget to avoid a government shutdown on July 1 isn’t the only issue lawmakers must deal with when they return to Charleston this weekend.

Boone County Superintendent John Hudson says his district still needs $2.1 million from the state to meet financial obligations for the 2016 fiscal year.

“It is my...

June 10, 2016

Senate could move on revised budget Saturday
By Shauna Johnson, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia House of Delegates is not on board with what’s billed as a revised bipartisan budget agreement between Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and Senate members, according to House Speaker Tim Armstead.

Tomblin announced the agreement Wednesday, along with his veto of the proposed 2017 budget the Legislature approved in a special session last week.

...

June 10, 2016

Miley: at least half of House Dems will support 65-cent tobacco increase if money goes to PEIA
By Jeff Jenkins, WV MetroNews

House of Delegates Minority Leader Tim Miley says members of his caucus have made a “significant concession” in hopes of passing a new budget and avoiding a state government shutdown.

During an appearance Friday on MetroNews “Talkline,” Miley (D-Harrison) explained the 51 percent plan. He said he can deliver at least 19 votes from...

June 12, 2016

Tomblin offers PEIA funding incentive to gain House votes on tobacco tax
By Matt Maccaro, WV MetroNews

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin sweetened the pot Sunday in an effort to persuade House Democrats on a 65-cent tobacco increase as part of his budget plan.

Tomblin promised that proceeds from the cigarette tax—a key part of his revamped budget— would help fund the state’s Public Employee Insurance Agency.

“One would provide $15 million in additional general...

June 15, 2016

WV lawmakers end special session with budget, PEIA bills
Phil Kabler , Staff Writer

Closing out a 17-day special session, West Virginia legislators put the final touches on a $4.187 billion 2016-17 state budget on Tuesday — including amending it to include a new reserve fund to lessen the impact of pending premium increases for retirees and public employees covered by the Public Employees Insurance Agency.

House Democrats, in particular, raised concerns...

June 15, 2016

Special session over; lawmakers leave Charleston
By Jeff Jenkins, WV MetroNews

State lawmakers ended their special session on the state budget Tuesday evening after passing several bills including a new funding source to stabilize the Public Employees Insurance Agency.

The bill (HB123) gives authority to the state revenue secretary during the next four budget years to sweep revenue accounts to come up with $15 million for PEIA. Most of the money will be...

June 15, 2016

14 percent of WV students ‘chronically absent’
Ryan Quinn , Staff Writer

About 14 percent of West Virginia’s public school students — 40,000 out of 283,800 pupils in kindergarten through 12th grade — missed at least 15 days of school in the 2013-14 school year, according to an Associated Press analysis of federal data released last week.

Data was reported for all West Virginia counties except Tucker, where school officials said employee turnover was to...

June 15, 2016

Legislature passes bill to help Boone pay school workers
Ryan Quinn , Staff Writer

The House of Delegates voted 72-19 Tuesday to approve a bill to give Boone County Schools the extra money that county officials said they need to give employees their final paychecks on time this month.

The state Senate approved the bill (SB 1010) Monday, and it heads to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s desk for a signature. At the start of this month, Tomblin expanded the special...

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