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Cole, Kessler see State of the State differently
By Jeff Jenkins, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State Senate President Bill Cole says the Senate will keep up the pace it set in last year’s legislative session when Republicans took over the body for the first time in more than 80 years.

“We got to work (today),” Cole said after Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s State of the State Address Wednesday night. “We didn’t waste a day.”

Issues like right to work...


State school board discusses Gilmer County in closed sessio
By Ryan Quinn, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

The West Virginia Board of Education spent about an hour in closed session Wednesday discussing issues regarding Gilmer County, which is, alongside Fayette County, one of the two school systems under state control.

State school board President Mike Green, Vice President Lloyd Jackson and Susan O’Brien, executive director of the Office of Education...


Testing commission favors ACT, but state not releasing final recommendations
By Ryan Quinn, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

The day before West Virginia lawmakers planned to start the 2016 session with anti-Common Core bills on their minds, the state schools superintendent’s Commission on Assessment again appeared ready to recommend replacing the current Smarter Balanced standardized tests with ones purchased from ACT.

But the state Department of Education,...


Deficit looms over Tomblin's final State of the State
By Phil Kabler, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

Legislators return today, for the second session of the 82nd Legislature, facing uncertainties over West Virginia’s severe budget deficit and control of the Senate.

The 60-day session convenes at noon, and will be highlighted by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s sixth, and presumably final, State of the State address to a joint session of the Legislature at 7 p.m....


Balance of WV Senate in hands of Supreme Court
By Jeff Jenkins, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — All parties have now weighed in on the state Senate replacement controversy and are now awaiting a decision from the state Supreme Court with the beginning of the 60-day legislative session set for Wednesday at noon.

The Supreme Court’s deadline passed with a total of 12 legal filings in the case since last Friday, eight of them were filed Tuesday just before...